The World of WearableArt (WOW)
WOW is the world’s leading wearable art design competition that culminates with an incredible, quirky show in Wellington each year.
WOW tickets go on sale TODAY celebrating its 30th year
Over 100 models strut designer’s creations from all over the globe, made from anything including bike tyres, rope, plastic, latex and every other conceivable matter.
Creator and brainchild of WOW is Nelson painter and sculptor Suzie Moncrieff. In 1987, she wanted to promote a rural art gallery so came up with the idea to take art off the walls and make it wearable. With prize money of $1000 entries rolled in.
From its humble beginnings and an audience of just 200 locals, this international phenomenon continues to wow the world and is now in its third decade.
Along this journey there have been changes. As the Nelson event grew in popularity attracting more entrants, so too did the audience. So by 2005 it had outgrown Nelson’s largest venue and disappointed locals saw the event move to Wellington, where it is today.
About the show
Today, an audience of over 60,000 descend on the capital each year with the show running over a three -week period. Each year the two-hour spectacle is themed with the wearable art modelled to music and dance.
It attracts over 300 designers from New Zealand and all over the world. Some of the designers work in the creative fields such as film, fashion and art while others are amateurs.
There are 37 prestigious awards to be won and a total of $160,000 in prize money. But even better are two sought after internships. One at the international circus and theatre group Cirque du Soleil in Montreal and the other at Weta Workshop in Wellington.
With three rounds of intensive judging, the panel of judges evaluate every costume based on its originality, creativity, innovation and construction. The designers remain anonymous and the judges are just given the name of the garment and a brief on its inspiration.
The 2017 show features 104 garments by 122 designers, from 13 countries. The judges were Dame Suzie Moncrieff, fashion designer and artist Kerrie Hughes, artist Michel Tuffery, Weta Workshop’s Sir Richard Taylor, Cirque du Soleil’s Valerie Desjardins and David Jones’ Teneille Ferguson.
After the show’s season, the winning garments are then exhibited at the iconic National WOW Museum at (WOW HQ) in Nelson. This allows visitors to see the garments up close and truly appreciate the level of detail and expertise needed to create an award-winning work of wearable art.
Wow’s 2018 season, September 27 – October 14