In an intensive weekend of judging, three Brancott Estate World of WearableArt Awards Show judges have agreed on the finalists for the 2012 Brancott Estate WOW Awards Show from 327 entries.
The Brancott Estate WOW Awards Show is now in its 24th year and is New Zealand's single largest arts show, with more than 50,000 show goers from around the world attending every year. In a breathtaking two-hour spectacular of art, theatre, dance, and music, incredible designs are brought to life. This year's Brancott Estate WOW show season in Wellington runs from 27th September to 7th October.
This last weekend (7/8 July), at WOW's Nelson headquarters, guest judges, Auckland artist Gregor Kregar and Christchurch fashion designer Takaaki Sakaguchi, joined WOW Founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff to scrutinise the 327 garments entered into the 2012 show. The finalists have now been chosen, and the designers will be notified of their garment's success next week. Then there will be two further judging rounds to decide the section winners and the overall Supreme winner.
Competition Director Heather Palmers says it has been a fantastic weekend of judging.
"The Avant Garde and Open Sections are probably our strongest sections this year - certainly our biggest - and the South Pacific section is just beautiful," Palmer says. "There are definitely standouts in every category, with designers being inventive and incredibly clever with new technology.
"There were 327 garments to judge on the weekend, and we had a team of 40 people at WOW on both days of judging, with each person given a role to play," she says. "The judging process is now a well-oiled and experienced machine. Personally, I have been involved in every judging weekend since WOW started, as have many others who were here on the weekend.
"Even some of the models have modelled for the judges, and in the Brancott Estate WOW Awards Show itself, for five or more years," Palmer says. "These experienced WOW models came to Nelson for the weekend, and with full hair and make-up done, they presented the garments in the best way possible for the judges."
Dame Suzie says the garments entered this year are "brilliant".
"Once again I am impressed by the talent of the designers who have entered WOW from all over the world, and I would like to thank all of them for their incredible hard work," says Moncrieff. "I am now really looking forward to working with these garments in the performance aspect of the Brancott Estate WOW Awards Show."
Guest judge Gregor Kregar says judging weekend was amazing and he was thrilled to be involved.
"The WOW experience over the last two days has been very stimulating," Kregar says. "It is fantastic to see the interesting use of materials so close up. As a sculptor, my work is multi-disciplinary and I like to use different materials, so I can relate very well to many of the WOW garments. They are all inspiring, but I am also impressed at the obvious standouts in each category."
Fellow guest judge Takaaki Sakaguchi says one of the key things he was looking for was "something new".
"As Gregor has said, the WOW garments are all amazing, but we were especially looking for new ideas compared to other years," Sakaguchi says. "The standout pieces for me did exactly that - they were inspired by a new idea and then merged brilliantly with different materials and textures. It has been fascinating to see all the WOW garments so intimately, and to hear the stories of each design's inspiration."
The 2012 Brancott Estate WOW Awards Show includes the following section categories:
The Tourism New Zealand Avant Garde Section this year is the largest section. Avant Garde is where art and fashion collide! Designers are asked to create a wearable work of art that is revolutionary, extravagant and extrovert, but still stylish and made with skill. Designers are driven by dreams and fantasies, not commercial reality or the usual restrictions of fashion.
The American Express Open Section is also substantial this year. This section has no thematic boundaries, giving designers complete freedom in concept, construction and materials. This section encourages a high degree of originality and innovation.
The Gen-i Creative Excellence Section's theme this year is Visual Symphony. Designers were asked to design a work of art that makes sound. Now that the finalists have been chosen, each piece will be choreographed to a music score composed especially for this section. Each garment will have its moment within the music score on the stage, which will be microphoned to amplify the garments sound, e.g. the garment becomes an instrument/sound within the music composition creating an interesting soundscape.
The Children's Section theme this year is "Conceal and Reveal". Designers were asked to create a garment of anything they wanted as long as it transformed with an element of surprise.
2012 is the alternate year of The Bizarre Bra Section. Though normally hidden, the bra has shown itself in past Brancott Estate WOW Awards Shows to provide highly creative and witty reinventions, and this year is no different.
The Air New Zealand South Pacific Section is a beautiful section. Designers have gathered inspiration from New Zealand's rich Maori culture or other cultures of our South Pacific neighbours. Garments celebrate what it is like to live in New Zealand and the South Pacific - the sea, beach, flora, fauna, birds, insects and the wide and wonderful personalities of our unique cultures.
The CentrePort Illumination Illusion Section has no thematic boundaries, giving the designer complete freedom of concept to create a work of art in another dimension that glows under ultra violet light.
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