Mike Ward with his 2012 entry into the World of WearableArt competition "Possessed". PHOTO: Jacob Chandler

WOW designers selected for national stage


Seven designers from the Nelson Region have been selected to appear on stage in the 2015 World of WearableArt Awards Show in Wellington.

Designers include Mike Ward, Blaire Bywater, Carol Hargadon, Doreen Helms, Sue Cederman, Peter Wakeman and Gillian Saunders.

Mike Ward has entered the competition 15 times with around 18 different wearable arts.

“If you’ve entered before then you simply submit your piece and they prop them on models and run them past the judges.”

He says he wasn’t getting much sleep before the June submission as he was focusing a lot of his time on his entry.

Mike could not give too much away about his wearable but he has entered into the children’s section with the theme imaginary friends.

“It’s another fun piece, it’s canvas and bronze with lots of paint. It’s got six legs, three heads,” he says. “It’s a performance piece so the model can have fun getting their head around it.

He says, as a regular entrant, he has learned to gauge his chances of winning a prize by where they seat him in the theatre.

“If they’ve put me close to the end then maybe I’ve got something.”

Competition director Heather Palmer says the standard of many entries this year has been astounding and designers have impressed the judges with their creativity and originality.

“We have seen an innovative use of technology through the exploration of materials and techniques used,” she says.

Joining WOW Founder Suzie Moncrieff on the judging panel are Co-Founder and CEO of fashion brand WORLD, Denise L’Estrange-Corbet and one of New Zealand’s most prominent sculptors Greer Twiss, who have completed the first round of judging, July 3-5.

There will be two further judging rounds in September to decide the section winners and the overall Supreme winner.

First time WOW judge, Greer Twiss, says the quality of the entries made a strong impression on her.

“I think the craftsmanship and inventiveness both in ideas and execution of the entries was often wonderful. The more you looked into them the more they offered. It is great to see that ‘making’ is alive and well.”
Of the 128 garments selected to take part in the WOW Awards Show half are from international designers. Countries including the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, India, Denmark, China, Taiwan and Australia are represented.