WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – SEPTEMBER 20: ‘Lux Operon 1.3’ by Erica Gray of Australia is modelled in the Avant-garde Section during the World of WearableArt Preview 2017 at TSB Bank Arena on September 20, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images for World of WearableArt)

104 DESIGNS FROM 13 COUNTRIES SELECTED FOR INTERNATIONAL WORLD OF WEARABLEART AWARDS™

World of WearableArt™ (WOW®) has confirmed that 104 finalist garments by 122 designers from 13 countries around the world will compete for the 2017 Awards. The finalist garments will be showcased in the WOW Awards Show in Wellington from 21 September to 8 October 2017.

WOW is the world’s leading wearable art design competition, with prizes including the Supreme Award (NZD$30,000), an artist residency at Cirque du Soleil (Montreal) and an internship with Weta Workshop (Wellington). WOW also produces ongoing exhibitions within New Zealand along with a very successful international touring exhibition programme.

World of WearableArt - WOW - 2017

World of WearableArt - WOW - 2017

[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/world-of-wearableart-wow-2017/thumbs/thumbs_775043015hh062_world_of_wea.jpg]70World of WearableArt (WOW) 2017 - Preview Show
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 20: 'Lux Operon 1.3' by Erica Gray of Australia is modelled in the Avant-garde Section during the World of WearableArt Preview 2017 at TSB Bank Arena on September 20, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images for World of WearableArt)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/world-of-wearableart-wow-2017/thumbs/thumbs_775043015hh072_world_of_wea.jpg]70World of WearableArt (WOW) 2017 - Preview Show
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 20: Entertainers perform during the World of WearableArt Preview 2017 at TSB Bank Arena on September 20, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images for World of WearableArt)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/world-of-wearableart-wow-2017/thumbs/thumbs_775043015hh071_world_of_wea.jpg]40World of WearableArt (WOW) 2017 - Preview Show
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 20: 'Bed of Roses' by Ann Skelly of New Zealand is modelled in the Open Section during the World of WearableArt Preview 2017 at TSB Bank Arena on September 20, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images for World of WearableArt)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/world-of-wearableart-wow-2017/thumbs/thumbs_775043015hh067_world_of_wea.jpg]40World of WearableArt (WOW) 2017 - Preview Show
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 20: 'Lady Luck' by Marjorie Taylor of the United States is modelled in the Avant-garde Section during the World of WearableArt Preview 2017 at TSB Bank Arena on September 20, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images for World of WearableArt)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/world-of-wearableart-wow-2017/thumbs/thumbs_775043015hh055_world_of_wea.jpg]40World of WearableArt (WOW) 2017 - Preview Show
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 20: 'Red Current' by Noriko Noda of New Zealand is modelled in the Red Section during the World of WearableArt Preview 2017 at TSB Bank Arena on September 20, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images for World of WearableArt)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/world-of-wearableart-wow-2017/thumbs/thumbs_775043015hh063_world_of_wea.jpg]40World of WearableArt (WOW) 2017 - Preview Show
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 20: 'Like Nothing I Had Ever Seen Before' by Julian Hartzog of the United States is modelled in the Weta Workshop Science Fiction Section during the World of WearableArt Preview 2017 at TSB Bank Arena on September 20, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images for World of WearableArt)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/world-of-wearableart-wow-2017/thumbs/thumbs_775043015hh073_world_of_wea.jpg]30World of WearableArt (WOW) 2017 - Preview Show
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 20: 'Kuini' by Kayla Christensen of New Zealand is modelled in the Aotearoa Section during the World of WearableArt Preview 2017 at TSB Bank Arena on September 20, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images for World of WearableArt)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/world-of-wearableart-wow-2017/thumbs/thumbs_775043015hh075_world_of_wea.jpg]10World of WearableArt (WOW) 2017 - Preview Show
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 20: 'Micro-universe (Biological Micro-universe)' by Galina Mihaleva of Singapore and 'The Messenger' by Dawn Mostow and Lana Crooks of the United States are modelled in the Red Section during the World of WearableArt Preview 2017 at TSB Bank Arena on September 20, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images for World of WearableArt)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/world-of-wearableart-wow-2017/thumbs/thumbs_775043015hh076_world_of_wea.jpg]10World of WearableArt (WOW) 2017 - Preview Show
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 20: 'Unravelled' by Jennie Munro of New Zealand is modelled in the Red Section during the World of WearableArt Preview 2017 at TSB Bank Arena on September 20, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images for World of WearableArt)
[img src=http://www.onlifemagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/world-of-wearableart-wow-2017/thumbs/thumbs_775043015hh077_world_of_wea.jpg]10World of WearableArt (WOW) 2017 - Preview Show
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 20: 'Red Current' by Noriko Noda of New Zealand is modelled in the Red Section during the World of WearableArt Preview 2017 at TSB Bank Arena on September 20, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images for World of WearableArt)

