At the World of WearableArt Awards Ceremony in Wellington on Friday 22 September 2017, 20 Awards, including the coveted Supreme WOW Award, were presented to 17 designers from 8 countries. 

Find out more about each of these designers through this series of Designer Profiles that we have created.

 

Inspired to become a WOW designer? Find out more about the 2018 Competition here. 

 

 

RINALDY YUNARDI

Jakarta, Indonesia

 

 

What is your day job? 
I am an accessory, millinery and lighting designer.

How long did it take to create Encapsulate and Cosmos?
Each garment took four months.

Who (or what) is your biggest creative inspiration?
My parents who are no longer alive are my biggest creative inspiration. They taught me about handicraft creation.

What is your most favourite creative tool? Or your favourite design technique?
I love to experiment with different materials and techniques so that every creation is unique.

What is your top tip for entering WOW?
Be bold. There is no limit to creativity.

 

 

 

Find out more:

Read our blog post on Rinaldy and his garments here

Follow Rinaldy Yunardi on Instagram

 

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ANNINA GULL

Zürich, Switzerland

 

What is your day job?
I’m a freelance costume designer, textile designer and tailor. I work for theatre, opera and film.

How long did it take to create 222 Buckle Belts?
In the end, it was 10 weeks. But 10 crazy weeks! I did it in my spare time and my father, mother, brother and partner helping me as my assistants and dialogue partners to find solutions.

Who (or what) is your biggest creative inspiration?
Actually, my main inspiration is life itself: nature, daily work, friends and family, my partner, my studio, different artists, a movie… As a warm-up for a project I find inspiration in just going through my day with open eyes and ears. And then, the more I’m going into the project, the more inspiration I get. So the process itself becomes the inspiration as well. I start with an idea, but it’s not something I can sketch on paper. Mostly I’m going on with the flow of the project, of the material I’m working with, and in the end, I’m as surprised about the result as much as are other people!

What is your most favourite creative tool? Or your favourite design technique?
Oh, that’s hard to answer. I like everything, I like to try out tools and techniques. So, hmm, at the moment I’m fascinated by knitting.

What is your top tip for entering WOW?
Take Dame Suzie’s sentence and try to feel it: “Against all odds, follow that dream, if you are passionate, it will happen.”

 

 

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GRACE DUVAL

Chicago (IL), United States

 

What is your day job?
I work as a Costume + Fashion Designer and Photographer. Every day is a different adventure in my studio!

How long did it take to create Refuse Refuge?
It took about five years from conception to completion! I first conceived of Refuse Refuge in 2012 while I was sitting on a tram in Antwerp, Belgium, where I was living at the time. I always knew I was building it for WOW, I just didn’t have the resources (or probably skills) to execute it properly when I first thought of it. I built it in a ton of different sections over the years, and it slowly evolved from a basic dress into the mammoth creature you see now!

Who (or what) is your biggest creative inspiration?
Materiality is really what drives me. I truly love nothing more than taking everyday objects and transforming them into garments that are beyond our imagination. I love making people do double-takes when they suddenly realize what the garment is actually made of. I also think it’s really important to reuse our waste instead of simply throwing it away. Every small action adds up, and if I can make something incredible while simultaneously keeping a few things from ending up in the landfill, then I call that a success.

What is your most favourite creative tool? Or your favourite design technique?
My sewing machine! First and foremost, I’m a seamstress by trade, and my industrial sewing machine has gotten me through everything. For Refuse Refuge I started working with an industrial walking foot, which changed my life. Sewing bike tubes is very difficult since they stretch and wiggle, and the walking foot made it seem like the easiest thing in the world to sew.

What is your top tip for entering WOW?
Don’t stop. Keep trying, keep doing, keep making. Fail a lot. If you want to enter WOW, DO IT! You might get in, you might not. Either way, make more and do it again. Being an artist is difficult. There’s nothing simple about it, from the amount of effort it takes to make something, to figuring out how to pay your rent and eat while making cool things, to trying to explain what the hell it is that you actually “do” to your friends, family, boss. It’s all very tough, and the worst thing you can do is stop or give up. Tenacity pays off.

 

 

 

Find out more:

Visit www.graceduval.com

 

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BEN GOULD & DAWN MOSTOW

Orting (WA), United States

 

What is your day job?
Ben is a senior product designer at Toysmith where he does full-cycle product development for a myriad of toys. Dawn is owner of Dawnamatrix, a latex clothing company world famous for celebrity and magazine editorial wardrobe.

