@CreativeBendigo met up with talented creative and costume designer Kristine von Hilderbrandt at the unique arts and community centre, The Old Church on the Hill. A place to connect with community, experience live music, explore creative pursuits including; craft classes, Latin dancing, community gardening, kids drama, ukulele and Capella, this repurposed group of buildings is also available for hire with a café to enjoy healthy food and great coffee. As you can see from our photos, it’s the perfect venue for photoshoots and is one of the special creative spaces that exists in Greater Bendigo’s thriving creative ecosystem.

Kristine von Hilderbrandt was one of our local industry experts on the Arts and Creative Industries Advisory Committee providing feedback for the ‘Greater CREATIVE Bendigo‘ strategy in 2020. Kristine relocated from Brisbane to Bendigo not long after her son was born in 2019. Having worked as a Costume Designer since 2011, Kristine has worked in film, theatre, and television, after completing a degree in Creative Industries (majoring in fashion history, art history and architecture). Like many creative practitioners, Kristine has worked across various creative industries, having been a band manager and ‘dabbled in the world of floristry’. 

“The thing I love about Bendigo is how walking down the street everyone says hi to each other.”

Kristine is wearing one of her creations, dressed as Cruella from the recent Disney film. Having hand-made the costume, selecting the unique fabrics and designing the pattern, the details and fabric manipulation are exquisitely crafted. The sleeves and skirt are constructed using velvet that has been layered with hand cut strips of pleather. The bodice is made from a thicker pleather that has been pleated into box-like shapes to add texture to the fabric. 

When creating her detailed costumes, Kristine starts with a fabric technique or a visual theme: “I’m intensely inspired by nature, music, rebellious emotions, and sociology.” Her work is influenced by a broad range of artists including William Morris, Vivienne Westwood, Arthur Boyd, Joy Hester, Oscar Wilde and Jack White. You can see more examples of Kristine’s costume designs on her alter ego, Scarlett Menagerie Instagram site.

Photos by Leon Schoots

Kristine recently collaborated with local production company, Arena Theatre Company, who produce extraordinary theatre for young people. She is planning on making a short film in Bendigo and has started writing the script. If that is not keeping her busy enough, Kristine will be sharing her extensive knowledge and passion for sewing through a series of workshops which she plans to run in 2022. There is one coming up in February which you can find more about on her Facebook page.

“I want to share my sewing knowledge so people become more connected to their clothing again and avoid the mess that is fast fashion”.

Kristine enjoys chatting to other Bendigo artists and is inspired by hearing their experimental ideas. She would like to see more regular networking events to develop concepts. “I like the idea of there being broad and open creative showcasing events, which don’t limit art forms to just music and painting/sculpture/photography.”

If you would like to collaborate or connect up with Kristine you can find her on her socials:




All photos by Leon Schoots Photography