Monday, March 31, 2014


To read the original article, click here.

Comfort is key when it comes to decorating your space and sometimes all it takes is a blanket or a cushion to make your place feel a little more like home.  Can’t find the perfect item though? Don’t worry. I have you covered! Here are the instructions for making your own personalised cushion.
What you will need:
Fabric of your choice
Needle & Thread
Sewing Machine
What you need to do:
Step 1:
Cut out the fabric in the size you prefer. I used the measurements 35 x 31cm.
Step 2:
With the right sides facing towards each other (wrong side facing up), sew 3 of the 4 side’s together, approximately 6mm- 1cm from the edge. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can easily hand sew these pieces with a needle and thread with tight stitches.
Step 3:
Turn your pillowcase inside out and give it a good iron to flatten the edges and corners. Make sure the iron is on the correct setting suitable for the fabric you are using.
Step 4:
Measure how much trim you require and hand sew the pom pom trimmings onto one side of the pillowcase. Do this to all four edges of the pillowcase.
Step 5:
Stuff your pillowcase with stuffing!
Step 6:
Fold the non-trimmed side inwards to 1cm and pin it to the trimmed side. Close the pillowcase by hand sewing the edges back together.
Tip: Pin your fabric pieces and trims along the way so it is nice and secure when you sew!
Style On,
Melissa Him

Sunday, March 30, 2014


 The ceiling of the Royal Exhibition Centre. Beautifully royal!

DAY 89 | Today was the last day of the MIFGS, so went into the Royal Exhibition Centre this afternoon to dismantle my mannequin. It was so sad to rip up my work of art because well, I worked so hard on it! In 10-15 minutes, my floral fashion piece was gone. My photographs are the only things that will serve me memories of my process and finished product. As soon as I realised this though, something gave my brain a "aha!" moment and that light bulb feeling. Our life is transient and it is through photographs, we can capture moments, thoughts, feelings and events in stills - so we can relive our past and bring back memories when we want to. You may think "Duh! This isn't anything new!" But really, think about it. I think this is the reason why I began Project 365. To bring in any image whether its currently new or from the past, talk about it, analyse it and maybe even trigger some inspiration for my design work, like this picture above (I'm already thinking of creating a royal themed collection with these prints). Anyway, you know what they say. A picture paints a thousand words. I wonder how many words - or designs - this image will create? xxx

Saturday, March 29, 2014


DAY 88 | There comes a time where you feel like you need to up the anti. In this case, I feel like my blog Loko and Cle needs new content or something entirely new as a whole. I am also working on a behind the scenes fashion blog that will hopefully launch soon so perhaps that will be my new endeavour and I may say goodbye to L&C for a while. It's hard to figure out what you want when you are multi-tasking all the time! But the thing is; I can imagine it. I'm visualising these projects in my head and I just hope it turns into reality. Besides a new rejuvenated blog, my design thinking has already "upped-the-anti". I'm currently in the middle of designing a handbag and I'm really into having a mixed media, graphic and textile print for the exterior. I feel that my design work has been lacking for the past few years and I haven't found a concept that fully endures me and speaks honestly of who I am. I've doubted my dreams of being a fashion designer but I think this may be an area I could really excel in. I'm excited to gain my love for art and design again. I really do miss it. These are just some snap shots of my current handbags sketch book that I want to do well in. Here is to new beginnings. And quarterly-yearly resolutions! xxx

Handbags sketchbook. Planning to create a clutch and backpack! 

Friday, March 28, 2014


DAY 87 | Obviously this week has just been MIFGS hype so I may as well talk about it a bit more! Received some free tickets to see the rest of the show and let me tell you - it was brilliant. I don't think you have to be a gardener or a horticulture expert to realise how inspirational the floristry or landscaping exhibits were. The flowers itself were "natural" works of art, displayed in ways that diverges from the typical vase. There was one where all the flowers were laid like a bed sheet on a vintage bed. And then outside in the Carlton Gardens, the garden landscapes encouraged you to makeover your own backyard! My favourite was the bathroom extending into the garden area. It looked like a heavenly bathroom forest! Now that I have worked with flowers and plants, I just want to work with them more! Realistically, I am still an amateur though. It might just take some time and patience before I become a pro. I can imagine me being one of those old ladies who loves to garden! xxx

Cute grass ducks!

Can this be my bathroom, please?!

Floral in jars display.

Floral bed sheet - literally!

I want this to be my backyard. So beautiful!

