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WearableArt walking trail will surprise and delight

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Spatial design students Sophie Harkness and Hannah Cundy and textile design student Kim Dychinco with the exhibit Voyage to Revolution, which features lace balls suspended from above the installation

Textile design student Julia Hope alongside

the exhibit Deadly Beauty she helped to

install, which features at its base her work

and that of fellow textile design students

Oscar Keys, Olivia Edginton and Shyam Patel.

Other students in the intern group are Emma

Davidson and Kate Scotland

It’s called WOW Wander and that’s what this celebration of the World of WearableArt Awards sets out to do, on a Wellington walk showcasing 16 WOW garments at various locations in the capital.

As part of its 30th anniversary celebrations, WOW enlisted the help of spatial and textile design students from Massey University’s College of Creative Arts to design and curate the walking trail of retail, hotel and museum locations. The student design team has also been assisted and mentored by award-winning exhibition company Workshop e.

WOW chief executive Gisella Carr sees the project as an exciting Wellington experience to celebrate WOW.

"Creativity is central to WOW, and we were delighted to initiate this project with Massey University, drawing from our extensive, historical collection of award-winning garments. The WOW Wander gives audiences the chance to see some of these outstanding works. Visitors to Wellington can explore the various areas of the city through walking the Wander trail," she says.

Massey University project manager Linda Baxter describes the trail as a "a unique and exciting opportunity for student teams to design and develop an overarching element that makes the WOW Wander a cohesive experience focussed on beauty, whimsy and magic. It is a wonderful opportunity for the students to work on a real project, working with a very high-profile project and with industry experts."

The 16 award-winning garments represent designs from five countries and are on display in 12 locations from Te Papa, David Jones, the Intercontinental, QT Museum Wellington, L’affare, Ricoh, Circa Theatre and the Wellington Public Library.

The student interns were asked to devise a unifying theme that runs through each of the installations throughout the duration of the World of Wearable Art Awards from September 27 to October 14, which this year marks its 30th anniversary.

Initially mentored from the United States by renowned New York-based designer Mio Guberinic, and with input from WOW founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff, the students worked with an installation team from production company Workshop e and WOW to place the exhibits in the lead up to the awards show event.

The WOW Wander project has been devised with the support of the Wellington City Council and the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency.

Mr Guberinic’s background working in a wide range of theatre productions as a costume designer and his strong art background and construction skills provided the students receive valuable feedback about their contributions to the installation.

One of the featured garments called Wooden Lace is by Massey University School of Design senior lecturer Tanya Marriott and pays homage to the designs of Victorian artist William Morris. It is a tongue-in-cheek look at the revolution of the arts and craft aesthetic using a combination of modern manufacturing techniques and hand labour.

Other garments include an entry from China by Xi Zhang with the name of Deadly Beauty. Located in the foyer of the QT Museum Hotel, the overall profile of the exhibit is like a huge beetle with the colour inspiration deriving from the look of the scarlet macaw from South America. The exhibit Voyage To Revolution created by New Zealand designer Carolyn Gibson, and sited at the Cable Car Museum in Kelburn, was inspired by the story of Marie Antoinette whose extravagant lifestyle and choices in wardrobe and jewellery helped provoke the unrest that led to the French Revolution.

Third-year spatial design students Hannah Cundy and Sophie Harkness, with textile design student Kim Dychinco, addressed issues around visitor flow with their contribution of lantern-like lace balls which also reflected the installation’s themes.

"We were inspired by the particular style of the exhibit and the [period imagery] detail on the skirt of the dress," Hannah says.

Another design, originating from the UK but inspired by Māori folklore, called Princess Niwareka by Maria Tsopanaki and Dmitri Mavinis, is a garment using leather and mirrors that reflects Tā Moko designs and features different Māori symbols. It is located at the Hotel Intercontinental.

The WOW Wander, part of the 2018 World of Wearable Art Awards continues till October 14

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