Lisa Holmes (2nd Place SGCNZ/Bernina Shakespeare Costume Design Competition 2006)

“I was so excited to discover that you are still displaying the Lady Macbeth costume I designed what feels like centuries ago! In looking back I truly believe that the SGCNZ/Bernina Shakespeare Costume Design Competition inspired my current career path.”

In 2006 Lisa Holmes had both a very inspiring Materials Technology (sewing and design) teacher and an equally inspiring Drama teacher, but it was seeing a costume actually come to life from paper to stage as part of the SGCNZ/Bernina Shakespeare Costume Design Competition that really excited her. Due to the fact that school curriculum mainly focuses on fashion and not so much costume she did not get much more of a chance to explore the genre – so it was amazing for her to have such an opportunity.

After Lisa left school in 2006 she went on to study Fashion Design at Massey University in Wellington – this was a fantastic degree but she always kept in the back of her mind the idea of pursuing costume. Lisa graduated in 2010 as a Massey Scholar with First Class Honours and a wide range of skills that she could apply towards costume design but actually entering the industry was another process in itself. After a few years working in the fashion industry and travelling she assisted dressing in a play at Circa Theatre. From there she managed to meet the costume designer for WOW and the NZ Opera and made the move to Auckland in 2014 to properly pursue costume design. She has been incredibly lucky with the opportunities that have come her way up there, and worked as the Costume Design Associate on the upcoming NZ Opera – The Magic Flute, alongside head Costume designer Elizabeth Whiting – who has been the most incredible mentor and supporter to her! She has also designed for Auckland Theatre Company.

“It is still incredibly demanding work but I absolutely love it and I thank Dawn, and the SGCNZ, for being one of my main sources of inspiration for this exciting career!”