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Auckland Designs Win Special WOW® Awards

Embargoed until Friday 26 August, 2011, 11.30pm

Auckland Designs Win Special WOW® Awards

At tonight’s prestigious Brancott Estate World of WearableArt™ (WOW®) Awards Show in Wellington, two Auckland-designed garments have won top prizes in two special award categories. Twenty nine Auckland designers were finalists.

The garments’ designers, Erna and Karl van der Wat and Christopher Davis, were amongst 35 Brancott Estate WOW® award winners, sharing the $150,000 prize pool. For the first time, there were also eight Honorable Mentions at WOW®.

The van der Wats from Rothesay Bay won the prestigious WOW® Factor Award for their garment Reflection, chosen by WOW® founder Suzie Moncrieff as “the most innovative garment with the WOW® factor.” They had entered Reflection in the Tourism New Zealand Avant Garde Section.

This is not the couple’s first time at WOW®. Since 2006 they have entered seven garments - this is the first time they have won an award.

Reflection is made out of aluminium tubing, and stainless and mild steel. The designers say it reflects how conscious reflection produces an exquisitely connected blueprint of how we choose to live our lives.

“We are quite pleased with ourselves and our amateur design abilities, or dis-abilities,” the van der Wats say. “The arm pieces and head piece was done as one dimensional flat design.

We had to really think a few steps ahead to accommodate for the contours and three dimensional shape of the final product.

“We have absolutely no knowledge of design, but in the end we had a garment that looked as though the aluminium tubing curved without strain or effort around the model,” they say.

“The aluminium tubing is dead straight but creates an optical illusion, playfully creating curves around the model’s waist. We love it!"

Hillsborough landscape designer, and first time WOW® entrant, Christopher Davis came First in the Shell Sustainability Award category, with his entry Itchy Stitch, a garment made out of scarf fabric, fibreglass, beads and 3000 knitting needles.

“When visualising my garment I wanted to portray the sensation and unforgettable characteristics of the jumper, rather than how it visually looked… ‘NOO, IT’S ITCHY!’” Davis says. “While creating my garment I have thought of the number of jumpers that grandmothers lovingly created, using the 3000 knitting needles."

He says when he was collecting the knitting needles, mostly from charity shops, people told him their awful childhood memory of their grandma’s jumpers.

WOW® founder and co-judge Suzie Moncrieff says that all seven awards sections are remarkable this year, ensuring that Wellington’s 2011 Brancott Estate WOW® Awards Show is another outstanding success.

“There are so many incredible entries this year, making it one of the most difficult years to judge,” Moncrieff says. “The garments are of a very high standard, so we have added Honorable Mentions to some of the sections, as we felt these entries needed the recognition they deserved.

“I am also pleased that there is a good mix of experienced WOW® designers and first time entrants who have done well in this year’s awards, showing there is a depth of both past and new talent continually coming through WOW®.

“It is amazing to think that I held my first show back in 1987,” she says. “Today, with an incredible team behind it, WOW® is regarded as the best WearableArt Show in the world, which as New Zealanders makes us all proud."

At the 2011 WOW® Awards Show, these garments and all other winners and finalists are transported into a world of fantasy and surrealism, reminiscent of the work of the late Italian Film Director Fellini. The Show is two hours of wall-to-wall colour, energy and creativity, in a stunning choreographed performance featuring the full company of Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) dancers, professional dancers from Wellington’s Footnote Dance and the entire first year of the New Zealand School of Dance.

Every night, show goers are also treated to cameo appearances by celebrity guests – true New Zealand icons – during the Air New Zealand Kiwi Icons section.

There are still a few coveted tickets available to see this world-renowned show. To purchase go to www.worldofwearableart.com The World of WearableArt™ is a concept created in 1987 by Suzie Moncrieff, to take art off the wall and adorn the human form, then showcase each creation in a dramatic setting. A new way to experience art and fashion was born back then, and Suzie Moncrieff called it WearableArt™. The world renowned annual World of WearableArt Awards Show in Wellington is proudly a New Zealand event, and now attracts over a third of its entrants internationally, giving the event a global flavour.


EDITORIAL NOTE: Please initially refer to the show as the Brancott Estate World of WearableArt™ Awards Show which can then be shortened to the Brancott Estate WOW® Awards Show. Please publish the full names for sections and awards i.e. the Air New Zealand Kiwi Icons Section. Described as a rebellion against the mundane, the Brancott Estate World of WearableArt™ Awards Show bends traditional perceptions of art and fashion by choreographing garments into a visceral extravaganza that dazzles the senses and lifts the spirit.

© Scoop Media

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