One of the (many) pleasures of living in Victoria for us is the incredibly broad range of activities available, sweeping across genres from natural to cultural. This is the first of three posts that (briefly) profile examples of what Victoria continually has on offer.
On March 28 and 29 the Royal BC Museum played host to The Makehouse and Theatre Skam in presentations of Fashion Machine 2015. The title itself doesn’t give much away, but if you’re imagining semi-organized mayhem involving talented children, the patient guidance of adults, brave volunteers, pins, needles, sewing machines and the ultimate sacrifice of clothing to fashion, you’d be pretty close!
Basically, on arrival each entrant had to choose from one of two sticker selections: I’m In or Chicken. Those brave souls who chose “I’m In” stickers meant that they could be chosen by one of the seven groups of children to have their attire made over. “Chicken” stickers meant the wearer could be mocked but not chosen. Not sure what we (might) be letting ourselves in for, we both chose “I’m In” stickers. When neither of us were chosen I think we both heaved quiet sighs of relief. Next year we’ll do a run to one of Victoria’s ‘vintage’ clothing stores beforehand and thus arrive better prepared.
After each group of kids decided on their
victim model, those chosen were led away for before pictures then given an empty suitcase for their clothing, and a bathrobe to wear for the duration. The clock was set for one hour, and the sewing machines started humming!
While we waited, everyone present was encouraged to pose for images in front of a seamless background, to wander around the tent where all of the action was taking place, chat, make photographs and enjoy! We asked several of the volunteers (easily detected by the white bathrobes) if they were excited, terrified or both, and generally people admitted to a little of both. One woman, having witnessed what was happening to her dress, wished for a longer coat for the cold evening air on the way home!
After the clock ran down, each team was instructed to put down their needles, gather up their models, and prepare for the runway! There was quite a diversity of alterations, but all in all it was a lot of fun. We’re already looking forward to next year!
P.S. If you’d like to support the Theatre Skam Association in their projects you can do so here: Donate