Held annually in Wellington, New Zealand, the World of WearableArt (WOW) Awards Show is a unique and spectacular celebration of innovative and artistic fashion that aims to “take art off the wall and out of static display and to adorn the body in wildly wonderful ways.”
The main WOW event, the WOW Awards Show, is an epic two-hour theatrical display that brings to life the incredible creations of designers from around the world who have taken on the challenge of creating garments that blur the boundaries of art and fashion.
A total of 37 awards worth a total of NZ$165,000 were up for grabs in 2013 including the Brancott Estate Supreme WOW® Award which is awarded to the designer with the garment considered by the judges to be the most exceptional overall.
New Zealand designers Tatyanna Meharry andNatasha Meharry took out the Brancott Estate prize with their two-garment entry, “The Exchange,” which “portrays the on-going act of cultural assimilation through the exchange and realisation of gifts and promises,” according to WOW.
A total of 158 entries by 178 designers were selected to appear in the 2013 show and compete for a prize pool of 37 awards. New Zealand designers won 18 awards with the remaining 19 awards won by international designers.
With the curtain falling on the last WOW show for 2013 on October 6, BLOUIN ARTINFO takes a look back at some of the incredible award-winning garments, all of which can be viewed on the WOW website here.
2013 Brancott Estate Supreme World of WearableArt™ (WOW®) Award
New Zealand designers Tatyanna Meharry and Natasha Meharry took out the major award with their two-garment entry “The Exchange” which, according to WOW, “portrays the on-going act of cultural assimilation through the exchange and realisation of gifts and promises. “The Exchange” also won the 2013 Air New Zealand South Pacific Award.
2013 Avant Garde Section Award
Peter Wakeman’s whimsical hand-crafted fibreglass creation “Chica Under Glass” took out the Avant Garde section award for wearable works of art that challenge the boundaries of fashion design. Wakeman was also the Brancott Estate Supreme WOW Award runner up.
2013 WOW & Classic Cars Man Unleashed Award Winner
New Zealand designers Erna and Karl Van Der Wat won the WOW & Classic Cars Man Unleashed section award for garments inspired by the psychedelic 1960’s with “Astrodelic Psychonaut.” Erna and Karl used aluminium, vinyl film, perspex, and lollies for their otherworldly creation.
2013 Weta Workshop Costume and Film Section Award Winner
New Zealand design enthusiast Gillian Saunders’s monstrous creation “Inkling” won the Weta Workshop Costume and Film section award for costumes that cross the boundaries of wearable art and film.
2013 Childrens Section Award
Helen Fuller of the United States won the Childrens’ section with her “Tui Tin Tutu.” Designers were asked to use interesting materials and inventive ideas to recreate the theatrical drama of the ballet tutu.
2013 Gen-i Creative Excellence Section Award Winner
The theme of the 2013 Gen-i Creative Excellence section was “Art Forms in Nature.” Designers were asked to create a garment inspired by the naturalist illustrations of Ernst Haeckel. The Award was won by Margarete Palz of Germany for her organic creation “25th Jubilee Guest.”
2013 American Express Open Section Award Winner
New Zealand designers Fenella Fenton and Jeff Thompson won the 2013 American Express Open section with their contemporary interpretation of the traditional Spanish lace or silk veil known as the mantilla.
2013 Australia & South Pacific Design Award Winner
Australian textile artist Svenja was awarded the Australia & South Pacific Design Award for her tribal-looking creation “Hakuturi.” The Hakuturi is a mythical Maori creature that is the guardian of the forest.
2013 Wellington International Award Winner
Hiu Ming Yuen of Hong Kong won the 2013 Wellington International Award with her elegant yet evocative garment “Funeral.”