Behind the Design

Every year the WOW Awards Show invites audience-goers to escape the everyday as they walk through the doors of the TSB Arena and immerse themselves in a ‘whole other world’. They never know what they’re going to see – each year a unique set of finalist garments from that year’s Competition come to life on stage, created by designers who have set their imaginations free and pushed themselves to explore new creative possibilities. 

The WOW Awards Show is the platform where these incredible works of art are showcased, building a new bespoke theatrical spectacular in Wellington each September – October. 


The WOW Awards Show is a theatre of many layers with big dance performances, amazing sets, inspiring lighting and musical soundtrack. It is an emotional rollercoaster that continues to be full of surprises and showcases extraordinary art-inspired garments from all over the world. 

Dame Suzie Moncrieff, WOW Founder

World of WearableArt brings people together; designers and creatives, friends, family and loved ones; from all walks of life, from all corners of the world. The 2019 creative campaign, released earlier this year, brings together four planetary homes; marrying design, innovation and creativity and focusing on what is at the heart of WOW, the incredible works of art from around the world that are entered into the Competition. 

Creating a Whole New World

This campaign looks to bring to life the concept of an ‘out of this world’ experience, inviting audiences to expect the unexpected by journeying out of this world and into a breathtaking world of creativity. The world of World of WearableArt. 

Made up of four planetary homes, which have been dreamed up and developed by creative agency Cato Brand Partners, each is inspired by the nuances, intricacies and craftsmanship of one of four award-winning garments. Together these homes make up one, distinctively unique, world of WOW.

Working with World of WearableArt provides a unique opportunity to push boundaries and embrace the unusual. It has been a highlight over the last three years for Cato Brand Partners to have the ability to explore the rich, surreal and whimsical worlds of WOW and create a campaign like no other. 

Working with such an open and creative group of people who embrace the design process is a fantastic foundation for us to continue to wow, WOW.

Cato Brand Partners


Click play to watch the world come to life

Creativity Inspiring Creativity

This environment is home to 2018 award-winning garment, Eye See You Fluffy Kōwhai. Immersed in a lush, living and breathing scene of yellow textured hills, this landscape offers more than meets the eye…

Tina Hutchison-Thomas of Christchurch, New Zealand, is the designer behind Eye See You Fluffy Kōwhai. Tina is a freelance costume designer and over the last 20 years, has been privileged to work in theatre, film, television, ballet and opera across Australia, China, South Africa and New Zealand. Tina first entered the World of WearableArt Awards Competition in 2017, and her entry Geogami – a futuristic ballgown – was a finalist in the 2017 Avant-garde Section. 

The following year Tina entered again and her garment, Eye See You Fluffy Kōwhai, also become a finalist in the Avant-garde Section. The garment was created using cotton, leather, faux fur and crystals and drew inspiration from an up-close look at the insect world: 


After looking at many insect images for my inspiration, I was drawn to the poodle moth with its beautiful fluffy body, which reminds me of luxurious opera cloaks from the 1920s. I also wanted to challenge myself with dying a non-traditional fabric like faux fur. 

The crystals represent the eye you see on so many butterflies and moths and it’s their unique identity. Magnified many times, they seem to look like little petals. There are approximately 3,500 crystals on the wings!

Tina Hutchison-Thomas


The garment took around 150 hours to construct, with each of the 3,500 crystals being glued on by hand! Eye See You Fluffy Kōwhai was awarded the 2018 New Zealand Design Award. The judges described the work of art as surreal and sensuous, praising Tina for the beautiful balance of different mediums used in the construction of the garment. 


Click play to watch Eye See You Fluffy Kōwhai on stage at the 2018 WOW Awards Show


WOW is honoured to work with talented creatives and extraordinary garments to develop campaigns such as this. We are constantly driven by our designers, and our friends, to be more innovative, more extensive and generally, just more of everything. 

This year we invite you to journey out of this world and join us in Wellington to see the 2019 finalist garments come to life on stage at the WOW Awards Show.


Book your tickets now  

26 September – 13 October | TSB Arena Wellington