WOW, World of WearableArt, show in Wellington, New Zealand

WOW: World of WearableArt 2016

By Patricia Belyea

WELLINGTON NZ  Couldn't get a seat at Paris Fashion Week this season? Come to the other end of the earth for fashion times a million. World of WearableArt, an inspired spectacle, is staged in New Zealand’s capital each year in late September.

This year’s MC, an oversized bengali tiger, welcomes everyone to the show as he roars, tells jokes and sings. A cast of energetic dancers strings the extravaganza together that showcases ingenious wearable art.

World of WearableArt 2016: WOW Show

Music takes over and lighting wizards play with the audience’s sense of reality. First up are the 28 finalists for the Bizarre Bra award. The winged brassiere made of mirrored stainless steel, by Julian Hartzog USA, wins first place in this category.

World of WearableArt 2016: WOW Show

The show seamlessly rolls on as sets morph and outrageous wearable art takes center stage. WOW creative directors combine choreography, revolving floors and special effects to entertain an audience of over 3000 each night.

World of WearableArt 2016: WOW Show

WOW has a series of categories that groups the entries and creates little vignettes within the whole show. The inventiveness and materials of each piece ranges from gorgeous to grotesque, and everything in-between.

World of WearableArt 2016: WOW Show

World of WearableArt 2016: WOW Show

World of WearableArt 2016: WOW Show

World of WearableArt 2016: WOW Show

The Supreme Award at this year’s show is Supernova (below L), by Gillian Saunders NZ, made out of recycled leather, gems and marker pen ink. Gillian has entered 14 times, won 9 awards, and this year took the top prize.

World of WearableArt 2016: WOW Show

For those of you who can’t get to WOW before it closes on Sunday, October 9, there is another option. EMP (Experience Music Project Museum) in Seattle is debuting the WOW exhibition until January 2, 2017.

EMP Seattle: World of WearableArt Exhibit

You can see 32 award-winning garments in a high-style exhibit filled with expressive music and dramatic settings.

EMP Seattle: World of WearableArt Exhibit

A room with three video screens shows you the action and highlights of past WOW performances. Be forewarned that you will want to buy an air ticket to New Zealand once you see everything in motion.

EMP Seattle: World of WearableArt Exhibit

A great advantage to the exhibit is seeing the wearable art up-close. Artisans of all kinds have fashioned their innovative productions—from artists, sculptors, architects, blacksmiths, illustrators and more. Beyond design, the craftsmanship is impeccable.

EMP Seattle: World of WearableArt Exhibit

EMP Seattle: World of WearableArt Exhibit

EMP Seattle: World of WearableArt Exhibit

EMP Seattle: World of WearableArt Exhibit

EMP Seattle: World of WearableArt Exhibit

The most important thing to know about WOW is that you can be part of it. You don't have to be Hermes to have your masterpiece in the show and your last name doesn't need to be Kardashian to have a front row seat.

To visit the WOW website and see lots of exciting videos +click here

NZ photography provided by WOW, Seattle photography by Patricia Belyea.


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4 comments


  • Juliet Fitness
    This is on my bucket list. Every year I hope to go, but it still has to happen. But I have been twice to the WOW museum in Nelson, South Island, NZ, and that is certainly better than nothing. They change the exhibits there every 6 months, and quite a few from the 2015 Show were there when I visited last week. You can see the detail so clearly as you walk among the costumes.

  • Patricia Belyea
    Kae,

    You will appreciate the exhibit, I’m sure. Buy a Museum Only pass online for the best price: http://www.empmuseum.org/tickets-plus-membership. Best, P.


  • Kae Eagling
    I think I will have to attend this at EMP.

  • Ann Darling
    So glad someone I know with a good hand at images finally went!!! It’s amazing-amazing … Absolutely. Thank for sharing Patricia. Hope you had time to go to the wonderful Museum in Wellington too.

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