Meet Hiddy – a freelance Wardrobe Mistress and Dresser, a career she got into after graduating from local art school LASALLE College of the Arts. How NOT AVERAGE is that? For those of you who’re unsure of what this is, basically her work entails cataloging and organizing the clothes, accessories and sometimes props for the cast of a theatre or dance production. And then a constant flow of prepping and removing, and helping actors change in and out of costumes between scenes during rehearsals and when the show goes LIVE. Hiddy has worked on hundreds of theatre productions since 2004 and counts Phantom for the Opera, Cats, My Fair Lady and Forbidden City among her favourite shows to work on. She hopes that the love she has for her work as well as theatre will see her through at least the next 20 years in this industry.
Hiddy is also a lover of stilettos and super killer heels. Shoes that are irresistably beautiful to her and yet sometimes hurt her feet. She admitted that she has at least 4 pairs that she hasn’t worn out yet (only to stand in them and admire at home). How many women are guilty of that? TOO MANY, I SAY!
Don’t look at the collection below and think that’s it. She says she spends at least S$200 – $250 on footwear a month if she has the time to shop. The reason her collection is “dwindling” is because her mother made her give away quite a lot of them rather recently. Also, these are just the high heeled ones that she counts as her favourites.
On a hot Thursday afternoon, we visited Hiddy at the flat she shares with her family in Tampines Street 43 and we talked openly about clothes, shoes, freelancing, trying to explain to relatives what she does for a living and even her favourite holiday spot – Bangkok, Thailand (where she literally just holes herself up in a hotel for up to 2 weeks at a stretch).
So according to Hiddy, freelancing is great because she gets to pick and choose projects, instead of being desk-bound to a stuffy office. She’s tried full-time work but it didn’t suit her lifestyle. At the same time, Hidy’s freelancing gives her the freedom to care for her mother who’s just beaten cancer. The wonderful daughter takes her mother to her check-ups and makes time to be available whenever she needs her. The downside to freelancing though, is sacrificing the special festive holidays and weekends – on days when people rest and relax, she serves the public as those are the days where shows are in full swing. This was particularly pertinent because we visited Hiddy a few days before the end of Ramadan, and when the Muslims in Singapore go around visiting each others’ homes celebrating Hari Raya Puasa.
When we approached Hiddy to be featured, one concern she had was that she felt she wasn’t “dressy” enough but we think that there’s room for all kinds of women and styles on this blog – as long as they’re not your average women! If jeans, bright bold lips and high heeled shoes are her thing, that’s a style and a type in itself! Agree?
Read more about her style here:
- What is your dress/shoe size? dress size UK16/18 (depending on the cuttings) and shoes UK7/US10/41.
- Describe Your Style Comfort, Classy and Timeless.
- What do you normally wear to work or a work event/meeting? Jeans with a nice dress top. During rehearsal weeks, I’m clad mostly in jeans and comfy t-shirts with little or no make up. But once in awhile, I would dress really nice just to make myself feel extra beautiful. I love killer heels but it’s not convenient to wear it for long hours. So work events are good for showing off of my heels….and I love bootie heels too now. Current obsession.
- Where and how do you shop? I do my shopping mainly online. ASOS. We should have more stores here that is plus-size friendly without burning a hole in our pocket. I don’t like splurging because I do not deal well with the guilt feeling after. I get all annoyed with myself. So I usually check out the SALE section. You can still look fabulous without paying a bomb for an outfit. But I do shop locally… Mostly at Dorothy Perkins and New Look. Once in awhile, at Cotton On.
- What are your favourite things to buy? Jeans!! Denim can be fun and stylish…it’s timeless! Also, lovely tops from ASOS. I try to not buy more heels. My mother isn’t impressed with my obsession.
- What are your favourite brands or shops? I really like ASOS. but i’m not brand conscious. Locally, I do like to shop at New Look for cool t-shirts and Dorothy Perkins for my jeans mainly.
- How do you dress on your blah-days? Comfy jeans and loose t-shirts. I don’t really like flip flops even on my blah days. Yes, I really do not.
- When you were 12, what did you imagine your life would be like at your current age? Successful, Inspiring and Fabulous with a lot of laughter and hilarious moments.
And I asked… she DOES wear these super high shoes while running around backstage and dressing/changing the actors too! Well, she did admit to having some flats parked away at work in case she needs to get practical and not kill her back.
So there’s Hiddy – wardrobe fast-change worker bee behind part of the magic of theatre!