A lot of you might have a vague idea of what I'm doing in New Zealand. The reason you don't know more is because it is confusing. I have a confusing job. I might have one of the coolest jobs on the planet.
For those of you who don't know and/or remember, I work at the World of WearableArt. It is a really interesting place to work. We work to produce the Brancott Estate World of WearableArt™ Awards Show, which is an annual show/competition.
There are a bunch of categories that designers and artists can make a garment for, including Creative Excellence (this year it is "Under the Microscope"), Avant Garde, Open, Children, South Pacific & Man Unleashed. Garments are then created, cataloged and judged. Those who make it though the judging process are then selected to be featured in the show and can win prizes. The show has been compared to Cirque du Soleil. I wouldn't say that that is completely accurate, it is probably not as acrobatic but is possibly as entertaining. It's more of fashion show + awesome choreography and storyline + dancing + insanely interesting garments made of unexpected materials & techniques. It is a lot more popular than I expected, if I'm being honest. It really lives up to its colloquial name "WoW".
The actual place I work at is really cool too. The front portion of the building is part museum, part offices. The back part of the building is known collectively as wardrobe. That's where I work, as the wardrobe intern. It houses the historical garment collection and everything associated, including mending, garment loaning, shipping & receiving, etc. Backstage management is also run out of this office. The office, by the way, is the upstairs portion of the warehouse, which is a huuuuuuuuuuge room that is climate controlled to keep garments protected. The desks are packed away in one section, the rest of the space holds whatever we are working on, so right now it is basically a giant walk in closet full of hundreds of garments, plus a judging room & a photo booth.
Right now, judging weekend is taking place. Because it is wearable art, it must be worn on the body, so we have a bunch of models in who wear garments in order to be judged and photographed. Each model gets a dresser (which is my role this weekend) who helps them fast-change into garments while making sure that the way it is being worn is faithful to what the designer intended. Some garments are as easy as putting on an interesting dress, some are complicated, large & heavy. Sometimes they require 2 or even 3 people to dress them because of the size, shape & weight, not to mention how delicate some of them are. It probably all sounds a bit crazy, which it might be, but it is one of the most interesting things I have ever done in my entire life.
It's not always as hectic as it sound right now, but the impending move to Wellington means crazier days ahead. Just a few months to showtime!
Any questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments :)