Chapter 1 Deportment and Modelling School

What started it all – I enrolled in Jason’s School of Deportment and Modelling – Invercargill at the age of 15.

These classes were so inspiring and being the last child in a family of 5, it was a great way to have an insight into another world.  Plus learn basic skills of deportment, grooming, skincare and makeup (so I didn’t have to go through the stage of exterminating without knowledge!)   Planning a wardrobe and how to coordinate a few pieces to change up the looks.  Classes were initially held in Jasons Fashion shop, so we had a lot of opportunities to try on all the clothes and were taught about what worked and what didn’t.  Plus what accessories suited our own body shape. Along with presentation skills and building confidence.

The modelling classes included all the skills to be able to present the clothes to an audience coordinated to music and all the skills to be able to have assignments as a fashion model.  It also included classes in photography.  Below are some of the fun photoshoots I took part in.

I was 19 and just married when Elizabeth had decided to leave Invercargill to move to Australia and she asked me if I would like to purchase the business.

I jumped at the chance and started to make plans, we shifted premises and one of my friends Ingrid Poole who had also gone through the classes joined me as a tutor.

We set up 17-week courses with Practical and Lectures in:  Exercise, Haircare, Grooming, Skincare and Makeup, Manicuring, Wardrobing and the choice of garments and accessories, Foundation Garments and Figure Control, Etiquette and all forms of Deportment.

Not long after we got started, I became very ill with Spinal Meningitis and was unable to work for quite some time, but we were very fortunate to have Ingrid Poole, who stepped up to the plate and ran all the classes until I was able to return.  Ingrid was a great tutor and all the students loved her, she stayed with us for many years as a real asset to Belda.


Classes were always full and each class completed with an assessment to achieve their Diplomas for Deportment and Grooming.

Students presented themselves in front of the judges with a parade and their choice of clothing, accessories, skincare makeup, hairstyle, manicure and deportment were all on show.

They all put a lot of work and preparation into their assessment day and all received an assessment report by the adjudicators and Diploma to show what they had achieved.

Once they graduated from Deportment classes they had the choice to move on to the Advanced Modelling Class.  These courses were designed to give ladies of all shapes and sizes and ages confidence from presentation to showing their personalities, speaking and communication skills.  We had a lot of fun and as their tutor, I looked forward to each and every class, it was such a pleasure to see them so well-groomed and confident.  We made such good friends from the students and all our tutors came from graduating students.

We held a major event at the conclusion of each year where all the Modelling students were put through their paces with family and friends by presenting a stunning Fashion Parade.  These events were a real production, held off-site and a catered event.  A glamourous event to be a part of.  The student were presented with their Diplomas on Stage and lots of special awards, including Miss Personality and Top Model – a converted title to achieve.

We went on to establish 3 Deportment and Modelling Schools in the South Island of New Zealand under the “Belda Banner”.

Spotlight on Wynsome Adams

Wynsome attended our Belda School of Deportment and Modelling in Invercargill in the 70’s she was a joy to be around. Her bubbly personality and kindness to others always shone through.  She moved through all the classes and Graduated in 1972.

She also was chosen as Miss Southland in 1973.  Wynsome was in demand as a model and was a true Belda Girl!

Wynsome’s Story

I was very lucky my Mum sent me to Belda when I was about 15.  I was very shy and lacking confidence. I completed my Deportment, Modeling and Advanced Modeling during this time had opportunities to Model at DIC, H & J Smiths also Calder McKay. I entered many competitions Miss Personality, Riverton Carnival Bathing beauty also Miss Southland in 1973 achieving 1st runner up!! Also did some film work on the Kingston Flyer Doco. Once married sort off dropped off the scenes.

1984 attended Belda Beauty Clinic to have my nails done with Julie Anderson and received a phone call asking if I was interested in becoming a tutor well I said YES!   Then got off the phone thinking what have I done!!  It was the best move I made and my first night on the job I was so nervous how was I going to keep these girls attention for 2 hours, well now on the other side you can’t shut me up!!

I bought into Belda Modelling School in the late 80’s – very rewarding years and I still keep in contact with many of my students today!

I have modelled for many fundraisers with the Adlib design team even modelling for them last year that was a buzz. I’m very thankful for my Belda years still wear my makeup all the time love bright lippy, my trademark really love my fashion!!

Thanks, Fran for helping me become the person I am. Wynsome x