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Transience Studio, 3rd Year Fashion Students x MIFGS

DAY 86 | It hasn't been that long yet but here are some throwback shots of the other girl's work I took on our final day of setting up at MIFGS. I still can't believe its all over now. Honestly, it feels like a dream! I love how everyone started off with a similar concept but managed to create completely different designs.  So much creativity! Apparently it was hard to judge but it came down to Aviva in 1st place, Debbie in 2nd and Anna in 3rd. I'm just so proud of everyone and what we achieved. It will be sad when take it down though. But that's what these photographs are for! Check out the show if you still haven't been. It's on till this Sunday. xxx



So much leather!

DAY 85 | I'm being one of those bloggers now who has to apologise when she doesn't blog as often as promised. But really, I am genuinely sorry! As soon as I got home last night, I feel asleep and slept for 14 hours straight (the flower & garden show made me that exhausted). But fear not, I have some pictures I'd like to show. Yesterday morning, I went to Lefflers & Son, a supplier of leather for a handbags excursion. It is literally leather heaven. But as soon as I entered, I didn't feel excited to use it. Not that I don't like leather but I just didn't feel it. You know when you see something and it just doesn't feel right? It was one of those moments. Perhaps it was because of the smell, the lack of colours I wanted or the poor Zebra skin I saw. All I know is that I left me more confused because I have no idea what to do for my handbags assignment! At the moment now, I'm thinking of making a backpack and clutch, in a custom made print in cotton or linen and using some leather trims. It's all up in the air really xxx

P.S. I really need to work on my blog!!! I need a blog makeover! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


My work of art now on display!

DAY 84 | It's alive! My fashion floral display is now officially up on display at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 2014. You would think it would take a semester's worth to design this but it actually took 3 weeks to develop a concept and produce a folio and just 2 days to put it all together. 2 DAYS! By 4pm, my class & I were all happy that we at least had something up. It astonishes me that in literally 48 hours, we were able to come up with such diverse and creative pieces of art. Or floral fashion to be precise. My design didn't exactly match up on what I envisioned it to be but it was really close! I'm just proud that I could tick off one of my life long goals! History was made. xxx

Check out the RMIT Fashion x MIFGS Floral in Fashion display at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 2014 from March 26 - 30 at the Royal Exhibition Centre, Carlton, Melbourne. 

Monday, March 24, 2014


DAY 83 | Err meh god! You know the pictures I've posted lately that involves the floral fashion sculptures? The real work began today, bright and early this morning! It was a pretty exciting day to say the least because we could finally bring our imaginary visions to life! I'm halfway done with my sculpture - I think. Basically I just need to put my floral top-half on and create a bouquet head piece of some sort. I hope that time doesn't go by fast tomorrow like it did today. All I wanted to do was stay back and continue making it! I am truly addicted. xxx

Halfway there!

Early morning...


DAY 82 | This is the dress I ended up sewing and altering on Friday afternoon. I bought it at Camberwell Markets for $15 (bargain!) and have managed to wear it 3 times now: as a midi dress, a maxi skirt and now this short number. I realise though, midi/maxi dresses don't really suit my 160cm height. I either have to wear heels or high boots to get the "tall look" going on. You know when you put a top or pant on and you get the "It's not me!" feeling? This is it! I guess that's why I shortened it. Anyway, I'm planning to do an OOTD in this dress. Thoughts? xxx

Voila! It's brand new again!

Photo shoot with Jess! The old midi...

Sunday, March 23, 2014


The stylish people before the show.

DAY 81 | Was able to have a break last night and attend the National Graduate Showcase, apart of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival - otherwise now known as VAMFF. It's been tradition that my uni friends and I go to this event. I remember back in first/second year, we were so excited to even attend a  runway. Usually we meet up a little early, take photos and embrace the "street style" atmosphere, watch the show, head to dinner afterwards and talk non-stop who was our favourite designer. Although this time round (as it was our 3rd or 4th time attending) it just seemed more overwhelming that this could be us in the next year or two. It think it was also the fact that some of the collections didn't surprise us as much because we've seen the 4th years create their work at uni! My favourite by far though was Chin (Hau Tay) and his teddy-bear inspired menswear. I remember him making the giant coat in class. So cool! xxx

Saturday, March 22, 2014


To read the original article, click here.

It seems that everyone is going wild for animal prints. Whether the influences are from an African Safari or The Jungle Book, it is undeniably inspiring the runways, the streets and interiors.
But who knew that animal prints could be so timeless? Season after season, the wild print is seen everywhere. Back in 2009 and 2010, Diane Von Furstenberg  and Dolce and Gabbana laid out exotic animal prints on the runway. Fast-forward to the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 collections, DKNY and Temperley London were among the tribes roaring with their prints.

