Whilst in Nelson recently I went along to the World of Wearable Art & Classic Car Museum, a showcase of weird and wonderful garments from the WOW fashion competition. The show started in 1987, when a Nelson sculptor Suzie Moncrieff had an idea to promote a rural art gallery. The result was a fusion of art, design, movement and drama that was presented to 200 people in a community hall. From there it grew to the world renowned spectacular that it is today with nearly 350,000 people having seen the annual show which is now held in Wellington. Since WOW began over 4500 garments have been seen on stage from 23 different countries. I’ve been wanting to go and see the exhibition for some time, but never got around it it before. I’ve recently started a dressmaking course though so it made my must do list this time around.
The display was breathtaking to say the least. The amount of time and work that must have gone into the various garments was amazing. There are lots of different sections in the WOW competition including the Tourism New Zealand Avant Garde Section (where art and fashion collide), the Bizarre Bra Section (bras that WOW), the CentrePort Illumination Illusion Section (think glow in the dark), and the American Express Open Section (where designers are unlimited and can go for broke).
Having a new found appreciation for all things design and fashion, I was totally enthralled by the various costumes on display. They show things from various years competitions so you get a broad mix of designs. WOW also have an exhibition travelling around the country at the moment too and I was lucky enough to catch it at the Christchurch Museum before it finished. This again had a huge variety of costumes and the exhibition was incredibly successful and full of impressed on lookers when I went through. This years show starts on my birthday in September so I have been dropping not so subtle hints to my other half about it! Fingers crossed. And although I’m not quite ready for this yet, entering the WOW competition has definitely been added to my bucket list of things to do before I die.
You aren’t allowed to take photos within either the permanent or the travelling exhibition but I was lucky enough to be given a press CD of images to be able to show you. Below are some of my favourites from both shows that really WOW’d me: