So after many months our fashion police expo is finally complete, admittedly my coverage of the many stresses and lessons have been few but once I have time to breath I will share some of the experience. So please check out our website or Facebook page and if you happen to be in Prahran, Melbourne feel free to pop in within the next few days. There are also a few competitions, online and at the expo with some great prizes up for grabs. Finally we have been running a small blog, so likes and follows are welcome!
Fashion Police Expo
Prahran & Wantirna Swinburne Visual Merchandising students
David Williamson Theatre,
Prahran Swinburne Campus
Melbourne, Vic.



Riding Bicycles

“I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike” This was how I felt when I saw how wonderful the GIANT bike, we were to use in our window display was! Gleaming turquoise with perfectly pumped tires, it took all my will not to jump on it and ride off into the glorious sunset. Thankfully I didn’t because it looked fantastic in our window. I was very pleased with this display- the careful paintwork teamed with the matching accessories and mannequin worked well and we felt were able to strike the right balance between chic and urban. Though simple in prop creation and execution, it was an eye catching, clean display, which focused attention on both the bike and branding. LESSON: It is a tense feeling, not knowing how your key product looks. We had to wait till the day of the bump in to pick up the bike. Unsure of colour and size, we waited with fingers crossed for its arrival. When it showed up 2 shades darker than expected, I was surprisingly overjoyed, it looked even better against the chosen wall paint. This easily could have gone the other way, but thankfully for us our lucky stars were shining!





lyc2actusalTrawling through the craft boards on Pinterest one is bound to come across numerous paint sample crafts. Many, question the ethics of these activities, frowning upon the abuse of free samples, worried that paint samples will follow the dark path of the beloved sample pot. The realisation that I would need to collect a fair few myself and become one of these offenders, made me uncomfortable. Thankfully I didn’t need nearly as many as some of the projects I have seen, wall plasterers I am looking at you, but still it was with a hung head and awkward shiftiness that I snuffled  away more than my share.

Nonetheless  despite my paint sample trepidations and the struggle I had with minimalism, (as expressed in post The Art of Minimalism,) my display is now complete and to be honest I’m super relieved it’s over. Visually it is a simple looking display, but surprisingly I had more struggles with this display than any of my others. I feel it worked out in the end, for which I am enormously happy; the addition of the decal was definitely essential and I am so glad I branded Wattyl for a second time, a last minute thought, but one which pulled it all together.

One of the many things I learnt though, and entirely regret not thinking of earlier, was the idea of using one large foam core board, folded in thirds to allow one clean backdrop. I used 3 individual boards, which was nightmarish due to some ruler mishaps- to have thought of the former idea originally would have saved me a lot of trouble and avoided me developing an absolute loathing of  foam core!

lyc1lyc3(This is not a true Wattyl display, just for educational purposes)

Paper planes

There is this saying which my teacher regularly quotes- ‘if the the client gives you a budget of $500, don’t present them with a Ferrari’ and it was keeping this in mind, that we developed our latest Eastland display for Kate Hill. With only two weeks to conceive and create our display, and only $300 in pocket, we had to keep this display simple. Ideas of conveyor belts and airports were tossed around, but reality reminded us that these, though respectable ideas, were near impossible. The suggestion of paper planes was great for the tight budget and time limit- 100 planes later and our display is finished and looking pretty good! The toughest apspect was choosing the colours, and that’s hardly something to complain about.
Even so it was a stressful display, with communications slow and time ticking by at a rapid pace. I have decided that yes, email is a fantastic creation that allows you to avoid using the dreaded telephone, but to call is a hundred times faster when trying to work out details with clients. Yet although I admit this, it is one thing to preach and another to practice; I feel for now I will still be emailing first, just in case they do reply super quickly, because I’m a scaredy cat. In terms of outcome: I think it looks quite pretty, it reflects the Kate Hill brand and captures the idea of air travel, it compliments the luggage and is aesthetically pleasing. Though there a few small flaws in the web of planes, it’s difficult to get such things perfect, it doesn’t really affect it. Oh and if you ever need to suspend planes, I feel we developed a pretty effective method, but not once we overcomplicated it entirely. Sometimes the best solutions, are the most obvious ones.





