Fashion Communiqué                          
After all the excit-ement from the voting and our Advertising Fashion Show, we bring you more!                                                                                                                                                           

MAY 2011 

Corset design for the Modern Corsetiére.voorblad.jpg

The Modern Corsetiére

After recognizing the need for training material, Marlene Oosthuizen, principal of NWSD has now compiled a supplement to the already vast material at the disposal of her students.  Just as with the X!act Patternmaker™, another book has been published from out the pen of the NWSD principal.  “The Modern Corsetiere” is a complete guide that started out as a manual, but with further research and realization of the gap in current available books, came a 200 page handbook.  During research and seeing the book develop, word got out and orders started coming in already.  Thus the material included within the pages of this book became clearer and concise as the writing progressed.  Over the past 12 months Marlene also realized the vast amount of information already available on the internet and existing manuals.  The only problem is that most of the information is either very confusing or contradictory to the novice or beginner corsetieres.  What makes the book even better is the adaptability to the reader itself, being a student, lecturer, amateur designer, dressmakers and couturiers.

From a fashion point of view it can be agreed that a corset as outerwear is indeed inspired from the under-garment corset, but the research has shown that very little information is available on the outerwear corset.  The research has shown no distinctive term or name for the fashion, outerwear corset”.  And thus for all training purposes we will be referring to it as corset-bodice.  For the simple reason that it is a bodice inspired from techniques of underwear corset making.  We have also witnessed various students, designers and even lecturers research various aspects of corsetry and have come up and used misguided information,  it is with this in mind that The Modern Corsetiere sets apart the two worlds of under garment corsets and the corset-bodice.  In South Africa we do not wear under garments corsets as constantly as our European and American counterparts,  mainly due to the high temperatures.  BUT the corset as an outerwear is much more popular in South Africa as it is internationally.  In South Africa we also have the bridal and Matric farewell market that is perfect for made-to-order garments.

In the many years of lecturing and whilst researching the book,  it is established that various designers safeguard their secrets when it comes to corset making.  The reason for this is that the making of corsets is a trial and error experience.  Experimenting with various boning, interlining and construction techniques to come up with a matching technique for the design.  No proper training material could be found during research.   The book is an end result of experience, research and trial and error.  Many books have been consulted, as to avoid duplication.  As part of the studying criteria for students of the NWSD students have to fashion a corset-bodice garment.  And year after year it has provided Marlene and Marina endless resource of experience.  And finally I would like to add that not only does this book cover the aspects involved in making a corset-bodice, but also about the wearing of the garment.  Numerous and a few hilarious interviews with wearers have proved that countless designers have all lost focus; the customers.  Wearers of this controversial garment have shared many corset wearing fiascos which proved that we should ultimately focus on the client and their requirements before over doing and over shaping a garment.

It is with pleasure that we share this book with you.  the book is availabla at NWSD:

 What the book covers 

  • Corset Dictionary
  • Corset Styles
  • Figure Types and Figure Illusions
  • Features of a corset and corset bodice.
  • Materials for the corset and corset bodice
  • Interlinings for corsets and corset bodices
  • All about boning.
  • Corset patterns
  • Corset Construction
  • Fitting the corset
  • Design Your corset
  • Corset care
  • Further reading and references

Gert Johan, Members of Mélange and being a fashion ambassador


He never ceases to amaze. That’s right dear readers.  Gert-Johan Coetzee, has yet done it again. Being recognized as a world class designer, Gert Johan has received a personal invitation and nomination to be a fashion Ambassador for the Members of Mélange, a fashion society dedicated to revolutionizing the fashion world through a series of groundbreaking fashion shows and parties in the San Francisco Bay Area on July and August.  The Board of Advisors includes Guila Clara Kessous, Jean Paul Gaultier’s creative director and Bill Guttentag, a two-time Oscar-winning producer-director.  “I believe your creations are an excellent match for our vision, and we find you to be an influential vision in the fashion world today.” Says the Director of International Fashion, Michelle Fong. It is truly an honor to be associated with Gert Johan with regards to him being a graduate.  We wish him all the luck and support him as OUR ambassador of fashion. 



Anel Botha, Dressing the Stars at VW Beelte Launch and awards. 


michael veldsman, kgomotso matsunyane, roxy louw, anel botha and
tamara dey 2.jpg 

Galigher Estate was reminiscing with excitement at the VW Beetle Awards and launch. Complimenting the evenings introduction to the new-look VW Beetle, was NWSD’s Graduate, Anel Botha’s couture .  Her outfits were seen gracing the stage by Kgomotso Matsunyane whilst being a co-host for the evening alongside Gareth Cliff.  Roxy Louw Looked fantastic in a soft blue couture,  made by Anel. And in true pin-up girl style from the 50’s, Tamara Day was superbly seductive in yet another Anel Botha Design. Rubbing shoulders with artist’s such as the Parlotones, the crew from “Mama Mia”,Soweto Gospel Choir and many more.  And to prove that her talents know no bounds, Anel has had designs of hers worn were chosen for Micheal Veldsman.  A Name synomonous with events such as Skouspel, and the You-Spectacular awards.  It is refreshing to see, a grounded individual whom the North West School of Design can be very proud of.  Well done Anel.


