WOW–World of Wearable Art

Last New Years we were up in Nelson and it BUCKETED rain for days. We were doing our typical cheap holiday tenting, and our backpacking tents weren’t up to the task of keeping two active kids happy for 14 waking hours.  So we went to the “World of Wearable Arts and Classic Cars Museum” in Nelson.  At first it seems a strange juxtaposition–fashion/art along side vintage cars….but after I saw the males and females segregating at the door I completely understood.  If she’s going to be dragged to a car museum, it gives her something else to do.  If he’s going to be cajoled into a fashion show, it gives him something to see.

“Wearable” is a term used quite loosely in the World of Wearable Art show.  It just means the art hangs on a human body for display.  It’s NOT your typical fashion show.  It’s like a fusion of outlandish fashion with techno lighting, modern dance, music, spastic colours, and….complete impracticality.

“How was the show?” my friend’s husband asked when we returned to her house in Wellington.

“Amazing!  There was this lion, whose voice was done by Jemaine Clements, with a kind of sexy joking commentary backdrop to the bra parade….the lights!…Oh my gosh…There was this golden shimmering tree, and an angel with wings that was lifted onto a rock, and other actors dressed like marble statues, and hoop skirts, and this crazy thing that looked like a piece of intestine…”  The exuberant descriptions are disjointed.  The show seemed at the time to fit together better than that.

I think it’s precisely the show’s impracticality that’s so attractive.  WHY would I buy a plane ticket and a show ticket and travel to Wellington to see opulent never-to-be-worn costumes paraded around a stage with a backdrop of sensual dancers and music?  Because it’s so NOT sensible.  Not responsible, not practical, just plain jaw-dropping gorgeous.

Have a look at a couple of these montague films from years past–and remember that the actual real-deal show was 2 hours long with no intermission.

A few pictures from this year:

In my more insane moments I think it’d be fun to enter an exhibit–it’s a competition after all, anyone can enter, although not everyone who enters gets their costume paraded around the show.  In my even more insane moments I think it’d be fun to be a model and WEAR all those fantastical creations, strutting around the stage in high heels….

But then I remember that I need to make the kids’ lunches for tomorrow, and the rug needs vacuuming, and I’ve forgotten to text the childminder about tomorrow, and I’m 34 and not a design student and will look at fungus under the microscope tomorrow at work.  And all that’s good.  But not gorgeous.

Hey, want to come with me to WOW next year?

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