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Designers Embrace New Wow Section

Media release from WOW Ltd

Designers Embrace New Wow Section

Wow Awards Show Finalists Chosen For 2013

Designers the world over have let loose their imaginations, creating fantastical, theatrical wearable art for a brand new category in the international competition - the World of WearableArt™ Awards Show in Wellington – celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Dozens of designers embraced the opportunity to dream up and create their entry for the new Weta Workshop Film and Costume category, ‘The Crazy Curiosities of the Creature Carnival.’

Leather, feathers, faux fur, sea-shells, papier mache, mosaic porcelain, silk, felt and metal have been fashioned into ‘crazy creature’ garments.

Almost half the entries (45%) for the annual competition are from international designers - from Ireland, India, France, Germany, China, Canada, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States, Malaysia, Israel and the Netherlands and Australia.

“The WOW Awards truly are an internationally-recognised design competition,” says Competition Director Heather Palmer. “Designers have really taken exploration and manipulation of materials to a new level this year, pushing the boundaries of what those materials can do.”

More than 220 garments designed to be worn on the human form, were put through the first round of judging this weekend. Of those, 158 have been selected to go on to compete for 39 prizes and $165,000 in the Award Show’s seven categories. They will take to the stage every night for two weeks, in two-hour performances at the TSB Bank Arena on Wellington’s waterfront. Show season opens on Thursday, September 26, and the winners are announced at the Awards Night on Friday, September 27.

This year, WOW’s Founder, Dame Suzie Moncrieff, has been joined for the enormous task of judging, by one of New Zealand’s foremost fashion designers; the founder and creative director of the leading label Nom*D, Margarita Robertson; and renowned New Zealand sculptor and artist Christine Hellyar, whose work has been exhibited around the world and is included in most public collections throughout New Zealand.

The standard of entries is “so polished – so exciting,” says guest judge Margarita Robinson, who was on the judging panel nine years ago.

“Heather (Palmer) and Suzie (Moncrieff) and their team have everything running so smoothly. The standard of entries, too, has really stepped up. The garments are beautifully finished. I’m really looking forward to the next stage of judging, when we see the garments being modelled with choreography.”

First-time guest judge, Christine Hellyar, says the WOW Awards competition firmly places New Zealand within the international arts scene.

“The quality of the ideas behind the garments really impressed me, and those ideas – those garments – are coming from all over the world,” she said. “That WOW is based here in New Zealand, giving designers all over the world this wonderful opportunity to express their creativity, is quite incredible. It’s the best experience I have ever had with judging.”

The category themes range from the South Pacific and Art Forms in Nature to the often-humorous and delightful favourites, ‘Man Unleashed’ and the Children’s Section. The Avant Garde and Open sections promise to surprise and impress with high-fashion meeting artful sculpture.

The new and seventh category, the Crazy Curiosities of the Creature Carnival, is sponsored by Weta Workshop - New Zealand’s celebrated special effects team behind movies such as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit.

Designers were given the brief: “Strange surreal characters meet in a world without time; a place where dreams and nightmares come to life – from the beautiful to the bizarre, mysterious to the grotesque - create a costume that crosses the boundaries of wearable art and film.”

The creative and magical work of the artists involved in WOW has given all at Weta Workshop “wonderful inspiration,” says the Creative Director and co-founder of Weta Workshop, Sir Richard Taylor.

“The WOW Awards Show is a benchmark event. It has set the highest standards, while being accessible to artists all over the world – and the whole WOW organisation plays a pivotal role in the creative education and inspiration of New Zealanders. It has also given us some of our most amazing technicians.”

Weta Workshop’s prize for the winner of its sponsored category is not only monetary. It includes a month’s internship at Weta Workshop, with the winner’s travel and accommodation expenses covered. 


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