The avant-garde looks that walk the runway at
New York Fashion Week seem tame compared to the head-to-toe creations on
display during the Brancott Estate World
of WearableArt awards show, held every spring in Wellington, New Zealand.
Described on its website as “Mardi Gras meets
haute couture at a Peter Gabriel concert directed by Salvador Dali”, the World
of WearableArt takes pride in pushing fashion to its limits by displaying strange
materials and construction techniques during its show, this year held 27
September to 7 October.
To be considered for the show, designers from
all over the world submit photos of their over-the-top garments in advance.
Each of the qualifying outfits competes for the grand prize (10,000 New Zealand
dollars and a 10,000 dollar travel voucher), and is judged within one of seven themes.
This year’s categories include garments that glow under UV light, clothes that
make some kind of sound or music, and clothes that transform from one thing to
another (a past entry was a frog costume that turned into a princess).
A bizarre bra theme gives designers the chance
to put a twist on the standard undergarment. This year’s winner, announced over
the weekend, used two
taxidermied hedgehogs as cups.
Each item is judged on originality, creativity,
innovation and quality of construction.
Those who miss the show can see a
permanent exhibition featuring previous entrants (including clothes made from
coins, books and car parts) at the World of
WearableArt and Classic Car Museum in the nearby town of Nelson.