Jessica Andreatta Puts Her Best Foot Forward at Urge Footwear!

After graduating from Whitehouse Institute of Design, Australia back in 2007, Jessica Andreatta has experienced great success, stepping into her current role as Creative Director at Northern Beaches label, Urge footwear as of September last year.

After studying Fashion Design, Jess began working in the Industry designing apparel before her eventual move to Urge. The skills learnt during her studies in garment construction and design enabled her to move into the world of footwear with a sound understanding of the processes involved when designing and developing a product from concept through to consumer.

The Vault Online recently interviewed Jess as part of their ‘Vault Insider’. Click through below to read the rest of the interview and to find out more about Jess’ growing success!

Congratulations on all your success from all at Whitehouse Institute of Design, Australia!


Whitehouse Institute of Design, Australia Graduate Nicola Dunn Answers Hollywood’s Beckoning Call

“In order to graduate from Whitehouse you need to have talent, passion and an excellent work ethic. These are qualities I look for in all my crew, as without them, you simply won’t survive in the film industry. It’s very competitive, the hours are long and it can be incredibly stressful. Don’t get me wrong, the rewards are wonderful, but there is a huge level of commitment required to succeed. I think this level of commitment and the necessary ability to work well under pressure, is not dissimilar to that required at Whitehouse. It only makes sense that graduates would make great employees.” – Nicola Dunn, 1994.

Nicola began her career as a fashion stylist. Her career has transitioned from working in editorial and advertising stills, on runway shows and music videos, to styling celebrities such as Heath Ledger, Guy Pearce and Abbie Cornish. After deciding to follow her dreams in the film industry, Nicola enthusiastically answered Hollywood’s beckoning call.

She has since designed over one hundred and eighty television commercials, a TV mini-series and numerous feature films and short films. These projects have ranged from studio based multi-million dollar productions, such as Rogue and Tripping Over, to low budget independent films. These include the internationally acclaimed cult hit Wolf Creek, one of Australia’s most successful films to date, and her most recent American production, 6 Miranda Drive, starring Kevin Bacon.

“I am often just inspired by people walking down the street. I love anyone who is willing to take a risk and think outside the box. People who create their own style, rather than being defined by the latest fashions.”

Upon returning to tinsel town, Nicola noted the fast pace and whirlwind lifestyle of her profession:

“No sooner than I have arrived in LA, I have to leave again! I was offered a gig in Colorado, I will just be costume supervisor on this one but it’s an amazing script (1960′s road movie) and great cast (Jessica Alba, Luke Wilson, Josh Lucas). The film is being directed by Kevin Connelly (E from Entourage).”

Making the move required a lot of hard work, determination and personal sacrifice. Nicola’s transition from her comfort zone in Australia to a fast-paced career in Hollywood is testament to her incredible sense of ambition and want for success.

“Since I graduated from Whitehouse, I’ve travelled the world, lived in numerous cities and been fortunate enough to work in a field that I’m passionate about. I’ve worked with highly respected filmmakers and created a body of work that I’m very proud of.”

“The highlight of studying at Whitehouse was presenting my final year range with John Galliano in the front row. Even now, I think how amazing it was to have a designer of his international status at a college fashion parade. It was very exciting stuff!”

“My advice is to dream big, work hard and back yourself. Life is not a dress rehearsal, you have one shot to create the life and career that you want, so make it count.”

Whitehouse is looking forward to following the glittering career of graduate Nicola Dunn.


Whitehouse Institute of Design, Australia Goes Global

2013 graduate Bronson Atkin and second year student Morgan Collyer-Jones awarded first and third place at the International Design Awards in Los Angeles.

We’re excited to announce that two Whitehouse Institute of Design, Australia students have recently been recognised on a global scale. 2013 Bachelor of Design Fashion graduate Bronson Atkin took first place in the Avant-Garde competition at the 2014 International Design Awards (IDA) in Los Angeles for his elegantly tailored menswear collection titled ‘Hold’.

“ I am feeling overwhelmingly privileged and honoured to receive this award from an institution that recognises, celebrates and promotes legendary design visionaries…” Bronson Atkin

Morgan Collyer-Jones, currently a second year Fashion Design student, took home third prize in the same competition for her ‘Dérive’ project!

