At the heart of everything WOW does and creates, is our international design competition. The WOW Competition is the world’s leading wearable art design competition, the 2017 competition opened for entries back in September last year and the winning garments have gone through three rounds of judging (in Nelson and Wellington) before the final 37 awards were handed out tonight. 

The rules of the competition mean that anything that is wearable can find a place on stage, as long as it is original, innovative and well-made. And it’s safe to say that the designs below certainly fulfil that criteria! WOW’s 2017 judges were Dame Suzie Moncrieff, fashion designer and artist Kerrie Hughes, artist Michel Tuffery, Weta Workshop’s Sir Richard Taylor, Cirque du Soleil’s Valerie Desjardins and David Jones’ Teneille Ferguson. The judging process is in three stages, with garments being assessed in detail, as well as for their performance on stage.

After the show’s season in Wellington, the winning garments from each year’s show are then exhibited at the iconic National WOW Museum at (WOW HQ) in Nelson. This allows visitors to see the garments up close, and truly appreciate the level of detailing and expertise needed to create an award-winning work of wearable art. Have a look at the 2017 award-winning garments below and see what will be coming to Nelson in December 2017! 

SUPREME WOW AWARD

DAME SUZIE MONCRIEFF AWARD

AOTEAROA SECTION

AVANT-GARDE SECTION

WETA WORKSHOP: SCIENCE FICTION

ILLUMINATION ILLUSION: FLOAT, FLY, FLOW SECTION

RED SECTION

OPEN SECTION

FIRST TIME ENTRANT AWARD

STUDENT INNOVATION AWARD

SUSTAINABILITY AWARD

WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY AWARD

INTERNATIONAL AWARD: OVERALL WINNER

INTERNATIONAL AWARD: AMERICAS

INTERNATIONAL AWARD: ASIA

INTERNATIONAL AWARD: AUSTRALIA & PACIFIC

INTERNATIONAL AWARD: UNITED KINGDOM & EUROPE

NEW ZEALAND DESIGN AWARD

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL INVITED ARTISAN AWARD