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  • Writer's pictureRachel

I Started Fashion School. This is What Happened...

Orientation day can one of the most daunting processes when you first start studying! Today, I’m going to share with you my experience on my first day at fashion business school (and no, it wasn’t scary at all!) At the end of this post, I’ll include a list of what you should bring to your first day!

The Course

Before I get into it, I should explain a bit about what I’m studying, where I’m studying it, and why. I’ve just started on my 6 month-ish long journey to complete a Certificate IV in Fashion Business at Orana College in Sydney, Australia. The course isn’t what most people think when you tell them you’re “going to study fashion business”. Most people assume that this means I’m studying fashion design, which even though I would love to do that, my talents definitely lie more in the business side of things. This means that my course is split into business units and fashion units. Some examples of things I’ll be studying are, on the business side, workplace health and safety, and on the fashion side, basic sewing 101. At the end of the course, I’ll have completed both coursework and an internship. I chose to study this course to further my knowledge about how business in fashion works, beyond my current experience of being freelance model. I want to learn all the ins and outs about how and why things are done, and expand my skills to make fashion into a career.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can talk about the interesting stuff from today!


My first “class” was Orientation, so not really a class, but an introduction to some of the people that I’ll be studying with for the next few months. The class sizes are small at Orana College, which is wonderful. After studying at a large university, it’s really refreshing to be able to get to know faces and names, and build a network of people that I’ll see regularly while I study. The staff at Orana are really helpful and make an effort to get to know you and what you want out of studying, and help you to solidify your career goals. The other students range from people in their early twenties, through to people who are more mature age, looking to make a career change. We went around the room and introduced ourselves, which took an entire hour because everyone was so invested in getting to know each other. The vibe of the class was lovely, and everyone was friendly and generally interested in getting to know each other.

Fashion Class

The second half of the evening was a class about photography. This is the side where the fashion subjects start to come in! The guest teacher, a local photographer, showed us the ropes of photography, and taught us about the different types of work that photographers do in the fashion industry. It was really interesting to hear from and see work by someone who works in the industry, and has shot for both large and small brands including Windsor Smith and Lipstik Shoes.

From shoots with models through to flat lays for products, the photographer showed us how to use a DSLR camera – which we were allowed to look at and practise shooting with – and taught us about shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. I’m definitely no expert in photography, but I can use these tips and knowledge to improve my own photography skills using my DSLR camera at home, and be able to understand what photographers need on shoots to create a shot. Overall, the first day was amazing. The classes were interesting, and most importantly the people were good to work with.

As promised, if you’re about to start your fashion course too, here is a list of things you should bring in your first day! (And some tips!)

- Laptop and charger: if your school has a student portal, you might need to set this up at Orientation, as well as make sure you have WiFi passwords.

- Notebook and pen: if you’re like me, and appreciate handwriting notes, it might be a good idea to bring a small notebook and pen, if you need to quickly write something down, like WiFi passwords, student numbers, or important things to remember.

- On your first day, don’t dress in something you wouldn’t usually wear. Fashion is exciting, and it’s cool to start something new, but remember that you might be sitting for long periods of time, or touring the campus, so make sure that you’re wearing shoes (that are already broken in!) and clothes that reflect the authentic version of you. People want to get to know you, not your wardrobe, and you’ll feel more comfortable if you’re not worrying about your clothes the entire time.

Stay tuned for future weekly fashion school posts, and check out my other blog posts for freelance modelling and fashion industry tips, stories, and advice!

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