If I’m honest, I was very surprised. I had always thought of Nelson, New Zealand as a pleasant, agricultural town boasting also a port, a nice beach and a bit of a boutique feel. For most tourists visiting the South Island, it serves as a gateway to the spectacular wilds of the Nelson Lakes, Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks. I did not expect Nelson to be the home of one of the more astonishing testaments to the human impulse to create beautiful stuff.
The World of WearableArt™ – or WOW – began as the brainchild of Suzie Moncrieff who, in 1987, organised an event to promote a rural art gallery in Nelson. Her unique idea has grown into a major annual show held in Wellington. It draws entries from all over the globe. The garments entered for the shows are stunning in their design and manufacture; their exhibition is carefully choreographed. The Nelson-based and permanent manifestation of these shows is the tastefully designed World of WearableArt™ and Classic Cars Museum.
To glimpse the World of WearableArt™ is to be seduced into a world of heart-stopping beauty and mind-numbing creativity. It is more than fashion. It is more than costume. It is more than theatre. It is at once thrilling and inspiring.
Good advice would be to make New Zealand your destination and take in the World of WearableArt™. Better advice would be to make the World of WearableArt™ your destination and take in New Zealand. So why all the hype? Here are some of the winners. Just enjoy!
World of WearableArt™ is an original concept created by Suzie Moncrieff in 1987 and owned by World of WearableArt™ Limited. Images reproduced here by kind permission of World of WearableArt™ and Classic Cars Museum; Nelson, New Zealand.