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Indian Designers Win Supreme At Montana World Of Wearableart' Awards Show

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

'Loops' designed by Indian first time entrants Yogesh Chaudhary and Manas Barve won the Montana WOW® Supreme Award in Wellington. Other winners were from all around New Zealand and the globe including Ashburton, Auckland, Australia, Alaska, China, Christchurch, Hastings, Leeston, Nelson, Otaki, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, USA, Waitakere and the show's home town of Wellington.

The 22nd Montana WOW® Awards Show mesmerized its audience in Wellington. The show was an opulent explosion of creativity with haunting music, an eruption of geysers, a floating book that became a castle, a circus tent rimmed with olde world circus lights, an acrobatic troupe, self illuminating tron suits and a high energy Carmen Miranda finale inspired display of colour, music and dancing that brought the audience to its feet.

"World of WearableArt' is a serious art form - the combination of the creativity of the garments with the dramatic choreography of the show was mesmerizing and magical. It was a powerful ride - I was taken away on a wonderful emotive journey it was terrific" said Judge and New Zealand kinetic sculptor.

The Supreme Montana WOW® Award winner went to first time entrants Yogesh Chaudhary and Manas Barve for their garment Loops, which also took out the American Express Open Section. Loops was created using the revolutionary technique of seamless knitting, and conceptualizes a self-sufficient form of sustainable design. The merino wool felt garment is entirely free of threads and glues, instead using interlacing to link the panels, Chaudhary says "Loops is a garment which demonstrates an organic sense of wholeness."

"It was an extremely complete work that has been taken right through from conception to reality so singularly strong and such a unique piece of wearable art" Phil said of the supreme award winning garment.

A total of 191 garments from around the world graced the stage including 130 local entries and 61 international entries from Germany, Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Mexico, Sri Lanka, and USA.

Record numbers of exquisite works of art adorned the stage this year. "We were delighted to see many international entries, but just as exciting and inspiring, was seeing winning entries from both new and loyal designers from New Zealand," says Suzie, WOW® Founder and Director.

Inspired by a legacy of female Maoridom, Nelson designer Olivia Hall created Mana Uha to represent the strong, wise and beautiful lineage depicted in generations of native mythology and history. Using plastic as her medium, the stylized Maori cloak garment that was the winner in the Air New Zealand South Pacific Section is her expression of respect for the "echo of greatness" Maori women have left behind in their bloodlines, stories and legends.

Bringing a bug-filled childhood back to life, Nelson designer Jane Ewers created a tribute to her dad as well as taking the top prize in the Mainfreight Duffy Books in Homes Children's Section: The Magic of Books. Victus Libri (Who Needs Computer Games?) gives a Latin name to the insect-o-rama she grew up in, with an entomologist for a father. Bookshelves lined with tonnes of insect literature, her family's world of bugs extended from the page to the outside every time they ventured out with dad. Translating as "living book" the pint-sized play on her father's fascination makes a ready reminder that there's more to explore than we realise.

Literally welding a link between maternity and botany, Aucklander Violet Oliver discovered a new understanding of motherhood in making Every Rose Has Its Thorns which was Winner in the World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museums Bizarre Bra® Section. A caged bouquet of rosebuds, the garment is made from welded metal and fake flowers. The inspiration came from an epiphany Oliver had watching her daughter breastfeeding as to how similar the beauty and power of a rose was to a nurturing mother's breast. "Working on this creation made me think more deeply about motherhood than I did when I was a young mother."

Marching girls and psychedelic tubas come to mind looking at Lady La La, the winner of the Gen-i Creative Excellence Section: The Art of Light made by Auckland designers Dinah and Mark Walker. A lilac marching costume is the basis for the garment, surrounded by a curling twirling horn of the future, with light radiating from each bell on the fiberglass instrument. Electronics mixed with LEDs, wire, velvet and leather comprise the visual melody of this piece.

