The 33rd iteration of the world-renowned World of WearableArt™ (WOW) Show is set to be one of the biggest, boldest, and brightest yet, with the announcement today of a whopping 120 designers from 22 countries. The futuristic 2023 World of WearableArt™ Show: BEYOND features the return of the beloved WOW category, Bizarre Bra, unleashes a huge cast of spectacular performers, and sees the TSB Arena dripping in Gold in this year’s feature section of the same name.
The global wearable art competition provides a unique opportunity for its finalist designers, many of whom prepare for years to be included in the line-up. The breathtaking stage show, which unites art, dance, aerial performance, music, and mind-blowing stage design and effects, delivers an experience like no other for audiences.
More than $185,000 of awards and prizes are up for grabs in 2023, across three recurring sections, Aotearoa, Avant-garde and Open, and three additional sections, Mars and Beyond, Gold, and the iconic Bizarre Bra.
“Once again we find ourselves in awe at the level of creative ingenuity, craftmanship and pure inventiveness that designers bring to the WOW Competition,” says WOW Head of Competition Sarah Nathan.
“In the 2023 WOW Show: BEYOND audiences will see a mind-bending array of materials ranging from potato bags, shoe rubber, bees wax, latex and bamboo, to drone waste, Barbie dolls, children’s sweets, keyboards and synthetic hair!
“This year’s finalists also provide moments of reflection and conversation as they present back to us some of the most pressing global issues of our time. Fast fashion waste, mental health, women’s empowerment, climate change and online bullying are all conveyed through the most extraordinary creations of wearable art,” Nathan says.
The finalists will go through two further stages of judging, in which they are assessed on stage, before the winners are announced at the 2023 WOW Show Awards Night on Friday 22 September at TSB Arena.
The 2023 judging panel comprises WOW Founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff; Aotearoa New Zealand sculptor and Arts Foundation Laureate Brett Graham (Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, Tainui); partner, designer and Director of WORLD Benny Castles; and Wētā Workshop Emerging Designer Award Judge – co-founder, CEO and Creative Director of Wētā Workshop, Sir Richard Taylor.
Head Judge Dame Suzie Moncrieff says, “It has been both an honour and a privilege to view the incredible works of wearable art presented over judging weekend. I was most impressed by the high standard and originality of each entry.”
The 2022 WOW Show was the most-attended to date, with an audience of nearly 64,000 people from across the country and the world. The event generated a gross economic benefit to the Te Ūpoko O Te Ika A Maui / Wellington region of over $30 million.
This year’s season is set to be another unmissable event, Nathan says.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the coming-together of finalist designers' genius and the fantastical vision of the WOW creative team is going to provide the most spectacular WOW yet. I have been warning all my friends – be prepared to have your mind blown, and if you haven't got your tickets yet, run!”
WOW 2023 takes up residence in the TSB Arena in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington, from 20 September to 8 October 2023. Due to overwhelming demand, an additional performance has recently been released, on Tuesday 3 October.
Tickets are now on sale now at www.worldofwearableart.com
2023 Competition Finalist Designers
Lau Siu San
Choy Yuk Nga
Marianne van Heeswijk
Ben Ng-Wai Shing
Erna Van Der Wat
Jo Marie Odgers
Joanne Van Wyk
Lena Van Der Wat
Cathy, Sin Wei Chow