How long did it take to create Labyrinth Gown?
The dress was created in a matter of days, but the technology took years to develop.

Who (or what) is your biggest creative inspiration?
Each other. Ever since meeting 11 years ago in plastics class at Pratt Institute, we have inspired one another to explore and combine our creative strengths.

What is your most favourite creative tool? Or your favourite design technique?
We love the possibilities that laser-cutting opens up, allowing us to achieve a level of detail not possible through traditional techniques.

What is your top tip for entering WOW?
Design with both close-up museum scale and large-format stage scale in mind.

 

 

Find out more:

Visit www.dawnamatrix.com

 

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ANNIE TEMMINK

Charlottesville (VA), United States

 

What is your day job?
Costumes are about 40-80% of my workload, depending on the season. The rest of the time I spend working for a local jeweler or building houses.

How long did it take to create Daisy?
Five days! I know it sounds crazy, but I got an email from World of WearableArt encouraging me to submit for the first time – five days before the deadline! I thought, wow! What a sign, I had better come up with something good! I started with a shape I came up with a few months prior, quadrupled the volume and worked every minute of those five days to finish it in time.

Who (or what) is your biggest creative inspiration?
Plant and leaf structures for their complex geometry, and Alvin Ailey Dance company for their passion-filled movement.

What is your most favourite creative tool? Or your favourite design technique?
A box cutter with a sharp blade.

What is your top tip for entering WOW?
Give it a shot! Don’t think you are ready? Submit something anyway. There is so much to be learned at every step of the process, you have nothing to lose.

 

 

 

Find out more:

Visit www.artemmink.com

 

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KATE FISHER

Wellington, New Zealand

 

What is your day job?
I’m a student, completing my honours degree in a Bachelors of Design, majoring in Fashion Design (at Massey University). I also work part time at Noel Leeming on the weekend.

How long did it take to create Does This Suit Me?
The design-to-making process altogether took about 12 weeks, but the physical construction took less than two weeks.

Who (or what) is your biggest creative inspiration?
I take a lot of inspiration from classic design. I love tailoring, and putting my own spin on it through distorting silhouette and proportion. My favourite designer is Thom Browne, it would be a dream come true if I ever got to work for him.

What is your most favourite creative tool? Or your favourite design technique?
I love the pattern-making process. I like to work both from flat 2D pattern-making, and draping straight on the mannequin. I think this combination of pattern-making that allows for the formation of a unique design.

What is your top tip for entering WOW?
The story. I think the story behind the garment is so important as it really influences your design making, and allows people to build a connection and stronger relationship with the garment.

 

 

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SAAR SNOEK

Rotterdam, Netherlands

 

What is your day job?
I am an artist. Recently I taught 19 students of VCUarts Qatar. They are making a modern prayer rug in felt and I will help them to solve their technical issues and translate their designs into felt. We are having a great time. So this week I am also a teacher.

How long did it take to create Human Nature?
I cannot answer that, because it was a sort of ongoing experiment next to my other activities, most of the time was spent by not knowing, just leaving it there, looking at it. It had its own pace.

Who (or what) is your biggest creative inspiration?
My biggest inspiration are natural patterns, and how these same patterns appear in different scales.

What is your most favourite creative tool? Or your favourite design technique?
My favourite tools are my hands, my favourite medium is wool, and my favourite technique is felting. Feeling the wool transform under your hands is magic.

What is your top tip for entering WOW?
Have fun and be curious. Make the process your goal and enjoy it. Don’t be afraid! At this moment, I am considering entering the 2018 show. Of course, I want to make something that moves people and will be great on stage, but my first interest is developing something new, challenging myself to stretch my creative and technical boundaries.

 

 

Find out more:

Visit www.saarsnoek.nl

 

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FIFI COLSTON

Wellington, New Zealand

 

What is your day job?
I’m a children’s book illustrator, arts and crafts presenter and general creative for hire.

How long did it take to create The Organ Farmer?
About 3 months on and off – lots of hand-stitching at night whilst watching Game of Thrones.

Who (or what) is your biggest creative inspiration?
I’m inspired by all kinds of artists in every area, writing, illustration, sculpture… I have massive FOMO and I want to try everything!

What is your most favourite creative tool? Or your favourite design technique?
My little maquettes on $2 shop Barbie dolls. They help me solve a multitude of design problems.