That’s X!act’ly what I need.



They say diamonds are a girls best friend.  But ask any Fashion Fundi and in particular students from the North West School of Design, and they will tell you that their best friend is called X!Act.

The X!act Patternmaker was patented by Marlene Oosthuizen in the early days of the North West School of Design.  Specifically with the goal of using the patternmaker in studies and in practice. The Patternmaker package has grown in the meantime now sporting a book and DVD acting as part of the supplement. From measurement to drawing lines on a pattern, the X!act patternmaker enables one to create a complete garment from only using the one tool.

And if you go onto our website you can watch a small teaser showcasing the capabilities of this patternmaker, simply click on the North West School of Design’s Video Demonstration Filmed in 2003 the NWSD DVD gives practical step for step instructions on how to use the patternmaker.  Read all you need to know about the patternmaker and go through an extensive product information page.

Compared to other products that are on the market, the X!act patternmaker offers versatility, mobility and creativity at a VERY affordable price. Get yours today and start creating!

Shopping and buying...its hard work, but someone needs to do it, right?

The North West School of Design is hosting a Part-time Fashion buying two month course, from 13 June 2011 to 10 August 2011. During which time students will master the concept of trends learn about international Trade documentation, determine selling prices, sourcing suppliers and negotiate with suppliers, manage the financial performance of a range, import merchandise, Internet purchasing and much much more.  Upon completion of tasks and relevant criteria a certificate will be awarded.   …but what can I do with my qualification? Well to be quite frank, how does this sound? Being a shopper for stores and determining what fashion to look out for. A wide range of possibilities are available.

Interested? Well then what are you waiting for? Book your place now! Send an email to or contact us at 018 462 5149.

Veni Vedi Vici- Klerksdorp were done with, Mafikeng and are next!

City Mall in Klerksdorp was one complete buzz on Saturday the 14’th of May.  As North West School of Design students took over the proceedings at the shopping centre for a few hours.  But not just any fashion show would cut it, so with pride ladies and gentleman we present to you the Advertising Fashion show.  Forget materials such as denim, cotton, and silk.  Think papers, receipts, boxes and plastic shopping bags.  You see, the garments had to be fashioned using materials sponsored by the shops of the mall. 
Each student was chosen to represent a specific store. And tailor a garment representing them ion the catwalk.  The day delivered a lot of applause and amazement.  As some of the students really had us impressed.  The photos attached might give one an indication of what talent is brewing in the classrooms at NWSD.  
Congatulations to our students. You have all done us proud and a bigger thank you to the Klerksdorp City Mall and their vendors, as well as the Klerksdorp Record for the media support.

Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for updates about the shows that were also held on Saturday 28 May at Crossings Shopping Centre in Mafikeng as well as the River Square Shopping Centre in Vereeniging.

advertising fashion show.jpg




Hostess Workshop
Registrations close the 1 June 2011
Exciting workshop on 4 June 2011
Learn about correct serving etiquette.
Creating Menus
  Table Setting and much much more.

Fashion Buying
Have you wondered what the process of retail buying entails? We are offering the course that will answers all those questions.
2 Month Part Time
Mondays and Wednesdays
13 June 2011-10 August 

Fulltime Fashion

Our most poular course to date.
2 Year Fulltime
Monday to Friday   08:30-13:30
Practical Applications 13:30-17:00
Classes start 11 July 2011 

Comprehensive Sewing
Basics of  Sewing, 
Getting to know your machine & general sewing equipment
Covering all the techniques in sewing, from handwork, to all different seam types, hem types, collars, cuffs, sleeves, facings, fasteners, boning, etc.
6 Week course
Mondays to Fridays 
18 July 2011-26 August 2011 

 Other courses

Part-Time Courses:
*Trend Forecasting
*Fashion Buying
*Fashion Marketing and Fashion Publicist
*Fashion Entrepeneurship
*Merchandising and Window Dressing
*Lingerie Making
*Corset Designing
*Beading & Hat-making
*Comprehensive Sewing

*Hostess Workshop
*Flower Arranging
*Soft Furnishings
*Basic Upholstery
*Paint'ing Techniques

Contact us:

North West School of Design: 

018 462 5149
083 639 9790