Eye See You Fluffy Kowhai, Tina Hutchison-Thomas, New Zealand

Tina Hutchison-Thomas 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. Then she started to dream about what she could create for the 2018 Competition … 

I wanted to challenge myself with dying a non-traditional fabric like faux fur …

After looking at many insect images for inspiration, Tina was drawn to the poodle moth, with its beautiful fluffy body, which reminded her of luxurious opera cloaks from the 1920s. The garment was created using cotton, leather, faux fur and crystals creating patterns and design based on an up-close look at the insect world.

You’ll be able to get up close to the surreal and sensuous Eye See You Fluffy Kōwhai at our new exhibition opening soon at Te Papa – World of WearableArt – Up Close | Ao KākahuToi – Kia Tata 


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. 

An Up Close Top Tip: 

Eye See You Fluffy Kōwhai took around 150 hours to construct, and there are approximately 3,500 crystals on the wings that were glued on by hand. See how many you can count when you get up close to this award-wining garment! 


Tickets are on sale now! 

Running for a strictly limited season only from Saturday 12 December 2020 – Sunday 14 February 2021, don’t miss your chance to experience this theatrical journey and immersive exhibition with World of WearableArt!