What is your top tip for entering WOW?
Create the story first (rather than retro fit a rationale to your finished design) and keep asking yourself, “have I expressed this in the best possible way?”.

 

 

Find out more:

Read our blog post about Fifi and her WOW experiences

Visit fificolston.blogspot.co.nz/

 

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ADAM MCALAVEY

London, United Kingdom

 

What is your day job?
When I’m not making wearable art for WOW I split my time between being a performance artist in fetish clubs and art events/festivals, and set building for the photographic industry, events and TV.

How long did it take to create Cube?
It’s hard to estimate how long it took to make as I did it on weekends and evenings after work and odd days off over a couple of months. Most of the time is doing tests and making adjustments to make it airtight and easy to get in and out of. Now I know how to do it I could make another one in a week!

Who (or what) is your biggest creative inspiration?
I’ve always been obsessed by special effects, models, costumes, puppets etc made for films. Whenever I’m working on something new I pour over my old effects books for inspiration. The combination of engineering and art excites me, I like things that look cool and come to life! George Melies and Ray Harryhausen films really get me going!

What is your most favourite creative tool? Or your favourite design technique?
I’ve experimented and worked with lots of different tools and techniques. I generally don’t get too attached to any of them, I tend to go with whatever works best for each project. I’m a scavenger and I come from a sculpture background so my sketches are generally three-dimensional, made from plasticine, cardboard, wire, Lego and anything I can find in the rubbish pile.

What is your top tip for entering WOW?
Something I’ve really taken from my experiences at WOW is how much the choreographer and performer can contribute to your piece. The way your piece moves can be as exciting as the way it looks. Also, I try to make things that work just as well for people sitting at the back of the massive arena as for those who are sitting at the front.

 

 

Find out more:

Read our blog post about Adam and his processes here

Visit electricadam.com

 

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MARIA TSOPANAKI & DIMITRI MAVINIS

London, United Kingdom

 

What is your day job?
Directors at Erevos Aether.

How long did it take to create The Spirit of Waitomo?
The Spirit of Waitomo took approximately 3-4 weeks of very hard work from design to packing.

Who (or what) is your biggest creative inspiration?
Diversity of cultures and myths. The creativity of humans in all art forms.

What is your most favourite creative tool? Or your favourite design technique?
We love intricate embellishment on garments, we feel it gives them a whole new dimension, a new identity, a craftsmanship used for centuries to add cultural signature on people’s garments.

What is your top tip for entering WOW?
Let your imagination free, design with no boundaries, always try sticking to the initial idea but also go with the flow. It’s incredible how fabric and different materials can tell you things when you listen to them during the process of making. Always remember that you should be the strictest judge of your own work.

 

 

Find out more:

Read more about Maria and Dimitri’s work and WOW journey here

Visit www.erevosaether.com/

 

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XU RAN

Shanghai, China

 

What is your day job?
I am a student studying fashion design. So, at the moment my job is to learn technical design and creative ideas, so that I have a solid foundation for a career.

How long did it take to create Cambrian Regeneration?
It was about a month for the real hands-on production, if you do not add time to find inspiration and design ideas.

Who (or what) is your greatest creative inspiration?
Insects! I am fascinated by all forms of insects in life, and from there I began to research the Cambrian Period. I learned about the creatures of this era and the incredible fossils. These creatures have been an inspiration for some of my practical design ideas.

What is your most favourite creative tool? Or your favourite design technique?
Sewing machines and 3D printing technology. Sewing machines are essential for realising many of my fashion designs. But 3D printing technology is amazing because there are no limits to form and material in the completion of a garment. 3D printing encourages the designer to really play with their own imagination, to design beyond what you think is possible, and then to actually print out these design ideas.

What is your top tip for entering WOW?
In my opinion, you need to do a lot of research, so you can be really aware of what other designers are doing, and look for excellence in their work. You can learn a lot from other people. And then you can get inspiration from what is around you. Take inspiration from others, and then combine it with your own ideas. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Have courage to see if your own ideas can be designed into reality. This is my top recommendation for the WOW competition.

 

 

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JULIAN HARTZOG

Tarpon Springs (FL), United States

 

What is your day job?
I have a degree in Electrical Engineering, however most of my life I have been a Real Estate Investor. I’m now 80 years old and have had many hobbies and interest. I got my private pilot license when I was 17 years old. I raced sailboats when I was young. I studied classical architecture for ten years and designed and built my own home, as well as designing and building some of the furniture. I paint portraits and I teach painting to friends. I started designing and building wearable art about five years ago.

