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The fashion career of TAFE Queensland graduate Alyssia McDonald has gone global after receiving hands-on, real-world training.

Since completing her Certificate III in Applied Fashion Design and Technology (MST30816) she’s been caught in a whirlwind of global fashion excitement and says her head is “still spinning."

“So many opportunities opened up for me in 2019, including accepting a prestigious International Design Award in Los Angeles. It all started with TAFE Queensland setting me up to succeed while igniting my passion,” Alyssia said.

“I’m a proud ambassador for TAFE Queensland and my inspirational teachers have been with me every step of my journey.”

The TAFE Queensland Fashion Centre of Excellence, located at Mt Gravatt, qualifies graduates for a range of careers including fashion designer, dressmaker, milliner, stylist, merchandising assistant, patternmaker or textile designer.

Alyssia is now back in Brisbane and 2020 is showing no signs of slowing down with the 20-year-old having just launched her fashion label and first collection.

“Over the past year I’ve worked around the clock balancing my studies and my part-time job while creating my label Alyssia the Label and my first collection,” Alyssia said.

She was thrilled to finally see her collection released to the public at a sold-out fashion show at The Loft in Brisbane’s West End.

Seeing her own label on the catwalk at a sold out show was the culmination of years of determination for Alyssia.

“This collection was a genuine labour of love for me and I was so excited and proud when I saw it on the runway for the first time.”

“As the models walked out wearing my creations, I just burst into tears. I don’t think anything will top that feeling, not even a wedding,” she said.

Described as one of Queensland’s brightest young fashion stars, Alyssia is now working towards taking several collections on a European tour, including a stop at London Fashion Week.

TAFE Queensland Fashion teacher, Janelle Reynar said it was always obvious Alyssia had the talent to go far.

“When Alyssia first came to train and study with TAFE Queensland it was clear she had a natural flair for fashion,” Janelle said.

“We are all very proud to have been part of Alyssia’s journey and seeing her succeed and follow her dreams is exciting for us all.”

Her journey towards a career in fashion started by buying and upcycling old clothes at a young age, adding her own unique twists along the way.

This natural talent and genuine love for art, design and fashion wasn’t unnoticed by her parents who helped her find a way to refine her practical skills for a career in fashion.

“I signed up to study the Certificate III in Applied Fashion Design and Technology (MST30816) through TAFE at School during Years 11 and 12, and it was the best thing I ever did,” said Alyssia.

“I knew that I wanted to work in fashion but to be at the elite level, I needed formal training as well as insights into the industry and what the career paths are.

“The TAFE at School program was a godsend. My teachers helped me to refine my skills, explain the job opportunities and give insights into the little industry details that usually take years for anyone to get their head around.”

After high school Alyssia moved straight into her diploma studies at TAFE Queensland.

“Because I had done the TAFE at School program I was automatically accepted into the Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising (MST50116). My pattern making and sewing skills have improved immensely as well as being able to prepare garments for the runway.”

“My training at TAFE Queensland has allowed me to continue to develop and grow my existing fashion and design skills while also learning about the business side of the industry.”

“Eventually, I would love to work with and be mentored by an established bridal wear designer as it’s the most valuable way to gain skills and improve. I have the luxury of time because I’m so young and I’ll be making every minute count!” said Alyssia.

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