(also please check out my facebook page facebook.com/BelindaZanelloFashion )
- What's your story? (Life, study, influences, were you confident in your career choices etc)
My grandmother was a seamstress, my mum an artist and my dad a building designer so I think I’ve inherited the design/art attributes. In high school I was guided by my art teacher to pursue fashion and wearable art which led me to then study Fashion Design at Tafe SA for 3 years. After that I worked in the costume department of Opera SA for two years and learnt a lot. I am also a stylist on fashion shoots and music videos, blogging and selling my clothing, jewellery and fashion illustrations online. I work freelance now, recently as costume designer for Hairspray at St Aloysius.
I also taught sewing, pattern making and personal styling at a local community centre and caught the teaching bug, so I’m now also studying a bachelor of Education in Home Economics (focussing on Fashion and Visual Arts Education.) at Uni SA. Sewing is becoming a dying art and also for our fashion industry in Adelaide, we need to expand and apply ourselves and that starts with education and opportunities provided.
- You're The Blank Canvas winner! What do you think set you out from the rest?
I really wanted to stay true to the ‘blank canvas’ concept, keeping my fabric solely as the cream calico. The design is very much what I felt was ‘art meets fashion’ with a bit of architectural structure. It plays with the historical pannier hoop skirts from the 1700’s and then has a futuristic streamlined top with a highly contoured tall neckline and darted cap sleeves. The honeycomb technique is usually done on a small scale, appearing like smocking. However I wanted to play with proportion and scale and make it larger than life. I also wanted the honeycomb to start small and gradually become larger at the bottom of each piece. There were a lot of trials and experimentation.
- Any other prizes you've applied for & tips for success?
I’ve entered several Art exhibitions/competitions in the past, sometimes submitting gowns instead of the expected art piece and it’s been fun to do something unpredictable and just have a go. This month I was the only finalist from SA to have been chosen for the National Campus Art Prize for my photography piece ‘Sleeping Beauty’. It was a real surprise because I’ve only just started photography this year at uni! At the end of the day, you regret more the things you didn’t do than the things you did. So I just say have a go. You really have nothing to lose. You will grow from it, find the courage to try again and again and see how much you really love what you do.
- What & where did you study?
I studied for an Advanced Diploma in Applied Fashion Design and Technology for three years at Tafe SA and also have a Certificate in Corsetry. Currently I’m in my second year of (Home Economics) Education at Uni SA, minoring in Visual Arts.
- Any hot tips for new or existing students on how to approach course choices?
Make sure it’s something you really, really love with all your heart, otherwise you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.
Get as much work experience in the industry first, especially if you’re studying fashion, so you really know what you’re getting yourself into. The industry is not all glamour, it’s a lot of hard work and you need a thick skin to handle criticism and rejection.
- What have you found to be challenges in you study/career and to have any tips on how to combat them?
I think the biggest lesson of all, most importantly is to have fun and stay true to the integrity for your design style, don’t try and please everyone. It’s impossible. Always work to a schedule to stay on track and network, network, network! Adelaide is small but that doesn’t mean it’s to your disadvantage. We have so much talent in this city and can apply it to help each other out and keep the future of the fashion industry in Adelaide.