Welcome to World of WearableArt (WOW), the world’s leading wearable art competition that showcases finalist garments in a spectacular stage show held in Wellington, New Zealand attracting an audience of around 60,000 people.
For over thirty years, the World of WearableArt Awards Competition has invited designers from around the world and from all backgrounds to create the unimaginable, to challenge the conventional and defy creative expectations as they make works of art that will be brought to life at the WOW Awards Show. The Competition is a unique platform to share and showcase your creativity with the world.
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Before you begin on your journey into the World of WearableArt Awards Competition, watch the video below to find out more about what it’s like to be part of the World of WearableArt community from some of the 2019 finalist designers!
The Competition is internationally renowned and attracts entries from over 40 countries. Whether you’re entering to design free from commercial restraint, to add to your student portfolio or to push the limits of your imagination, the World of WearableArt Awards Competition offers you a truly unique creative outlet.
These webpages have been created as a guide on “how to WOW”! You’ll be taken through what you need to know about creating a work of wearable art and entering the Competition. Across the pages you will find out more about the 2021 section themes, key dates and deadlines as well as things to consider when making your garment.
Hear what four New Zealand award-winning designers recently had to say about entering the World of WearableArt Awards Competition including advice for first-time entrants.
The World of WearableArt Awards Competition is open to anyone over the age of 18, from anywhere around the world.
Designers enter from the worlds of fashion, textile or industrial design, jewellery, architecture, engineering, sculpture and painting or homemaking. We see designers realising creative ideas that they’ve had for a long time, sometimes years, and others use the section themes to spark a new vision.
Anything that is wearable art can find a place on the stage, as long as it is original, innovative and well executed.
Lady Ethereal, Dawn Mostow & Snow Winters, United States (2018)
As well as a total prize pool of over $185,000 (NZD), the Competition offers you the chance to experience exclusive residencies and internships with global creative companies, experiment with new techniques and technologies and build on professional portfolios of designer work.
When you enter the Competition you become part of an international design community and have the opportunity to have your work exhibited alongside designers and artists from around the world!
World of WearableArt is proud to profile and promote our design community and their breathtaking works of wearable art through our social channels, via national and international media outlets, and by organising exclusive exhibitions and photoshoots.
In 2021 there are 33 awards and prizes, including the coveted Supreme WOW Award.
Mind the Synaptic Gap, Grace DuVal, United States | Axminstress, Kate MacKenzie, New Zealand (2018)
Finalist garments are selected and award-winners chosen through three rounds of closed judging. Closed judging means that the judges are aware of the garment name, and the inspiration behind the work of art, however the designers’ details are not disclosed. The judging panel comprises of World of WearableArt Founder and Resident Judge, Dame Suzie Moncrieff, and two guest judges from the worlds of art and fashion.
The first round of judging is known as First Judging, and it is a milestone event in the WOW calendar; over three days all entries are dressed on models in full hair and makeup for assessment by the judging panel. All entries selected at First Judging will feature in the WOW Awards Show that year.
In the second and final judging stages, Sir Richard Taylor CEO and Creative Director of Weta Workshop, B. Akerlund from The Residency Experience and an international guest will judge from the finalist garments for their relevant specific awards.