WOW - World of WearableArt



Welcome to the World of WearableArt

Welcome to our world, the World of WearableArt

For over 30 years, World of WearableArt (WOW) has been embracing the worlds of art, design and fashion and bringing them together into a theatrical performance. The first WOW Show took place back in 1987 under a rain-soaked marquee in rural Nelson, New Zealand. Local sculptor and WOW Founder, Dame Suzie Moncrieff, first came up with the idea of World of WearableArt as a means of promoting a local co-operative art gallery; by taking art off the wall and displaying it on the moving body.



Left: William Higgins Gallery, Nelson, New Zealand (1987)

Today the World of WearableArt Competition attracts entrants from more than 40 countries around the world each year, with designers creating extraordinary works of wearable art that are then brought to life on stage in the annual WOW Show in Wellington in front of an audience of around 60,000 people. For the audience, it is a theatrical spectacular that is a feast for the eyes. For designers, it is an opportunity to take on the ultimate creative challenge and to become part of an international design community.



Right: The Messenger, Dawn Mostow & Lana Crooks, United States (2017)

Since that inaugural event in 1987, over 830,000 people have seen a WOW Show, over 10,500 people have worked on a WOW Show and we have showcased more than 4,985 finalist garments on stage. We thank and salute the designers, the cast and crew and our audience who have supported us in our journey so far. 

We look forward to continuing to inspire you.


Find out more about the World of WearableArt (WOW) Competition

Find out more about the World of WearableArt (WOW) Show



Left: 2018 World of WearableArt Show, Open Section (30th anniversary show)

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