Designers from all over the world featured in the 20 top awards at this year’s World of WearableArt (WOW) Awards in Wellington, New Zealand.
Entries from the UK, USA, China, India, Australia and New Zealand were all recognised for their creativity in the event that has become an international phenomenon.
From a field of 133 garments, New Zealand designer Gillian Saunders’ Supernova won the Brancott Estate Supreme WOW Award also taking home the David Jones Avant Garde Section.
Each year designers from over 40 countries showcase their creations in what has become New Zealand’s largest single theatrical show. The show employs more than 350 cast and crew and plays to an audience of 58,000 over its three-week season finishing 9 October.
Supernova is Saunders’ 16th garment entered to the WOW competition since 2000 and her ninth award.
Her 2013 garment Inkling won the Weta: Creature Carnival Award and an internship for Saunders at the five-time Academy Award winning Weta Workshop. Inkling was also selected for the touring WOW international exhibition. The exhibition is currently in the EMP Museum in Seattle, USA and will be seen by more than 600,000 people.
Headed up by WOW founder Dame Suzie Moncreiff, the 2016 WOW Award Show judging panel included distinguished judges, Zambesi fashion designer Elisabeth Findlay and sculptor Gregor Kregar. The judging process takes place over three months and involves viewing the garments three times; up close and on the stage in performance.
2016 WOW Awards Summary
In the 2016 WOW Awards there were a total of 133 entries by 163 designers (some worked in pairs on one entry) chosen to appear in competition for a prize pool of 40 awards with a combined value of NZ$165,000. A total of 12 New Zealand-designed garments won 17 awards and 23 awards were won by 19 international designs.
The 2016 WOW Award Winners
David Jones Avant Garde Section
First: Supernova by Gillian Saunders from Nelson, NZ.
Second: Khepri by Miodrag Guberinic and Alexa Cach from New York, USA.
Third: Alecto by Maria Tsopanaki and Dimitri Mavinis from London, UK.
American Express Open Section
First: Renascence by Yuru Ma and Siyu Fang from Shanghai, China.
Second: Stella Nova by David Walker from Alaska, USA.
Third: Digital Stealth Gods by Dylan Mulder from Wellington, NZ.
Spyglass Creative Excellence Section
First: Mai (I) by Pritam Singh and Vishnu Ramesh from Gujarat, India.
Second: Brighter Side of Pail by Julie Brawley from Nelson, NZ.
Third: Minuet & Trio by Philippa Stichbury from Melbourne, Australia.
MJF Lighting Performance Art Section
First: Queen Angel by Adam McAlavey from London, UK.
Second: Lippydeema by Daisy May Collingridge from Woldingham, UK.
Third: Chameleon by Catherine O'Leary and Cheryl McHugh from Melbourne, Australia.
Weta Workshop Costume & Film Section
First: Baroque Star by Natasha English and Tatyanna Meharry from Christchurch, NZ.
Second: Lord Maharaja & Star Bride by Liam Brandon Murray from Derbyshire, UK.
Third: Goodbye Versailles Starring Madame Du Barry’s Monkey by Mercy Brewer of Auckland, NZ.
Wellington Airport Aotearoa Section
First: Princess Niwareka by Maria Tsopanaki and Dimitri Mavinis from London, UK.
Second: Tangaroa by Kelsey Roderick and Rhys Richards from Hastings, NZ.
Third: Grandeer by Bernise Milliken from Auckland, NZ.
World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum Bizarre Bra Section
First: Come Fly With Me by Julian Hartzog from Tarpon Springs, USA.
Second: Strike a Chord by Janice Elliott from Christchurch, NZ.
Third: Fried Eggs by Kelsey Roderick and Rhys Richards from Hastings, NZ.
2016 WOW Special Awards:
Brancott Estate WOW Supreme Award
Awarded to the designer with the garment the judges consider to be the most exceptional overall. Winner: Supernova by Gillian Saunders from Nelson, NZ.
Runner-up: Baroque Star by Natasha English and Tatyanna Meharry from Christchurch, NZ.