Fashion Police.
The two words which caused sirens of horror to go off in my mind. Not because I am on the run from some hideous outfit offence, although I’m sure we all harbour a few dark fashion moments, but because this is the theme of our end of year exhibition. I shuddered when I first heard the words, my mind instantly leaping to tasteless, trashy and blah. However with some persuasion and discussion I was sold and even excited about the idea. Here is the opportunity to take a subject that doesn’t sound too flash and turn it into something fun, but to good taste, with a touch of class. The opportunities for design, display and promotion are great and with the right angle I feel it can be pulled off quite successfully. Although without wanting to dampen anyones dreams, I feel that the idea that it could go viral is a tad far fetched. Just a tad. Nonetheless, I would love to be on the media team, there are such possibilities in this media filled world and it excites me to know I can have the opportunity to test out these in a way that serves a purpose. I know this project will be a lot of hard work, but super exciting stuff is happening and I am ready to grab this project with two hand and dive right in!

Oh and on another note, excitingly we have received a number of positive responses from our Feastland project with Eastland wanting us to do another two displays and some other companies interested in involving us in some future projects! So super pumped all round!


The above poster was made using the handy app Phoster- the application that enables you to create neat, stylish posters in minutes!


eastlandbumpin23 weeks since I bemoaned teamwork, today I embrace it. Yesterday we installed our first industry project and without everyone pitching in it wouldn’t have been achieved. Don’t get me wrong there was certainly a fair amount of blood, sweat and tears shed, (the latter surprisingly not from me) and relationships were certainly tested, but nonetheless the unlikely has been achieved and with positive results! Within a few hours, my badly scaled drawing was transformed into what I would like to believe a professional looking display.

Brief: To create a display to promote Eastland’s fresh food program, Feastland.

Outcome: I think we were all really pleased with the outcome, the tree looked like a tree, the display was bright and organic and the installation, though a little slow due to the late arrival of some props, was quite enjoyable. I don’t think the layout is perfect, especially with the missing barrel, which was supposed to provide a middle height between the mannequin on the ladder and boxes below. (Though you can see, if you look closely, it eventually turned up the next day when we had finished the installation, so it couldn’t be added properly.) But I think it was not a bad job for our first true promotion.

Lessons learnt: With this project I have no idea where to start, it was definitely a learning experience. One thing we quickly learnt is that communication can go wrong at either end, this time it was at the other end- a key prop was misplaced and though we managed to work around the missing ingredient it was a bit of a shame. So always have a few back up ideas in the case that something does goes astray. Another thing which surprised me was how the scale of props change when they are moved into a new space. I was shocked at how small the tree appeared within the vast space of the shopping centre, back at school it had seemed so large. This is a key aspect to keep in mind; as if it is a drastic change of size, props can lose their ‘look at me’ quality, which can be disappointing. Another thing was we had to do was secure everything! I mean everything, every apple, strawberry and box was fishing lined to each other to prevent theft, to secure the display and in the instance of the tree to prevent it from falling and seriously maiming anyone, which I am pleased to say has not occurred of yet.

Another key lesson- the price of things! I never believed how much things cost, even with bulk purchase discounts and bargain hunting, prices were a lot higher than I ever imagined. Though the clients didn’t even blink an eye at the costs, which were snuggly under budget, I have learnt to appreciate just how much VM must cost and the importance of looking after purchases. Creating good contacts who will help keep costs down would also be recommended.

I am so grateful that everyone pulled their weight and really helped out and contributed to ensure the best results. All teams worked on one aspect or another and it all came together wonderfully and to a high standard. Thanks to Eastland for giving us this opportunity, it was really beneficial and even enjoyable, despite the stress.

Oh and one final thing-always take your tool bag. Can you believe that between us all no one remembered to bring a pair of scissors?


featslandThe tree was made from MDF, Expanda foam, chicken wire, paint, a number of garlands and artificial apple branches. The competition box, built by one of the other teams, from old timber fencing. Can you guess how many apples are in the crate? If you can, head over to Eastland for your chance to win a $200 gift voucher!