Victoria Gridley is a costume maker by trade and she is always looking to create the next big thing. From working between film, ballet, theatre and drag Victoria is building quite the portfolio.
She began her journey moving from her home in Melbourne, Australia to Wellington, New Zealand to study at the acclaimed Toi Whakaari Drama School. After being awarded two scholarships Victoria graduated and has been working in the costume industry ever since.
She has been lucky enough to work for large New Zealand companies like the Royal New Zealand Ballet (2017-2020) and Weta Workshop (2018-2020) and even has been able to travel worldwide for her work.
Victoria Gridley takes immense care in putting her heart into her work and producing the best possible product. She is not afraid of learning new skills and is always looking to up-skill and learn to develop her talents as a costumier.
Q. How did you get started in your medium?
A. I guess I started in cosplay attending conventions in Australia back in 2006/7. I’ve always been a bit of a nerd and as soon as I saw that dressing up as my favourite characters was a hobby I wanted to join!
Q. What is the biggest influence on your art?
A. I don’t know if I can narrow it down to one thing because everything I sew is so completely different.
Q. Did art play a role in your childhood? (Were you exposed to artists, did you enjoy making art)
A. We were always exposed to art in many ways, our parents wanted to make sure that whatever avenue we were curious in that we could go after it. We all played musical instruments, one of my sisters is a fine artist, the other one knits and I sew! Anything to keep our hands moving and our minds occupied.
Q. Who is your favorite artist?
A. I’m going to be biased and say my sister Liz Gridley, but mostly because I’ve seen her art journey since she was 12 and I’m always excited to see what she paints next. Her figurative work and use of colour is to die for!
Q. How does art impact your life? What gives you the motivation and inspiration to create your specific art?
A. Art is kind of my everything. I’m always hunting the next job so I can push my creative limits and see what else I may be able to make. My motivation is the reaction of once something is made. seeing people react to it and feeling physical success in my body drives me like nothing else. I absolutely love that serotonin boost when you complete something.
The Glitter Garden
A drag musical extravaganza for kids - the first of its kind in the world!
Join Hugo the Gardener on Pride Parade as he learns to embrace self-care, personal growth and flower beds, all with the help of his glittering garden buds. Created by TVNZ’s ‘House of Drag’ winner Hugo Grrrl (George Fowler) and award-winning theatre maker Lori Leigh, The Glitter Garden aims to educate, empower and entertain young people through the art of drag.
Details of some of the costumes from The Glitter Garden.
Sometimes my dumb ideas that I run away with work better than I think and then I end up winning Queerable Arts (Drag Fashion Extravaganza! in Wellington, New Zealand).
All of the above images are copyright Victoria Gridley and shared here with permission.
Try it yourself
Design Your Own Costume
Do you want to tell a story or just dress up for fun? What will it look like? You can start by sketching your ideas on paper.
Next, go around your house and find bits of clothes, fabric, paper, trash/recycling, and whatever else your grownups let you use. ASK before cutting, painting, or gluing anything you find. Now create your fantastic costume!