“In my research, I was inspired by the French word ‘Dérive’, for someone to leave their life behind and let the spirit of the landscape and architecture move them. That’s what I tried to recreate with these garments. To be able to look at them and be inspired by the form and fluidity of the of both organic and man made scenery” Morgan has stated in her rationale of her project.

This annual competition recognizes, honors and promotes legendary design visionaries and uncovers emerging talents in Architecture, Interior, Product, Graphic and Fashion Design on a global level.

Judging was a rigorous process, with winners receiving publication of their work in the International Design Awards ‘Book of Designs’. IDA honorary juries examined over 1000 entries submitted by architects and designers of interiors, fashion, products, and graphics from 52 countries throughout the world. After final decisions were made, the jury rewarded the best professional and emerging designers for their achievements in terms of design, creativity, usability and innovation.

Have a look at the image gallery to see their work and be sure to congratulate them on this momentous achievement.

We are so proud of you both Bronson and Morgan! Congratulations!



In just two weeks from today, Whitehouse Institute of Design, Australia is opening its doors to you!

The two-day event, titled Open House, will take place on the 20th and 21st of June at both the Sydney and Melbourne campuses. If you’re considering a career in Fashion Design, Interior Design or Creative Direction and Styling, you’ll benefit from access to industry insiders and current Whitehouse students at the event. Fashion students will showcase their designs in a fashion parade at 12:30pm each day.

Entry is free at both campuses however registration is essential. If you have already registered your attendance, thank you! To save your space, call 1300 551 433 today!

Every day is Open House at Whitehouse Institute of Design, Australia. For further details, head to or contact Sydney Campus on 02 9267 8799 / Melbourne Campus on 03 9600 3625 or email

Your creative future may be only a project away

Curiosity. Experimentation. Collaboration.


‘Dressed to Rest’ Whitehouse Institute of Design Congratulates Winner, Lauren Nuss!

Whitehouse students in Sydney and Melbourne campuses  have recently had the opportunity to work with Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts on a fully-fledged professional design task; pyjama designs for the corporate traveller. Once production has been completed, guests of Crowne Plaza may soon be invited to wear some of the most trend-forward, stylish, cosy, comfortable, sustainably produced and beautifully designed pyjamas yet to be found in the marketplace.

The students designed garments to induce rest, and promote a good night’s sleep; students undertook research in a variety of areas including sleep theory, sound and rhythm, luminescence and aroma therapy. These are the sort of industry projects which bring depth to design portfolios and support students’ applications for further study in the Whitehouse Institute’s Master of Design degree.

Judges included

Dr. Melissa Laird, Academic Director, Whitehouse Institute of Design Australia

Whitehouse graduate Lauren Vieyra, Senior Designer at Cue

Tristian Kelly, Naturopath/Sleep therapist from Counting Seashells and The Bondi Sleep School and

Theresa Pragasam-Sidhu, Director Brand Management, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts who made her decisions from Singapore.

Lauren’s prize included a week’s internship with Cue Clothing Company, a weekend at Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts and a financial contribution to her studies.


The Future of Fashion – Wearable Technology the new craze

Forget the ‘geekiness’ that you usually associate with all things technological and imagine a beautifully tailored jacket that acts as a GPS, stylish garments that look fabulous, and keep you warm with the use of intelligent fibres.  Underwear that can keep you in touch, even when your better half is far away. Wearable technologies for use on the body are no longer fantasy – Wearable technology is a product of today.

The Consumer Electronic Show (CES), the world’s largest technology tradeshow held in Las Vegas in January this year has solidified this market trend. Over 150 thousand people visited the event, which gathered 3,200 new businesses. About 20 thousand products were presented with varied functions, among them were many examples of wearable technologies.

One of the biggest trends focused on the replacement of the smartphone itself. Think about the movie Her (2013). In the ‘not your typical futuristic movie’ Theodore (played by Joaquin Phoenix) “falls in love with his new operating system designed to meet his every need.” (IMDb). The movie portrays a future in which people go about their daily physical lives whilst talking to tiny ear devices that are commanded by voice in a truly hands free future.

