A few weeks ago, when my friend Shannon asked me if I wanted a job for the weekend that involved long hours of hard work for no pay, I jumped at the chance. And that's how I found myself down at the Lake Wanaka Center on a Friday and Saturday night bar tending at the annual Wearable Creations Fashion Show & Party.
To be fair, I really couldn't call what I was doing "bar tending." We only had two brands of beer, four varieties of white wine, and one type of red on offer. Serving the beer took no more skill than opening the bottle, and serving the wine rarely took any more--most of our wine sales were by the bottle as well, rather than by the glass. Every so often I was called upon to actually pour a glass of wine, but I think I managed to master that particular skill sufficiently well. Like I said, not really bar tending--I didn't have to learn to mix any fancy cocktails or anything.
Wearable Creations is easily one the biggest, and most anticipated, events in town. The show is three hours long, and features, as the name implies, wearable creations conceived, designed and modelled by fellow Wanakans? Wanakites? Wanakanos? people from Wanaka. And, boy howdy, are there ever some creative and talented people from Wanaka! Some of the entries included: a suit made entirely of wine bottle corks; a 20's-style flapper dress made of plastic cutlery; another flapper comprised of a couple thousand beer bottle pull tabs; two dresses made of toilet paper; and a couple dresses made of red, yellow, and blue 'admit one' tickets.
But my three favorites entries were as follows:
3.) The dress made entirely out of zippers--10 kgs (22lbs) worth according to the emcee--that started out as a long, billowing ball gown but kept getting smaller and smaller throughout the routine as layer after layer kept getting unzipped until our model finally strutted off in little more than a tank-top and miniskirt, made of zippers.
2.) A dress made of old car parts, complete with a license plate in the back, flashing turn indicators on the elbows, and a pair of working headlights exactly where you'd expect a pair of headlights to be. This of course prompted more than a few cat calls from the crowd of "Hey baby, nice headlights!" Pretty clever--the dress design, not the cat calls.
1.) Easily the highlight of the show! Two gorgeous women (who I later found out are aerobics instructors at the local health club) showcasing a local graphic artist's abilities with body paint. The medium? Chocolate. That's right--naked aerobics instructors body-painted in chocolate! Did I mention the show was a tad risque at times, and had an R18 rating? That means nobody under 18 was allowed in, which, as it turns out, made the bar tending gig that much easier because we didn't have to worry about checking IDs (the legal drinking age in NZ is 18).
The show, and even the bar tending work, was great fun. I met heaps of people and added them to my grocery list--that's the ever-expanding list of people I now know and could potentially run into while shopping. Or in Dunedin as the case may be! I ran into the show's head organizer, Kate, and her husband Ian, another of the bartenders, at the Governor in Dunedin the day after my big night out following the All Blacks game. That was kind of cool.
Now if you'll excuse me, my aerobics class down at the health club is starting soon!