How long did it take to create Like Nothing I Had Ever Seen Before?
When I was decided to design a Science Fiction character I began with a cape with scallops. Although the drawings looked good the outfit did not. Finally, I decided to use wings, but kept the scallops theme and used them in the skirt and headpiece. It took about four months and the model must have had about seven fittings.

Who (or what) is your biggest creative inspiration?
My friend Sandy Schwartz, she believes in me and keeps me going and makes a lot of good suggestions.

What is your most favourite creative tool? Or your favourite design technique?
Making garments out of sheet metal is very difficult. The metal can only be bent is one direction, therefore the designs are limited. I have developed several design and construction techniques that make it possible to get the shape and size I want. Because of these techniques I have been able to construct my garments with a minimum number of pieces of sheet metal, which makes my designs unique. After I won the International Award for the Americas in 2015 with Starship Girl a patron said, “Simple Elegance”. I like that.

What is your top tip for entering WOW?
When I’m asked for advice on creating wearable art I always say, think art not clothes. I always have better designs I follow my own advice.

 

 

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R.R. PASCOE

Blue Mountains, Australia

 

What is your day job?
I’m an artist and Arts Educator, with a formal background in Mental Health, Community Development and Drug and Alcohol work.

How long did it take to create Mollusca?
Roughly three months of sewing, sculpting and squinting!

Who (or what) is your biggest creative inspiration?
My two largest creative inspirations are the art deco era, including the work of Sculptor and Costume designer, Etre. And Punk, in both its aesthetic, particularly the work of Vivienne Westwood, and the creative egalitarianism of its DIY ethos.

What is your most favourite creative tool? Or your favourite design technique?
I would have to say that my favourite creative tool is my hands. And, as they grow increasingly impaired with age and over-use, my eyes!

What is your top tip for entering WOW?
In the delirium of all the last minute, late night, deadline crunching, desperate, and disillusioned moments, remember that the second the lights hit your work on stage, it all becomes so, SO worth it!

 

 

Find out more:

Visit www.rrpascoeart.com

 

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LIAM BRANDON MURRAY

Derby, United Kingdom

 

What is your day job?
I’m a hairdresser and salon owner.

How long did it take to create Angel of a Different Kind?
If you were to start something like this from scratch, with no sculptures or moulds, something like this would take around two and a half years. However, with experience, I have got that down to two and a half months.

Who (or what) is your biggest creative inspiration?
My creative inspiration is the Old Masters, the likes of Leonardo de Vinci and Michelangelo. I believe there is going to be a revival in the Old Masters’ style of art. We have had several decades of all the modern forms of art and I feel there is nothing new coming out of there. So, if my hunch is right, I am here to help that along.

What is your most favourite creative tool? Or your favourite design technique?
Classic sculpture with a twist.

What is your top tip for entering WOW?
Work, work, work. If you are not prepared to do that then don’t bother entering (and I mean that in a positive way).

 

 

Find out more:

Read our blog post about Liam and his garments here

 

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CAROLYN GIBSON

Auckland, New Zealand

 

What is your day job?
I am a Master Milliner. I have a workroom for making fashion hats for Weddings and Races, as well as for teaching millinery.

How long did it take to create The Seeker?
I started The Seeker in November 2016 and by Christmas I had created the concept on paper as well as on my dress form. Of course, it was only pinned, but I was happy with the way the material manipulation looked. In January I created the helmet, then went back to constructing the under shape and attaching the PVC top covering. In March, disaster struck at the design’s first fitting, with the PVC splitting and peeling away, so that meant I had to work some very long hours to salvage what I could and then recut patterns from Lycra. From start to finish it would took a total of seven months.

Who (or what) is your biggest creative inspiration?
What first inspired me to have a go was a visit to a WOW exhibition at Auckland Museum in 2014. I thought I would love to see a design of mine on display, so with some encouraging words from my family, I just went for it. My second inspirational place to go to get the creative juices going would have to be Pinterest.

What is your most favourite creative tool? Or your favourite design technique?
My heat gun is my most favourite tool. I like to try and push the boundaries to see what I can come up with next.

What is your top tip for entering WOW?
First, set yourself a goal, it should scare you a little but excite you a lot, and give yourself plenty of time to create something absolutely amazing.

 

 

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