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With a passion for creativity, Abhishek Chauhan is an Indian fashion designer who studied at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Mumbai before pursuing a certification in Business and Branding at the London College of Fashion in London.

He believes in unconventional art and loves to experiment with different materials, and his unique style combines craftsmanship in his work reflecting his deep understanding of fashion design.  

We sat down with Abhishek after his 2023 First-time Entrant Award win to discuss his first WOW adventure.

What did you think of the show?

I think the show is a very soulful thing overall. Sarah and Angela, (WOW Head of Competition and Competition Coordinator), are amazing, and I think the whole crew is amazing. My garment – when it arrived in New Zealand – it broke in customs. It broke a little bit, but then the whole WOW team took care of it, and then I feel the people of WOW are amazing. And how the whole thing is organised is brilliant.

Honestly what I feel, as a designer - everyone should apply for WOW, it’s a huge platform to put yourself out, put your thoughts out on that stage, and I think that in the entire world there is no other competition, no other show in the world that can match this level of performance. It was amazing, I loved it.  

What did you think seeing your garment for the first time on the WOW stage?  

I got goosebumps, yeah, the feeling was really amazing, you know, since it was my first time in WOW, and I was not expecting any kind of award, because people are much more experienced – they've applied, seen how the show goes, so when I saw my garment with the others it was an amazing feeling for me.  

Oizys - Goddess of  Emotion, Abhishek Chauhan, India
Do you have a special design process when creating your art works?  

My process is a little different, and maybe that goes for all the designers and artistic people, but the moment I have to follow a process – things don’t come out nice, so I can’t follow any particular process, it changes in each and every garment. I think it should come from within you, and what you want to do.  

Process is complicated, but easy if you understand what to do and what you want to get out of your garment. Everyone will have their process, but it comes down to taking the time to explore and experiment.

So, if I talk about my garment, I’m into liquid art and I do a lot of liquid art on flat canvases.  I am very passionate and emotional, and I find liquid art a very emotional thing. So, when I did it, it became how I transfer it onto a body? I taped my whole dress form, poured paint on it and waited 24 hours, then 48 hours – in the end it took me one year to figure out how to get those drips in place!

What would you say to someone else who is looking to enter WOW for the first time?  

I want to say to them, even if they are entering or not entering WOW, I want to say to all the designers, they should be passionate about exploring things. Exploration is very important, so if you go buy some fabric or do a little embroidery – that's fine – but if you want to apply for a competition like WOW, you can explore a lot – not just fabrics – you can look around at yourself and get appreciation for that at World of WearableArt.  

You can follow Abhishek on Instagram at @galactic_filament_voids.

Designer Abhishek Chauhan receiving his award from WOW judge Brett Graham for his work Oizys - Goddess of Emotion.

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