At the epicentre of WOW’s multi-layered universe is the international design competition that challenges artists and designers from all around the world to take art off the wall and onto the human form. The most innovative and outstanding entries are chosen to appear on stage as part of the annual World of WearableArt Awards Show. 

Each year the finalist garments and award winners are selected through three rounds of closed judging.  The judging panel comprises of WOW Founder and Resident Judge, Dame Suzie Moncrieff, and two guest judges, from the worlds of art and fashion, who are invited to be part of the panel.

The first round of judging for the 2018 World of WearableArt Awards took place in early July in Nelson. This year, alongside WOW Founder and Resident Judge Dame Suzie Moncrieff, the judges are Margarita Robertson, Creative Director of iconic fashion label NOM*d, and Sam Gao, Art Director and Business Development Manager with Weta Workshop.

This panel was later joined by our International Guest Judge, Mary Wing To, a London-based designer, leather artisan and whip-maker. With a master’s in Fashion Design & Technology, Wing To then studied traditional leather craftsmanship, becoming a qualified saddler, and in turn gained a rare opportunity to apprentice under the Queen’s Master Saddler and Harness Maker at The Royal Mews. In 2010, she received The City and Guilds Lions Award for UK Creative Craftsperson of the year. Wing To currently works for Chanel and applies her leather expertise and artistry to a range of projects and commissions throughout Europe. 

The 2018 Cirque du Soleil Judge was Nathalie Bouchard. Bouchard manages the Cirque du Soleil costumes workshops and make-up teams. She holds an MBA from Concordia University, Montreal, and has high-level expertise in management as well as programs & strategic development to serve people and organisations. She has been involved with various businesses within varied industries and has extensive experience in international and multi-site contexts, as well as positions requiring skills in human relations and innovative solutions. She is passionate about people management, striving to offer her teams a stimulating environment fostering self-development. 

We sat down with the 2018 Judging Panel for one minute to find out a bit more about them. 


One Minute With… Dame Suzie Moncrieff
WOW Founder and Resident Judge


One Minute With… Margarita Robertson
Creative Director NOM*d


One Minute With… Sam Gao
Art Director and Business Development Manager Weta Workshop


One Minute With… Mary Wing To
Professional Leather Artisan


One Minute With… Nathalie Bouchard
General Director of Costume Department, Cirque du Soleil


Interested in knowing what the judges look for in a WOW garment? Find out more here: What the judges are looking for.