Swinburne students win visual merchandising competition

Thursday 13 October 2016

Madeline Lang and Emily Dyson standing next to their Spring Racing Carnival display

Competitors were required to create a display with a ‘Spring Racing Carnival’ theme

In summary

  • Madeline Lang and Emily Dyson beat students from NSW TAFE, Kangan and RMIT to win first place
  • The World Skills VM display demonstration ran over three days

A three-day competition to create a ‘Spring Racing Carnival’ display has seen two Swinburne students take out the inaugural World Skills VM display demonstration.

Madeline Lang and Emily Dyson were awarded first prize for their window installation beating students from NSW TAFE, Kangan and RMIT.

The competition required each team to create a display with a ‘Spring Racing Carnival’ theme, incorporating a race day flower and in the style of an Australian artist.

Madeline and Emily decided to create a display using the Melbourne Cup’s signature yellow rose as seen through the eyes of noted Australian colourist, Mirka Mora.

“The experience was broken up into three days,” says Madeline.

“The first was the concept development day, which was the hardest, with so many options and paths we could take.

She said inspiration for their colourful floral garland with rose bushes and blue sky-back came from Mirka Mora’s use of complimentary colours and her distinct brush stroke style.

“The second day we created all the props and was by far the most labour intensive day where Emily and I were pushed to our absolute limits,” says Madeline.

“Emily painted the main display pod and I was in charge of the constructing the floral garland that framed the top of the display.

Madeline says their only frustration came on the final day when they had to dress the mannequins.

“It definitely tested both of our patience!”

“Even before it was announced that we had won, we were so proud of ourselves with what we had achieved in such a short amount of time.

“We gave 110 per cent for the whole three days. Visual Merchandising isn't just creating pretty things. We use skills from a range of different trades and bring it together to inspire people every day.”

Madeline is now quickly growing a successful freelance VM and styling business working with Eastland Shopping Centre and number of other projects. Earlier this year, Emily joined the VM team at Ikea and was able to complete her Diploma whilst in the workplace.

The Diploma of Visual ‌Merchandising is an 18 month Vocational Education course which is offered at Swinburne’s Wantirna campus.