Wearable Art creators worldwide are readying their entries for this World of Wearable Art competition and show, September 21 through October 8, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. The World of Wearable Art, also called WOW, is an international design competition that attracts talent from all over the world. Entries in previous years have come from art, fashion, textile, industrial design, jewelry, architecture, law and homemaking, and from both professionals and students (though there is no student-specific category).
The last date to submit entries is March 31. This year’s categories are Illumination Illusion, Red, Aoteoroa New Zealand, Costume & Film, Avant Garde and Open. The advice for Illumination Illusion says, “Using the magic and illusion of UV light, create a garment to perform in and WOW the audience that appears to float, fly, flow through space and levitate above the stage”.
The Red category of wearable art tells designers to create a garment using only the color red and its various shades. “Red is the colour of extremes. It is an intense colour which is packed with emotion and conjures up a range of seemingly conflicting emotions, from passionate love to violence and warfare,” the description for this category says.
Aoteorora New Zealand draws its inspiration from the Maori culture. This category encourages artists to create something that is a celebration of native New Zealand. Or as the prompt says, “The power of the land. The spirit of this place. The diverse cultures that live there, their designs, their stories, architecture, body adornment and the influence of these forces in design and creativity.”
The Costume and Film category of wearable art is sponsored film company Weta and is devoted to science fiction this year. The requirement for entry says, “Create an extra-terrestrial being from an alien world or a human being as you can imagine them living in the year 3446.”
The Avant Garde category includes this advice, “Create a wearable work of art that is revolutionary, extravagant and extrovert, but still stylish and made with skill.” Producers of the World of Wearable Art include entrants in this category to explore their dreams and fantasies for a desirable design.
The Open category has no limits or boundaries beyond the designers' imagination.
The show itself promises “a glorious rebellion against the mundane”. And it does just that by the designs but also by the lighting, music and atmosphere. The 2015 show was a cross between Cirque du Soleil, an haute couture show and a trip through Alice in Wonderland. And 55,000 audience members went on the trip. It’s sensory saturation of the best kind.
WOW has been called a “choreographed collision” and many other things, but mostly, its message is one of creativity and the magnitude of the imagination. Dame Founder Suzie Moncrieff created, in her own words, “a unique onstage spectacular that will inspire us all”.
The March 31 deadline is for compulsory pre-selection. The finished creations are due at WOW this June. Forty awards will be given in all with a NZ $165,000 prize pool. To register as a designer before it is too late, visit the World of Wearable Art website.