Wednesday, 20 November 2013

HERE’S TO 2013! My NWSD family, I salute you Open Letter, by principal Marlene Oosthuizen

HERE’S TO 2013!
My NWSD family, I salute you
Open Letter, by principal Marlene Oosthuizen

It is custom that at the end of each year, for me write an open letter to students, staff and supporters of NWSD.  This year, my muse and inspiration for this letter are the students, and the accomplishments of the NWSD family.

Please join me in saluting each student for their individual accomplishments throughout the year, but especially in completing and showcasing their fashion show collections.  Ask any NWSD student or alumni about the incredible achievement it is to reach the NWSD fashion show goal.  I take my hat off to each student who has conquered the fashion show submissions and quality standards.

 “So what does a good teacher do? Create tension - but just the right amount.”  Donald Norman. 

I salute each staff member who do not hesitated to guide (and sometimes push) students to finish a garment, a project or to reach a goal and to be the best fashion student they can be.

I salute our sponsors, models, suppliers, parents and friends!  It is because you hold us firmly in your hands and hearts that we can excel in what we love.
To better illustrate these accomplishments I refer to, I have decided to take a trip with you – a trip down memory lane.  As you scroll down our memoir list, please click on the links and I will welcome you to my world.

I don’t regret the hard work and late nights working on this!  Starting out with the application process, I saw a mountain of obstacles in my way, but with the support of students, staff and friends we managed to pull it off!

How gratifying to know that NWSD cuts the grade on a global scale.


What a show!  The talk of the town!
Where do I begin in saluting the enormous team behind this?  From each Fashion Design student who strived and toiled to finish their collections, to each Fashion Management student who unselfishly worked exceedingly hard to plan and manage the event.  
I salute the long list of sponsors who have contributed their services, cash and goods to such an amazing event


It has been an enormous privilege to work with Miss SA – Marilyn Ramos, Mercedes Benz, Sanlam, Gert Johan Coetzee, and Maxine McLuckie to raise funds for Janie Schneider, a school for the disabled.  


This brain child of Donovan Roets has now found an official spot in the fulltime curriculum ensuring all our students get this opportunity to style a fashion shoot.  

I was amazed to see that our Alumni fashion shoot blogs receive a large amount of hits!  This salute goes out to Donovan Roets, our alumni, models and students for putting in the extra hours to share our alumni’s work.  


Have you ever wondered how a wardrobe crew goes about selecting clothes for a film?  I found the process very interesting while observing lecturer Lisa de Villiers with her team of 2nd year Fashion Management students.   

I learned that each scene is broken down into various categories of stage setting, character profiles, weather, extras, actions, setting, etc.  This time consuming task has to be completed in much detail as possible before they can pin point ‘who-wears-what’.  Attention to detail is the ultimate key, as the wardrobe crew has to advise the set designers on any possible set changes that are required for wardrobe.  Example, in film, if an actress walks in to a room with a handbag, the wardrobe crew needs to ensure that the set design people have catered for a prop on which the actress can place the handbag.  


Thanks to Lisa De Villiers (for insisting on the Open Day), the ‘pics’ tell the story of an excellent networking day, filled with fashion fun.  More people pitched than what we catered for, but we were happy to eventually find seating for all…

Students, Staff and Alumni, I salute you for giving up your Saturday to welcome our guests!  

I have to give a special commendation to Stacey Grant, the NWSD’s Networking Queen!  


We were inundated with entries this year and each and every entry was a deserving winner.  I spend hours going through the letters and designs.  I had so much empathy for Gert Johan Coetzee who had a hard time selecting 7 finalists from all the wonderful entries.  In the end, we kept on postponing the announcement of the finalists, as Gert Johan wanted to be more than 100% sure of his selection.  

Congrats to all who have entered.  Your effort to enter is evident of your entrepreneurial spirit!


Join me in saluting the students for being brave! It is a huge feat to make an outfit from branding material, and then having to model this.  And they did this having so much whilst actually learning to overcome stage freight, which is one of the main objectives of this project.  


With having authored her first fashion book as a NWSD student, Francoise leaves NWSD to pursue her fashion journalism & styling career.  

Francoise Jeanne de Villiers – a name to remember.  She has earned her spot in the NWSD success story.  Watch out SA Fashion!  Here comes a future fashion editor that is creating a fashion legacy with every project she touches.  


2013 has been memorable, but before I wrap up, let me mention just a few more memories…
Students launched to Mercedes Benz A Class with an Avant Garde Fashion Competition.
The launch of the 2013 C Class Mercedes Benz at the NWSD/Sanlam Graduate Show.
Miss Klerksdorp Finalists dressed in corsets made by 1st year NWSD students.
I was honoured to attend the wedding of the year.  Anel Botha and Graham Calver, your wedding deserves a place in my 2013 memoir box.  (And I got to wear a Gert Johan Coetzee original!)

Dear students, we shared meals, laughter and tears, and therefore, we now get to share memories.  


I don’t want to reveal too much of what we have up our sleeves for 2014, but I simply have to mention that we have started with the prep work for the

Stay tuned, as we will reveal our Reunion Event on Fabebook, Twitter and our website.  

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