WOW Factor Award
Chosen by Dame Suzie Moncrieff as the most innovative garment with the ‘wow’ factor.
Winner: Incognita by Ian Bernhard of Auckland.
Runner-Up: Darling by Lara Galea, Sophie McIntrye and Ingrid Worrall from Auckland, NZ.
First Time Entrant Award
Recognising creativity and innovation in an entry submitted by a first time entrant.
Winner: Renewal by Alexa Cach from Rhode Island, USA, and Miodrag Guberinic and Corey Gomes.
Runner-Up: Heritage Rocks by Shantanu Singh from India.
Student Innovation Award
This award is open to all national and international tertiary students.
Winner: The Knight by Jiawen Gan, a student from the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, China.
Runner-Up: In a Bubble by Talia Baker, New York, USA, who studies at LCI Barcelona.
This award is for the designer who is concerned about protecting the environment and uses materials that would otherwise be discarded.
Winner: Grandeer by Bernise Milliken from Auckland, NZ.
Runner-Up: Bravada Cycling by Christina Uebelein from Hawai’i, USA.
Wearable Technology Award
This prize is awarded to the designer who explores and applies the most original and innovative technology to the construction and/or function of their wearable art garment.
Winner: Digital Stealth Gods by Dylan Mulder from Wellington, New Zealand.
Runner-Up: Lord Maharaja & Star Bride by Liam Brandon Murray from Derbyshire, UK.
Wellington International Award
This award goes to the best international entry.
Winner: Lippydeema by Daisy May Collingridge from Woldingham, UK. This award wins prize money and a prize to travel to New Zealand if they have a new entry selected to appear in the WOW® Awards Show within the following two years.
UK / Europe Design Award
For the best design from the UK/Europe region.
Winner: Lippydeema by Daisy May Collingridge from Woldingham, UK.
Americas Design Award
For the best design from the Americas.
Winner: Khepri by Miodrag Guberinic and Alexa Cach from New York, USA.
Asia Design Award
For the best design from Asia.
Winner: The Renaissance Happens Again by Yu Tan from Shanghai, China.
Australia & South Pacific Design Award
For the best design from Australia and the South Pacific.
Winner: Cascade by Victoria Edgar from Geelong, Australia.
David Jones New Zealand Design Award
This award goes to the best entry from New Zealand.
Winner: Voyage to Revolution by Carolyn Gibson of Auckland, NZ.
Cirque du Soleil Performance Art Costume Award
Chosen by a judge from Cirque du Soleil, this award is for the entry that best integrates techniques and/or technologies to enhance human peformance. This year’s Cirque du Soleil judge is Denise Tétreault, Costumes Lifecycle and Creative Spaces Director.
Winner: Digital Stealth Gods by Dylan Mulder from Wellington, New Zealand. This award wins prize money and flights and accommodation for a one-month internship at the world famous Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters in Montreal, Canada.
About The World of WearableArt
One of New Zealand’s cultural success stories is the spectacular World of WearableArt (WOW) created by Dame Suzie Moncrieff.
At the core of WOW is an international design competition that attracts entries from all over the world. The range of garments produced for each year’s WOW competition is simply breathtaking, as the rules of competition mean that anything that is in any way wearable can find a place on stage, as long as it is original, beautifully designed and well-made. This also results in garments that are constructed from an extraordinary array of materials, pushing the boundaries of expectation.
Now staging its 28th production, the annual WOW Awards Show presents selected designs in what is New Zealand’s largest and most technically challenging theatrical production, brought to life by 350 cast and crew. For the 2016 show, 163 designers’ garments will be seen in performance by an audience of 58,000 over a three-week season in Wellington, New Zealand.
The winning garments from each year’s show are then seen up close by more than 40,000 people at the iconic World of WearableArt and Classic Car Museum in Nelson, New Zealand.
WOW’s international exhibition is currently being held at Seattle’s EMP Museum until January 2017 after which it will travel to the Peabody Essex Museum in Boston and is expected to remain in the USA until 2019. The travelling exhibition showcases 32 award-winning garments curated to present the best of New Zealand’s creative activity to the world.