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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can see 32 award-winning garments in a high-style exhibit filled with expressive music and dramatic settings.
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.
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.
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.
Everyone is invited to participate in WOW. To learn how to enter +click here
To visit the WOW website and see lots of exciting videos +click here
NZ photography provided by WOW, Seattle photography by Patricia Belyea.