A new way to experience art and fashion was created in 1987, when Suzie Moncrieff came up with the idea of taking art off the wall and adorning the moving body.
That world now attracts designers from the UK, USA, India, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, Iceland, Israel, Dubai, Australia and New Zealand. Over one third of the 2007 entries are international injecting a variety of cultural perspectives into the event and turning many creative eyes towards New Zealand.
31 International designers have flown into Wellington to see their garments come to life on stage, alongside an audience of 33,000. David Walker from Alaska, Margarete Palz from Germany, Anat Van-Cleef Shamai from Israel, Mitsuko Makino from Japan and N.P Jayaraj from India, to name a few, are all in New Zealand for the first time.
Gladys Perint Palmer, Executive Director of Fashion from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, is guest judge for the Wellington International Award and says, ``Eat your heart out John Galliano, Hussein Chalayan, Thierry Mugler, Vivienne Westwood and John Paul Gaultier’’.
The Supreme Montana WOW® Award winner has gone to first time entrants Paula Coulthard and Ursula Dixon, both from Auckland. Their farming backgrounds’ inspired their creation, `Rattle Your Dags’ made from recycled wool bags, with a message for fashion victims, ``Don’t be a sheep blindly following the flock’’.
A child’s bedtime story transforms into a `Where The Wild Things Are’ stomping monster dance with strange characters entering on tricycles to open the HP Children’s section.
Fairy lights and Indian dancers prance through the American Express Open section with garments ranging from giant spoons from India, a walking vase from Holland and an abstract sculptural depiction of Multiple Sclerosis from Dubai.
A respectful exchange of stark shirts and uptight coats between local Maori and early colonial settlers launches the Air New Zealand South Pacific section. Many garments juxtapose contemporary materials, like clothes pegs, with traditional costume techniques, such as Maori weaving.
A woman in a voluminous skirt which fans out to cover the stage, and then takes flight with four beings who swoop down from above opens the CentrePort Shades Of White section.
Comic footage of blustery weather is the backdrop to the Scenic Circle Hotels’ Man Unleashed section, which moves onto a fabulous dance to Queen, followed by men breaking out of grey suits to reveal flirty skirts and fishnet stockings. The crowd pleasing climax has Bella Kalolo belting out `It’s raining men’.
Spectacular trapeze artists and dancers that twirl in the dark open the AT&T Illumination Illusion section, which stuns the audience until the stage becomes ablaze with a mirage of glow in the dark WOW® garments.
The opening theme of the Tourism New Zealand Avant Garde section has glittering chandeliers and mirrored mosaic costume characters all sitting at an opulent banquet. A stunning baroque inspired mirror façade acts as the backdrop to this visual feast.
All seven sections come together to make Wellington’s third and the Montana WOW® Awards 19th a wonderful success that has attracted 150 media including CBS Evening News from New York, Marie Claire, L’Officiel from India, First TV from Germany, Canada’s Elle, China’s Modern Weekly, U from Hong Kong, Notebook from Australia, and Zink and magazine from the US.
Montana WOW Awards Show Winners 2007