WOW - World of WearableArt


1 Cadillac Way, Nelson, New Zealand 
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We are sorry to say that the World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum, including the WOW Cafe will be closed to the public from 4pm Saturday 21 March 2020, until further notice. We will provide updates via our website and Facebook page as our nation moves out of lock down. The closure is to support the efforts of our country in reducing the risk of spread of Covid-19 and to protect our community and our people. Thank you for your understanding.

World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum

The Museum showcases two very distinct collections that collide in a celebration of design, innovation and wonder. Where else in the world can you see a stunning selection of more than 50 wearable art garments, alongside more than 140 veteran, vintage and classic cars? 

The World of WearableArt is a testament to the imagination, with the current exhibition, 2019 World of WearableArt Exhibition showcasing finalist garments from the 2019 WOW Awards Show. The exhibition allows visitors to get up close and see these incredible works of art in detail. The exhibition also features audio-visual from the Show. The Classic Car Collection displays a stunning range of cars dating from 1908, all in immaculate condition. 

Together the wearable art and collectible cars epitomise the very heart of WOW – exploring the boundaries of design so that creativity and invention can thrive in a world of limitless possibilities. 

The 2019 World of WearableArt Exhibition 

The World of WearableArt invites you to enter the wondrous worlds of WOW and celebrate the infinite possibilities of creativity. 

Open to the public from Friday 29 November 2019, the latest exhibition at the National WOW Museum includes finalist garments from the 2019 WOW Awards Show.

The 2019 WOW Awards Show showcased 108 garments, by 115 designers from 22 countries and regions. This exhibition features over 60 of these stunning creations and is the best way to truly appreciate the skill and detailing of the garments. 

Journey with us through the six worlds of WOW 2019; Open, Mythology, Transform, Avant-garde, Aotearoa & White.

The exhibition epitomises the heart of WOW – that anyone can enter the competition, as long as they can meet the challenge to create a piece of wearable art that is original, innovative and truly exceptional. 

Garment credit: Escaped Pods, Lynn Christiansen, United States (2019 Open Section Finalist)

Nelson Classic Car Collection

The car is undeniably a big part of our lives. The changes within the automotive industry in the last 100 years reflect the changes in society as a whole. Fashions, trends, experiments, advancements, indulgences, from veteran and vintage through to the classic – these are all reflected in the Nelson Classic Car Collection. 

100 Years of Motoring showcases an eclectic, world-class private collection that is one of Australasia’s largest. The Collection celebrates the art of motoring, showing how the car is intrinsic to changing times, technology and events. It contains some of the moust sought-after models in classic motoring, presented at the highest standard. 

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Cafe & Retail Store

Opened in 2001, the Museum now welcomes more than 40,000 local and international visitors each year. In its bespoke building in one of New Zealand’s most charmed cities, the WOW Museum is the perfect destination for design enlightenment. There is also the WOW cafe, with its superb selection of daily-fresh fine food and excellent locally-roasted coffee, which can be enjoyed inside or out beside a tranquil pool. 

The Retail Store features a tempting selection of locally crafted jewellery, ceramics, textiles, gifts and books alongside an exclusive range of World of WearableArt Awards Show and Classic Cars souvenirs. 

This year, our flagship exhibition, which featured 32 award-winning garments, has come home after a five-year journey overseas. Almost 650,000 people have visited in Australia, the United States and Russia! While we are delighted to welcome these garments home, it’s been a joy to put our incredible collection in front of fresh eyes and have new audiences embrace our vision of wearable art. 


Where did we travel?

Here are some of the wonderful museums and institutes that hosted the International Touring Exhibition over the last five years: 

Auckland Museum, Auckland, New Zealand

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, Australia

Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI

EMP Museum, Seattle, WA

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA

Erarta Museum, St Petersburg, Russia

Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, CO

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