Welly Loves WOW

The World of WearableArt Awards Show 2022 was a huge success. Discover the award-winning garments, public window displays and find entry details for the 2023 competition.

The 2022 World of WearableArt™ (WOW) Awards Show has wrapped and what a month it was, with a sold-out season, 60,000 attendees (35K from out of town) reveling in Wellington's always-on atmosphere.

The 2022 stage-show hosted 88 finalist entries made by 103 designers representing 20 countries and regions around the world. The show showcased over 100 dancers, kapa haka performers (Ngāti Pōneke) and aerialists, as well as spectacular headline performances by New Zealand musicians Estère, and Sharn Te Pou.

2022 WOW Award Winners

The 2022 Supreme WOW Award went to Hawke’s Bay artist Kate MacKenzie – this is the second time she has been bestowed the coveted top prize.

MacKenzie is among 21 award winners in the 2022 World of WearableArt Awards Competition. The competition had more than NZD$185,000 of prize money on offer, across three recurring sections, Aotearoa, Avant-garde and Open, as well as three new sections in 2022: Architecture, Elizabethan Era and Monochromatic.

We have been waiting for an incredibly long time to share the work of our 2022 finalist designers with the world, and finally we can give each of the garments their moment to shine on the WOW stage.

WOW Competition Director, Heather Palmer

2022 WOW Judging Panel

The first round of judging to select finalists took place in 2021 by a jaw-dropping panel of world-renowned creatives:

  • Dame Suzie Moncrieff - WOW Founder and resident judge 
  • Elisabeth Findlay - Designer and co-founder of Zambesi
  • Jeff Thomson - acclaimed New Zealand sculptor
  • Alexandra Byrne - International Guest Judge – award-winning costume designer 
  • B Åkerlund - The Residency Experience Award Judge – Swedish-born fashion activist and celebrity stylist
  • Sir Richard Taylor - Wētā Workshop Emerging Designer Award Judge, Co-founder, CEO and Creative Director of Wētā Workshop

Enter the World of WearableArt Awards Show 2023

Entries are now open for the WOW Competition 2023, to anyone over the age of 18, from anywhere around the world. This is your chance to turn dreams into reality, work free from commercial restraint and become part of a supportive global community pushing the limits of their creativity.

The 2023 Competition will feature three recurring sections/worlds: Aotearoa, Avant-garde and Open. Unique to the 2023 Competition are the new or re-instated themes/worlds: Gold, Mars & Beyond and Bizarre Bra.

Window Dressing 

2022 brought back the beloved WOW Window Dressing Competition, and for the first time, extended our purple footprint out into the Wellington regions. Businesses that chose to take part were then provided with the 2022 WOW brand colours and the following judging criteria to inform their window dressing activation:

  • Magnetism - Level of impact, striking, clever, WOW and shock effect.
  • Clarity - Clear message, theme or focus in the window. Use of store product to entice public into store.
  • Alignment to Theme - Embrace the city activation theme by showcasing the colour purple.

Window Dressing Winners

This year's guest judges were WOW co-founder, Dame Suzie Moncrieff, and Lorraine Nicholson from First Retail, choosing Iko Iko as the winning window for 2022. Keen to see how they did it? Watch the "making of" Iko Iko's window on Instagram.

The judges also chose their top 10 entries (listed in no particular order): Max Lambton, Merchant 1948, Wilson Trollope, The Third Eye, Unichem Marsden Village Pharmacy, Take me Back, New World Metro Willis, Tea Pea Home, and Big Mac’s Creative Centre.

Don't forget your merch

If you missed out on getting your WOW 2022 merch, now's your chance. There are plenty of goodies available for purchase, so make sure you grab a memento from your weekend. Let Estere's album 'so good'  or the WOW soundtrack transport you back to the night, or showcase your favourite designs with the 2023 calendar. With many more to choose from, there is something in there for every WOW goer.

WOW 2022 Merchandise

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