Outside of the runways, street style is almost like a zoo! Cheetah, giraffe, leopard and zebra prints are implemented onto accessories, coats, heels, shirts, skirts and boots. See, I tell you! It’s absolutely everywhere!
So if you’re feeling like queen of the jungle or Eliza from The Wild Thornberry’s (remember that TV show?), go wild for your space! If you’re not keen on the print on print, I suggest thinking outside the box by having warm coloured walls, some fresh plants and combining other African and exotic décor. You can immerse yourself in the wild culture without travelling! Here are some items you can try:

Woven Jute Handmade Rug used as Wall Tapestry from Urban Outfitters
Wooden Giraffe from Pier 1
Zebra Beanbag from PBTeen
Leopard Pillow from Anything Animals
Namji Doll from Safari Fusion
Giraffe Head Wall Art from A Touch of Class
Twine Jute Frames from Etsy
Leopard Rug from Wayfair

Style On,

Melissa Him

Friday, March 21, 2014


 So pretty!

DAY 80 | So you my know I have an obsession with sunsets. But this morning, I woke up early enough to see the sunrise and it was beautiful! It's crazy to think that whenever I wake up early or when the sun begins to rise; it ends up being my longest day yet. Today, I handed in my assignment in at 8.30am, did some homework, went home, altered and re-made a dress, cleaned my room...and I'm still awake. How?! I think I need to wake up at sunrise more often. I feel more productive and energised than ever! xxx


DAY 79 | The past few days have been crazy hectic as the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is coming week! I haven't been able to blog much, keep an eye out on VAMFF, do any other homework or have a social life for that matter. But with the folio and finals due this morning, I can do a little of those again! Kind of getting excited to put this altogether though. Fingers crossed it all works out! xxx

See! My new illustrations with some mixed media collaging. Looks better, right?

The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show runs from the 26 - 30 March at the Royal Exhibition Centre, Carlton. Come see the "Floral in Fashion" displays by the RMIT Fashion Students!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Collage by Melissa Tidah Him

DAY 78 | I think I have a knack for collaging. It's strange how I don't have the talent to draw pretty pictures but when it comes to cutting and pasting images (and taking photographs) - I do it well! After deciding to skip class in favour of finishing my folio, I came home to straight away open Photoshop and do this. And trust me, Photoshop is addictive. It's hard to take a break because you want to do more! This is my final outcome though for my mood board. It's suppose to represent death in the ground, re-birth in the roots and new life within the bloom. I hope you like it. xxx

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


DAY 77 | Sketching flowers isn't easy. I mean, there are so may types with various textures and colours - it's hard to get it right! So when it come down to illustrating my final design for the flower and garden show, in all honesty, I think I struggled! I don't normally sketch out floral dresses so this isn't exactly my forte. And in saying that, sketching or illustrations isn't really either. I'm thinking of re-doing the below drawing as mixed media illustration board so I guess we'll see how I go with that...but at the moment, I have the sudden urge to illustrate and make pretty artwork. I want to do the illustration elective next semester! Right now, all the images on Pinterest are giving me so much inspiration! xxx

Going to try and do this again as a mixed media collage! 

Monday, March 17, 2014


To read the original article, click here.

One of the things I love about Instagram is finding, connecting and networking with other like-minded people. I can’t remember exactly how I found Nina Oswald, the instagrammer behind @ninamarlena but as soon as I saw her array of hand crafted skulls (perfect to decorate your dorm), I knew I had to interview her. Like me, Nina has an obsession with skulls and colours but in her case she produces them from scratch! As well as running her business Nina Marlena, Nina still aspires to become a set designer and visual merchandiser. Here she explains how she became obsessed with skulls, it’s evolution to home decor and the current projects she is working on.
CollegeDormista: Where did you go to university? What was your major and what are doing now?
Nina Marlena: I studied at Curtin University and just graduated this month with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Architecture. I am currently using the spare time I now have to pursue other artistic ideas such as expanding on my skull work and saving up for a trip to America.
CD: Have you always wanted to get into the art and design field?
NM: I always knew I wanted to do something creative. Interior Architecture/Design has been an interest of mine from a young age. Through school, I always enjoyed creating with my hands; doing TEE art, sewing classes and personal craft projects. It is amazing how many connections can be made between all artistic disciplines which offer new perspectives within projects. I want to learn as much as I can within art and design.

