Since it was established in 2015, WOW’s creative partnership with global entertainment company Cirque du Soleil has been potentially career-changing for World of WearableArt designers. The links between the two organisations are obvious: theatrical magnificence, superb, cutting-edge design for the human body, and a commitment to excellence in marrying the two. 

Three designers have so far won the Cirque du Soleil Invited Artisan Award and have undertaken a four-week residency at Cirque du Soleil’s international headquarters in Montreal. The prize also includes return flights from anywhere in the world, and accommodation. Designers who win the Award have the unique opportunity to gain insights into another creative world and also share their own creative ideas and projects with the Cirque du Soleil team. 


Above: Cirque du Soleil Invited Artisan Award-winning garments (L-R)

Kaleidoscope, Tess Tavener Hanks, University of Technology Sydney, Australia (2015)
Digital Stealth Gods, Dylan Mulder, New Zealand (2016)
Cube, Adam McAlavey, United Kingdom, (2017)


The 2015 winner, Australia’s Tess Tavener Hanks (Australia), says her time in Montreal was a learning experience that she will treasure for a long time. “To be given such a degree of creative freedom during my time with Cirque allowed me the ability to grow and develop my own interpretation of the methods and processes.”

New Zealand’s Dylan Mulder was the 2016 winner, and says his experience “solidified his worth as a kiwi designer” as he realised how much self-taught skill and knowledge he had developed in Wellington, whilst looking outward at the rest of the world. “I realised how valuable the kiwi flavour is.”


Above: Award Winners at Cirque du Soleil HQ in Montreal, Canada  (L-R); Tess Tavener Hanks, Dylan Mulder, Adam McAlavey


The 2017 recipient, Adam McAlavey (United Kingdom), says his experience was “game-changing”. “More than anything I was bowled over by the people. Everyone was so generous and passionate. Being in such an open and sharing environment helped me realise just how much is possible when creatives collaborate.”

Watch the video below to see more from Adam’s time over in Montreal!



The most recent recipient of the award was Annabelle Widmann (Spain) who created Quantum for the 2018 Under the Microscope Section. Keep an eye out for updates from Annabelle as she undertakes her residency at Cirque du Soleil in Montreal, Canada later this year!




Entries are now open for the 2019 World of WearableArt Awards! Enter our world and start your own creative journey with the World of WearableArt. 

Find out more about the competition