The World of Wearable Art (better known as WOW) has grown spectacularly over the last 25 years to become a unique international design competition at the intersection of fashion and art, attracting designers and artists of all persuasions from around the world. It started life over 25 years ago in Nelson, New Zealand as a way to raise money for the local art gallery.
Now the event is held in Wellington in September/October each year and draws audiences of around 50,000 people. Bookings open in February and it pays to book as early as possible for the show and for accommodation as Wellington is often fully booked at that time. The whole city seems to come to the party to make it a success.
It is a truly spectacular event – definitely not just a fashion show – it is a wonderfully choreographed and designed performance with music, dance, light shows, you name it…. There are many different themes (including a children’s section and Bizarre Bras) and each segment is designed to best showcase the creative excellence. The range of different garments entered in the competition is truly amazing; basically anything that is in anyway wearable (no matter what it is made of) can be entered as long as it is original, beautifully designed and well-made.
If you enjoy creativity and the fun of a fantastic spectacle then I recommend that you make the effort to attend this wonderful show at least once in your life. I have been twice now and will definitely go again. You can make a weekend of it and enjoy what Wellington has to offer while you are down there.
If shows aren’t your thing then you can visit the WOW Museum down in Nelson that cunningly includes a classic car museum along with the wearable art to keep everyone happy. This has displays of many of the past entries in the competition – and you get to see them up close.
The really cool thing is that there is now a touring exhibition showing the very best of WOW’s permanent collection. It is currently in Auckland until 22 March but then is off touring the world over the next 5 years – first to Australia and then on the US. So if you can’t come and see the spectacular event in NZ, it may just come to you.
Here is just a sample of some of the fabulous award winning garments on tour to whet your appetite.
And some of the truly Bizarre Bras
For tours in New Zealand see:
Adventure Tours Australia (yes they have NZ tours too).
Intrepid Travel (a range of different travel styles – see my post on travel styles)
Peregrine Adventures (Comfort tours)
Geckos Adventures (for 18 to 30s)
Note: After people telling me they had booked an Intrepid Tour on my recommendation, I now have affiliate links with the Intrepid Travel group of companies and may receive a commission if you book a tour online within a couple of months after clicking through to these sites. So if you are enjoying my tips and stories and finding them useful in choosing your own travel, please click on these links and help me to bring you more ☺.