CD: How did Nina Marlena come to be? Why skulls?
NM: My middle name is Marlena. My name was already “ninamarlena” on Instagram before I started making the skulls. I remember not wanting to make a name for myself that was purely about skulls. I didn’t want to be locked into a category so I just went with my name: boring! Even though I have made a name for myself as “the skull girl” I’m hoping I will eventually shake that as I move onto other things in the future. In terms of the skulls, I had a fascination with skulls prior to creating them myself and I wanted to make one for a fun personal assignment. Through Instagram and word of mouth my little craft project erupted into a business, something I had never initially intended for. The response has been incredible.
CD: How do you make these skulls? How do you paint/decorate them?
NM: The skulls are created with plaster through the technique of casting to form a base shape. Once hardened, the skull is removed from the mold and left to completely dry out. Then I give them an undercoat and apply paint, glitter, confetti pieces or patterned fabric strips.
CD: Do you have a certain interest with interiors and décor? Did the skulls have a décor purpose from the beginning or did it evolve over the years?
NM: I’m certainly interested with interiors and more so the connection between interiors and art. I have a soft spot for installation and the way elements come together to define a space. Décor has the power to transform a space entirely and it’s exciting that my skulls play a role in that transformation in such a variety of spaces from homes to offices. I feel there was always a décor purpose from the beginning of the skull project and that has now evolved into something more. My solo exhibition last year was also a part of my thesis and explored manipulations to the skull object in terms of destruction and extension, resulting in contextual transformation. The skull as a décor item was challenged and used in bizarre installations branching from surrealism ideology. My work is not only about creating a home wares product but also exploring art, techniques, meaning and redefining the possibility of the object.
CD: Do you decorate your own space with the skulls you make?
NM: I’m not sure if “decorate” is the right term but there are skulls everywhere in my house! However, there is one skull I have kept for myself and it lives on my bedside table away from the others. It is a unique splatter paint skull that was involved in an interactive installation from my exhibition.

CD: Why do you think skulls are becoming such a popular décor trend?
NM: I think there will always been a certain fascination with the skull as it is applicable to all of humanity and presents an everlasting conversation about life and death. There is something beautiful yet haunting about the object and it encases a multitude of meaning and varied interpretation, hence its popularity.
CD: Where do you get your inspiration?
NM: I find inspiration browsing through art and design blogs and creative Instagram feeds. If an image inspires me, even in a distantly related field, I enjoy trying to apply an element of the concept or aesthetic to my own work. Often working on one project will inspire ideas for further exploration. Using fabric as a finish has opened many doors for me and I am currently working on a couple of collaborative skull series incorporating the work of Jarrad Seng and Justin Davies. We are creating custom fabric from photographic images to apply to the skulls. I find collaborating with other creative people incredibly rewarding and inspiring. The ideology behind the Surrealism art period also serves as inspiration to me.
CD: Your Instagram features so many inspirational and creative images and the current projects you’re working on. Why do you like Instagram?
NM: I use Instagram to bookmark other artists/projects I discover as well documenting my own artistic adventures in my processes, products and other pretty stuff along the way. I like Instagram because it is a visual representation of my brain and my experiences. I have made some incredible connections with other creative like-minded people all over the world. It is a great platform for exchange of inspiration as well as the promotion of my art.
CD: Your Instagram is also very colourful! Why do you like playing with colours?
NM: I love visual vibrancy and intensity, whether it’s represented in colour, pattern or texture. Colourful things are striking and energetic. I feel that colour provides a jolt of revitalisation to the senses.  It is a powerful communication tool and prevalent throughout my work.

CD: Does your personal style ever mirror the skulls you create? Or vice versa?
NM: There are days where I will wear colourful or heavily patterned items, which is reflective of my work to an extent for sure. I enjoy matching garments but also clashing prints and then there are days I’ll colour block or wear all black. My outfits depend on my mood, just as my ideas for new skulls are evoked from particular emotions. I did a really cool collaboration with a local fashion label, Kawaii Girls, where matching garments (crops and skirts) were created in conjunction with skulls using the same print. The shoots were always really exciting. I think an overdose of pattern or camouflage within art, fashion and interiors expresses a “wow” factor element.
CD: Lastly, will Nina Marlena expand to other products in the future?
NM: I want to do a few more decor pieces with the skulls involving semi three-dimensional wall hanging art. I am also attempting to create a plaster pineapple as another home wares product. However, my heart is in set/scenic design, styling, event design and visual merchandising rather than product design. I hope to combine my knowledge of space and my crafting abilities to work on installations that blend interiors and art. In the future I would love to work on elaborate shop window displays, extravagant scenes for fashion photography and incredible event environments.   
Style On,
Melissa Him