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Revolution, Hanna Smith, Australia

Creating Your Garment

Wearable art is all about adorning the human form. So considerations around using the body as a foundation should be central to your design.

"WOW rewards the curious, the courageous and those who are passionate enough to stand in the face of self-doubt and embrace creativity no matter the cost." Dame Suzie Moncrieff, WOW Founder

To enter the World of WearableArt Competition you need to create a complete garment. You can start making your garment at any stage. Some designers will work on an entry for years, whilst others start on their entry when the competition opens that year and unique categories are announced. Simply decide the section theme/s that most inspires you and get creating! 

Every entrant needs to first create a WOW designer profile in order to begin the entry process. Design teams are welcome to enter a garment together, teams can comprise up to three designers. Each team is asked to nominate a lead designer to complete the online entry process and is the main point of contact, however all designers in a team need to create their own individual WOW designer profiles.

Top Tips

Read the Competition Rules

The competition rules are both a great resource for creating your garment but also the place to check that all your hard work is eligible for the WOW Competition.

Read the Competition Rules here.


Before creating a garment that uses animal or plant products, establish whether the products are protected or allowed into New Zealand. You may not use perishable materials, unless properly treated. Think about innovative ways to use and manipulate your materials.

Time Management & Key Dates

Make sure you build in time for deadlines, for example photographing your garments, freighting your garment. Plan backwards from the deadlines we have supplied. Discover the key dates, deadlines and freighting dates here.

Use of Branding

The use of trademarks, logos or brands is not allowed.

Garment Dimension Guidelines

Your garment must be no more than 1.5m wide in order to enter and exit the WOW stage and must be able to walk up a 12 degree ramp. Once onstage, the garment may extend or expand in size up to 3 metres, but must be able to retract and exit the stage safely.

Model requirements

WOW provides all models from first judging through to show. We carefully select the right model for your garment. If you have a particular creative vision that impacts model selection, please reach out to us and also note it in your entry. We provide guidelines for measurements in our competition terms and conditions.


Your garment must be safe to wear and allow the model to see clearly and move easily while wearing your work of art. Think about the vision of the model on stage - stage lighting is very different to home or studio lighting; it is much brighter and comes from many directions. Jewels around the eyes can cause a kaleidoscope effect impeding vision. Garments cannot block more than one of the following vision fields: Peripheral, central, and ground (up to 1.5m ahead of feet).


The stage can get very warm and movement can also restrict breathing, there needs to be sufficient breathing holes and breathing space in headpieces; insufficient breathing holes can fog up eye coverings and become very dangerous. Balaclavas need to be open or have mesh for the nose, mouth and eyes.


Shoes complete the look of a garment. Please use good quality or new shoes, especially if they are high heels. Well-worn shoes can be dangerous or have damaged parts that soon become broken.


All electrical wiring used in a WOW entry must be safe and simple to operate in New Zealand. WOW encourages designers creating entries with electrical components to have them checked by a qualified electrician prior to sending them to Nelson for judging. Here are guidelines to consider when creating your entry and preparing your dressing instructions.

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First Time Entrants

When you are entering the WOW Competition for the first time there are lots of things to think about. As you work on your concept, remember that wearable art is all about using the human body as a site for art. It is a wonderful opportunity to really think outside the square, challenge yourself to innovate and push the boundaries.

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Photographing your Garment

An important part of the online entry process is photographing your garment for our selectors to see your work. You need to provide four images that show the front, back, and side views with a plain background. The following page provides a guideline to capturing and uploading your photos, including tips for the best outcomes.

Learn more

Video your garment

To assist the judges with making the best possible assessment of each entry, designers are able to provide a short video showing their garment from all angles. We encourage all designers to submit a video if possible, as it shows us how the garment moves, and this is a very important part of your design entry.

Learn more

Final Checks

Are you WOW ready? Check all the steps to make sure you and your entry is ready.

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