True to the spirit of creative endeavour, Auckland designers Erna and Karl Van Der Wat fought with their design until a timely understanding between artist and artwork brought Unity to life. The fight was well worth it as the design team were Runner Up in CentrePort Illumination Illusion® Section, themed Float, Fly, Flow. Working with spring steel to make a coiled costume, the duo soon found themselves adapting the garment to the testy temperament of their materials, with the final result being a three-piece fluorescent entry. Representing the fleeting grasp of perfect harmony, the garment is true to its own inspiration.

Longtime WOW® entrant Gillian Saunders has taken a staid rural commodity in baling twine and turned it into a resplendent hair-themed garment receiving Runner Up the Tourism New Zealand Avant Garde Section for Rosa (Le Freak, C'est Chic). Inspired by a book starring a bearded lady, the garment features plaited lengths of painstakingly prepared recycled twine from haybales. Wearing her beard as a dress, Rosa stands tall in spite of her differences, Saunders says.

Shakespearean inspiration from Lord and Lady Cawdor of Scotland led Otaki jewellery designer Eve Gilliland to create her American Express Open Section entry in the vein of the Bard's own words. Named after a Macbeth quote Something Wicked This Way Comes is a remarkable serpentine armour-like construction of metal, crystal and leather and was placed the Winner in the Booker Spalding First Time Entrant Award. Due to its materials, the garment is one of the heaviest entered this year, and is a reminder of the burden of evil, Gilliland says.

Massey University student designer Luka Mues, entered the Air New Zealand South Pacific Section with her garment Shadowlands which was made out of velveteen and alpaca wool and inspired by the twisted, parasitic forms of fungi growing on a tree. "I crocheted, felted and embroidered the garment choosing a distorted silhouette to bring a sense of fungi as instruments of decay. Luka's garment won the Shell Student Design Award.

Another Massey University student, Loren Shields was inspired by her time living in the West Coast when she made her garment Smouldering Energy which was runner up to the Shell Student Design Award. "My aim was to capture the emotional beauty of a burning coal mine when I made the garment which is embellished with real coal. Having lived there for 10 years I appreciate how coal becomes a part of life for almost everyone who lives on the West Coast".

Keryn Whitney from Hastings showcased her effort in ridding the Hawkes Bay of hares in Just Hare-Say which won the Shell Sustainability Award. Six hare skulls and countless bones are combined with pelts from the fast-running pests to create a hunter-gatherer ensemble for the American Express Open Section. The strength of structure the bones provide as well as the look of the garment lends itself to challenging the expression that "beauty is only skin deep", Whitney says.

The effort and inspiration that goes into the incredible garments that make it to the final stage of the Montana WOW® Awards is the backbone of the event.

WOW® then creatively weaves these painstakingly crafted garments of a world's worth of designers' dreams and epiphanies into an eleven show season which opened on 23 September. This choreographed dramatic live performance is seen by an audience of more than 43,000 people in Wellington, New Zealand's creative capital and the ultimate place to tell the global story of the weird and wonderful World of WearableArt'.

Joining WOW® Founder Suzie Moncrieff on the judging panel this year is New Zealand kinetic sculptor Phil Price, and former fashion designer Doris de Pont who is synonymous with the New Zealand fashion scene. Sir Richard Taylor of Weta awarded the highly coveted Weta Award and judge of the Wellington International Award was New Zealander Mark D'Arcy who now lives in New York.

Highlights from the 2010 Montana WOW® Awards Show story so far The 191 garments chosen for the stage is the largest contingent ever The level of artistry grows year on year with incredible materials ranging from hundreds of individually styled metal parts to 17,900 metres of yarn. One in three garments chosen for the show are from international designers across four continents, including a record 23 from India. WOW® designers range from dentists to architects, jewelers to sculptors, fashion designers to business analysts, students and retirees Designers compete for $100,000 in prizes including the Supreme Award and the highly coveted Weta Award selected by Oscar-winning designer Sir Richard Taylor

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