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – SEPTEMBER 20:  ‘Lux Operon 1.3’ by Erica Gray of Australia is modelled in the Avant-garde Section during the World of WearableArt Preview 2017 at TSB Bank Arena on September 20, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand.  (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images for World of WearableArt)

Now in its 29th year, WOW’s combination of an international design competition inside a spectacular stage production is New Zealand’s single largest annual theatrical production and a must-see event for close to 60,000 people every year.

WOW Chief Executive Gisella Carr says, “WOW’s international reach is becoming more and more evident, something we’ve worked hard to achieve, while at the same time retaining its unique New Zealand heart. Each year, WOW continues to attract an exciting number and range of designers due to the high awareness of the WOW brand, designers’ own networks, and WOW’s work with tertiary institutions around the globe. Many people may not realise just how many of our international designers come to Wellington in September, taking part in WOW’s Designer Programme, and further strengthening WOW’s international network.

“We encourage and celebrate a huge range of diversity in our designers, from those with professional training and careers, to those who start with a gem of an idea, and have the courage, tenacity and sheer determination to create something extraordinary outside of their own field. On stage, we see the work of international fashion designers, artists from the creative and industrial sectors, alongside students and first-time enthusiasts. This incredible cross-section of entrants is not only reflected in how the garments look, but also in their materials and construction, with every year bringing explorations into new techniques.”

The 104 finalist garments will now compete for awards across six sections: three recurrent sections – Aotearoa New Zealand, Open and Avant-Garde; and three sections with design briefs specific to 2017 – Red, Illumination Illusion: Float, Fly, Flow, and Weta Workshop Costume & Film: Science Fiction.
For WOW 2017 Show Director Kip Chapman, the first round of judging was also the first opportunity for him to see the 2017 finalists, “Now that I’ve seen all the garments, it’s absolutely ‘game on’ time! Each WOW Show must be completely unique and needs more than a year in the planning. My creative team has been working alongside the production team on the staging, lighting and music, and how the overall show will look since before last year’s show closed. And now, finally, I have my cast of incredible garments. Bringing all the components together is like an enormous puzzle, and I know the 2017 show is going to be amazing. I can’t wait for opening night!”

The first round of judging by WOW’s 2017 competition judges Dame Suzie Moncrieff, fashion designer and artist Kerrie Hughes and artist Michel Tuffery took place at the National WOW Museum in Nelson from 7-9

July 2017. The finalist garments will now go through two further stages of judging, where they are assessed on stage, in motion. At this point the judging panel will be joined by Sir Richard Taylor from Weta Workshop and Valérie Desjardins from Cirque du Soleil, who will judge specific sections and awards. The finalists will be seen in performance by the public at the WOW Awards Show from 21 September to 8 October 2017 before they move to the National WOW Museum for an exhibition, opening in December 2017.

The 2017 WOW Awards Sections

• Aotearoa New Zealand is inspired by New Zealand’s rich culture and celebrates this extraordinary part of the world. It’s about the power of the land, the spirit of this place, the diverse cultures who live here, and the influence these forces have on design and creativity.
• Open has no thematic boundaries and gives designers complete freedom in concept, construction and materials. This section encourages a high degree of originality and innovation.
• Avant-garde is for wearable work of arts that are revolutionary, extravagant and extroverted, but still stylish and made with skill.
• Red celebrates the colour of extremes. Red is intense, packed with emotion ranging from passionate love to violence and warfare. It can be joyous and delicate or powerful and cruel. All visible surface materials of the garment must be the colour red.
• Illumination Illusion: Float, Fly, Flow uses the magic and illusion of UV lighting, so that the garments appear to float, fly, and flow through the space above the stage.
• Weta Workshop: Science Fiction is the opportunity to imagine the thousands of other worlds that could reside in the universe and the entities who dwell there. This is the space for extraterrestrials and futuristic beings.

WOW Key Dates:
7-9 July First judging
18 July Finalist Garments announced
3-20 September Second judging, and Final judging
21 September Opening night
22 September Awards night
8 October Closing night

Tickets on sale now at www.worldofwearableart.com