What would happen if art was ripped off the wall and thrown onto a human body?
We all love a dress-up but there’s something thrilling and amusing about the World of Wearable Art and the international competition staged in my home town Wellington, New Zealand each year. It’s as if the concept of haute couture is poked, prodded and flipped on its head (or rammed where the sun don’t shine).
Designers from the worlds of architecture, art, theatre, jewellery making, textile and industrial crafting are united by the challenge to construct without commercial constraint. The results are no less than inspirational.
The opportunity for innovation and invention is irresistible to an enormous band of entrants worldwide. The show-and-tell takes place on a giant runway amid an extravagant lighting and sound display, overall it’s not too far removed from catwalk, but the outfits are seriously ingenious.
The rest of Wellington rejoices and retail outlets show their support by proudly displaying entries in shop frontages, plus a few premium entries make the foyer of the world renowned Te Papa Museum on the Wellington foreshore.
In Aotearoa, the competition has become an institution and this year celebrates 30 years since its inception in Nelson, when an audience of 200 gathered as part of an art gallery promotion. The idea for the exhibition arose when renowned Nelson painter and sculptor Suzy Moncrieff proposed that art could be ripped off the wall and worn (with much fanfare and aplomb) as a garment.
Categories for 2017 include Open, Avant Garde, Aotearoa New Zealand, Weta Workshop Costume and Film, Illumination Illusion and Red. Go for it, September is still awhile away. For more information and ticket purchases, check out the WOW website. All images courtesy of Pinterest.