But is there a market for all these innovations? In the early days of most technologies, there is a phase where the new contraptions are used more as gimmicks than tools. The Las Vegas CES showcased more than 20 000 products and surely not all of them can become successful. Once the technology is developed, the next step is to find out how to use it for the right purpose. Here are 5 great examples of companies that have found their way:

  1. Start-up Wearable Solar is using the technology to make lightweight wired garments that enable the wearer to charge a smartphone up to 50 percent if worn in the sun for a full hour.
  2. In his fall 2013 collection, fashion designer Asher Levine included tracking chips that let items be located by the owner using a customized TrackR app.
  3. Adafruit, a company that sells DIY electronics and kits, has built a helmet to help make that process more efficient. It has a built-in navigation system that uses lights that flash on the left or right to let the rider know where to turn.
  4. Fitbit, Nike’s FuelBand analyses your daily activity and track your weight.
  5. Fundawear is the world’s first wearable technology which allows personal touch to be transferred from a smartphone app to a partner anywhere in the world.

The many facets of a fashion degree

“Take every single bit of criticism and alter it to become advice. Every day is a learning experience and these people have been a part of the industry far longer than I have, so I’m going to value that they’ve taken the time to come and speak to me about how it all is going!”

-          Marie Antoniou, Whitehouse Graduate

When Marie Antoniou started her Bachelor of Design, specialising in Fashion, at Whitehouse Institute of Design in 2008, the vision she had of her future was of her own designer fashion label. Many fashion students at Whitehouse start off with this professional dream – after all, the glitz and glamour of being a fashion designer is particularly alluring. Fashion Design is one of the most sought after careers in Australia, and although there are plenty of opportunities for budding Australian designers, there are a multitude of other roles within the fashion industry that are lesser known but equally rewarding. One of the beauties of going through fashion school is learning a set of skills that prepares you for a fashion career with numerous possible outcomes. Three years after Marie graduated from Whitehouse, she tells us in a candid interview about her journey and how she found her fashion calling as a Visual Merchandiser for David Jones.

WH. So, what does a Visual Merchandiser (VM) do?

M.A. Being a visual merchandiser means more than creating amazing windows and in-store displays with mannequins. They are two of my favourite parts of the job, of course, but the job comes with the responsibility of exampling and displaying each individual brand as per the designer’s standard and the standard of the department store. Breaking that down further to the correct brand signage, updated brand collection groupings and overall styling in a safe and secure manner that prevents theft and promotes sales. Ultimately it is all about drawing the customer into the store and keeping them intrigued by the styling work created by VM!

Windows are a main focus of what we do at the Elizabeth Street David Jones store. They are propped out amazingly by national VM and we work with their vision to pull the stock that binds it all together.

WH. Tell us what is a typical day at work?

M.A. Any visual merchandiser will tell you this; no two days are ever the same! On a typical day, we’ll ensure the jobs we had completed the day before haven’t been altered by staff or customers and if so, reinstating them to the original vision. We will take the directive of national VM and work that in with any new brands that need to be displayed. We have to constantly refresh the floors to maintain interest in the stock. Other than that it’s a hell of a lot of fun because you will go in and await for instructions from your trusty leader (manager)!

WH. What is the most exciting thing you have done as a VM so far?

M.A. By far the most exciting thing I have been a part of has been working on the Flower Show that runs through the store and the windows through September! It’s so bright and awe-inspiring to watch the florists work their magic and to be able to mix fashion in just ticks all the boxes for me personally! Bump out is one of the most draining parts of the job but in all honesty, one of the funniest! It could be the delirious exhaustion of working crazy hours, but I wouldn’t have changed that entire experience at all.

WH. What is the best and the not so great part of life as a VM?

M.A. The greatest part is hearing and seeing people take notice of your work. Noticing people take photos of your window and popping it up on their Instagram or Pinterest really excites me!

The not so great part of the job comes down to three little words; ‘one day offer’. Spending excessive amounts of your day putting out signage and ticketing around a flagship store knowing you’re only going to have to take it down the next day is something I find really irritating! Great for the store though!

WH. Have you met any fashion celebrities yet?

M.A. I did run into Joel Madden the other day in the store! Other than that, buyers will often walk through the store with designers and discuss how their brand is going. We will generally get the feedback from them about how it’s all going and what/if anything needs to be changed.

WH. Have you ever had a ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ moment in your fashion career?

M.A. Hahahaha! Haven’t we all in the fashion industry!!! God the amount of times I’ve had to change a grouping because of the tiniest things is ridiculous. But hey, we just gotta roll with the punches!

WH. How do you handle criticism?

