National WOW MuseumDaily: 10am - 5pm
The National WOW Museum’s Must-See Summer Programme opens with an exhibition of the 2016 international competition wearable art finalists including Nelson’s own Supreme winner, Supernova by Gillian Saunders and garments by designers for celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Madonna. This is the only chance to see the winners exhibited together in their competition categories before they either join the permanent historical collection or are returned to their creators.
At the heart of WOW is an international design competition that attracts hundreds of entries. In 2016 designers from 40 countries entered garments in the competition with finalists from 14 being selected to appear on stage in the WOW Awards Show. The range of entries produced for each year’s WOW competition is simply breath-taking, as the rules of competition mean that anything that is in any way wearable can find a place on stage – as long as it is original, beautifully designed and well-made. This means our designers build their garments from an extraordinary array of materials, challenging expectations every time.
The competition is structured in sections which present specific challenges to designers. Three remain constant from year-to-year, Open, Aotearoa, and Avant Garde with Bizarre Bra recurring every second year. In 2016 there were an additional three sections: Creative Excellence, Costume and Film, and Performance Art.
A second wearable art exhibition presents a retrospective look at the work of the remarkable WOW designer, the late Claire Prebble, while a red hot Ford ‘moonshine runner’ joins Nelson’s eclectic Classic Car Collection.