Thursday, 27 September 2012

International Designers Day in Wellington

Before I start, here are some pics of the lovely park we found at Nelson, and at our favourite establishment, 623.

and Matt & I at 623 in Nelson
Another superb day hosted by delightful WoW representative Esme Palliser, and Sarah Hume of Wellington City Council. It was an unfortunately early start, especially after the Preview Show last night! We met for introductions, and were then taken to Te Papa for a very special Maori welcome, and lovely nibbles (but I was full of the excellent Rydges buffet breakfast!) Sadly, the Australian Embassy representative did not accept the invitation to attend, nor did they extend one to us for any kind of hospitality. Previous years have included cocktail functions and breakfasts at the Embassy, but I can only assume that because we aren't doing anything to do with sport we're just not worth the effort. (Sorry, a lifetime grudge against the tradition of funding and accolades for sporting activities rather than artistic achievement raising its head there!!) It was, however, a nice opportunity to meet the American and Israeli Ambassadors, and to speak to Dame Susie Moncrieff (Instigator of WoW) and the wonderful Heather Palmer (Manager of WoW) again.  Then it was off to the backstage tour of the venue, and a reunion with Wardrobe Mistress of wonder, Ingrid Peek. As I hugged her hello, I said "I'm sorry, I'm sorry", as I know my piece has given her some grief - again!! Even though I have done the tour before, it was interesting to see the slightly different set up for this years performance, and seeing the narrowed gangway to accommodate the musicians I asked Ingrid "How do you get Euphony up here?!!" The answer was "Sideways'........
....sorry Ingrid!!
From here it was on to Massey University, where they have an enviable creative arts department in a gawdjuss historic building which used to be the Museum. Most enviable of all was the warm, well lit 4th year room where students actually get to set up a workstation for the term whilst working on their final collection! Not to mention their design facilities, printing, weaving, and knitting equipment. It's sad that Australia has seen fit to eliminate nearly all such practical courses from our institutions and continues to privatise 'educational' facilities.

Amazingly hungry again by now, we were bussed to Zealandia Cafe for lunch, where we enjoyed a lovely meal accompanied by equally lovely wine. I noticed a film crew lurking around, so was not surprised to see footage of our luncheon on the local news tonight! It's opening night tonight, and no doubt there will be even more coverage tomorrow in anticipation of the big night!
From here it was off to the Mt Victoria lookout for a group photo, where rain and freezing winds led to many smart  comments during the picture taking process! My gem stolen from Morgan was "Booo, Unprepared!!" when one device required taking out of a cover before use - Gold!! There were also many laughs amongst us and fellow warm-climate designer Wendy Moyer from Mexico, and I couldn't resist a photo opportunity with fellow bright haired and all-round lovely lad, Christopher Davis, as we left the Weta Workshop.
A pair of peacocks!!
Now to back track to Preview night...... After arriving in Wellington on the tiny plane (eeek!!, and thank you boys for humouring my fears...) and a day spent traipsing all around town, and seeing some of the shop WoW displays,
A vintage shop with a beautiful creation made of dressmaking patterns
it was time for a bath, some bubbles, then some cocktails at One Red Dog - oh the Passionfruit Cosmo! Oh, and for you, Miss Jenelle, keeper of our precious Mishka at home, here is my dinner - 3 kinds of cheese!!
You can smell that Munster, can't you?!!!
We made our way over to the venue and in to our front row seats, where I met up with previous designers Kerri Gelmi, Bonnie Begg and Christine White, Sadhana Peterson, Sean Perucker and newby from Oz, Erica Gray. I think the show was great - I'm not too sure as it is all now a bit of a blur! I spent most of my section in a panic wondering how Euphony Iridaceae would work, but was relieved to see her looking magnificent and making... some kind of sound!!
BioLumina in the TSB Bank Arena
Matt & I in front of the newly installed programme pictures in the foyer!
It was also lovely to see BioLumina in the foyer of the TSB Bank Arena - somehow looking smaller and less impressive than she does on the posters, but good to see her all the same! It made up for not seeing her at the World of Wearable Art Museum in Nelson!
Finally made it to the WoW museum!!
We enjoyed the display there, but were disappointed not to see more garments from the past - it seemed a fairly small display of largely recent works. I've seen so many in books over the years, that I would relish seeing closer up!!
OK, that's it for now - time for sleep in readiness for the Big Night tomoz!! Whoooot!!

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