M.A. With a smile and a nod – Take every single bit of criticism and alter it to become advice. You are only as weak as you’ll allow yourself to be and somebody having an opinion on your work isn’t going to break me down. Every day is a learning experience and these people have been a part of the industry far longer than I have, so I’m going to value that they’ve taken the time to come and speak to me about how it all is going!

WH. You enrolled as a fashion student at Whitehouse in 2008, back then, what were your professional dreams?

M.A. My dreams were to work in a fashion house and work up to a designer position! But after interning at some fashion houses I realised how much I disliked the environment and changed to VM!

WH. What happened to you after you graduated?

M.A. After graduation I continued to intern and work. I worked at Telstra for a couple of years after I graduated then decided to travel through Europe and when I came back, I worked my way into visual merchandising with Telstra then progressed to where I am today with David Jones!

WH. How did you become a VM?

M.A. I worked my way into it with Telstra then scored the job I have now with David Jones! It’s as simple as that!

WH. What is your advice for the fashion students that will start their first year this month?

M.A. Try and have a clear idea of what you want to do but always try and absorb inspiration from those/everything around you.

WH. And what would you like to tell the fashion graduates of 2013?

M.A. Intern. Intern. Intern!!! Get as much exposure to the industry as you can and then row from there. It’s not about landing yourself a job as soon as you finish, it’s about letting yourself discover what you love! It took me three years after I graduated to figure out that I loved VM!

WH. What are your plans for the future?

M.A. I want to progress into a national VM role and develop my skills as much as I possibly can!! Hopefully then I’ll be able to pass on my knowledge to others who want to grow!


Why Blue Jasmine wanted to be an Interior designer

Wannabe interior designer Jasmine (Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine)

There is an air of glamour that surrounds design professions. In Australia, one of the hottest career paths at the moment is Interior Design. With TV shows such as Extreme Makeover – Home Edition, Grand Designs and The Block, networks have wooed their audiences by displaying the work of magic that an Interior Designer can cast upon any sad looking old house. This love affair between the audience and the Interior Designer has created many overnight sensations such as Thom Filicia and Nate Berkus.

The glamour and the assumed lavish lifestyle of the profession seduced one of Woody Allen’s most animated characters – Blue Jasmine. Played with excellence by our beloved Cate Blanchett, the delirious and depressed former socialite dreamed of becoming an interior decorator and now you will find out why.

With an average salary in Australia of $79,784.07 per annum (source: mycareer) it’s not surprising that so many creative young Australians are choosing this exciting career path.  We spoke to a few of our Interior Design alumni students  who have been working in the industry since graduating from Whitehouse, and here’s what they had to say about why they love what they do…

  1. Independence – As an Interior designer, you can dictate your own schedule. You can choose to work from home or in a studio, you can choose between part time or full time job loads and you can choose to work for yourself, for a small firm or a bigger company.  You can also undertake freelance gigs in addition to your day job.
  2. Excitement – Imagine the excitement of working on a new project.  From designing a brand new hotel to the simple task of reinventing a friend’s bathroom. Even if you start your career designing 10 new bathrooms every month, no project will ever be the same.
  3. It’s the profession of the future – Here is one thing that will never change: unless we experience another Big Bang, Earth isn’t getting any bigger. That means that in the future, buildings will have to be redesigned, because there  is not enough space to keep building more.
  4. Creative Freedom – If you have a creative mind, it is likely that all those crazy ideas that pop into your head and keep you awake at night are in need of a place to go. Using your eye for colour and space and your love for design to create beautiful spaces for your clients is super rewarding and let’s face it, getting paid for doing something that you love is a pretty sweet deal!


Year of the Paperboy!

For recent Whitehouse graduate Amie Jones 2013 will be a hard year to top. Along with being named the Designer of the Year from third year Creative Direction and Styling, Amie also won a prestigious award with the Australian Fashion Foundation. Out of 20 finalists, she was selected as a joint winner of a 6 month internship in either Europe or New York and received a healthy cheque to help kickstart her creative ventures. With her portfolio in toe, and a wanderlust for New York, we started the new year asking Amie what she plans to be doing in 2014.

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A Night In White

For the past 25 years, the common launchpad in some of Australia’s brightest, emerging young designers has been one place: Whitehouse Institute of Design, Australia. On December 2nd, we will officially mark 25 years of providing excellence in design education with a celebration, ‘A Night in White’.

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