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World of Wearable Arts II: Show Audience Style

A huge part of the fun of World of Wearable Arts is what Wellingtonians themselves like to wear to the show. I went down there with my camera and snapped away. I got so many shots that I’m splitting them into two posts. This one is individuals and couples, and the next one is groups and families.

Looking at the show attendees, I saw black, black, and more black, with very few florals, which are supposed to be in – instead, more than a few all-white looks, and white or orange coats. Lots of that orange, from natural to fluorescent. Instead of a lot of vivid lips – Wellingtonians don’t, as a rule, wear heavy lipstick – I saw pale lips and silver-sparkled eyes (glitter, shadow, body-painting-level art). Many of the best-dressed sauntered in very early to take advantage of catered packages and, perhaps, a cocktail night or something. I missed some lookers while I was checking with event security. Ah, well.

This super-fresh redhead built on classic black with shots of color; her glasses were black and white harlequin. Note the shoes!

The only picture I took indoors – she’s so luxurious yet comfortable, with the glorious textiles and the suede boots.

Sweeping motion with his long silk skirt, which caught the wind, and check out the vivid jewelry.

More vivid color in the night with this caped crusader.

This designer made her ravishing silk outfit herself. She’ll be launching a children’s clothing line soon, she says.

The lady in this well-dressed pair teaches costume at the South Seas Film School.

I just adore men in tuxedos, and the striking lady is one of the WOW designers. I’ve just spent half an hour trying to Google her sv-intense name, to no avail.

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World of Wearable Arts I: The Circus Has Come To Town, Bringing Shoes

This week and next week, The World of Wearable Arts show is happening in Wellington. Imagine the changeling child of Cirque du Soleil and the costume collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, presented as an absorbing son et lumiere spectacle. That’s WOW for you.

What happens when a multiweek styelstravaganza comes to a medium-sized city? Bringing hordes of style-conscious visitors who have the money to attend the not-inexpensive event, and who, with the holidays several months away, are spending their remaining money on themselves? It’s like a second retailer Christmas, and it’s entertaining for those of us who live here.

Deliciously retro department store Kirkcaldie and Stains’ has its staff on a high-alert, low-leave schedule, and its windows are adorned with past WOW entry costumes. Boutiques and stores are expanding their evening and weekend hours, to be rewarded by sales from the crowds going to the event. Capital Books, open late, said that the WOW crowds were already good to them, snapping up sewing and fashion tomes.

Shoe designer Kathryn Wilson even saw fit to inaugurate her spring pop-up store, the SHOEBOX, during WOW week. A gleaming crystalline boutique has suddenly appeared twenty meters from the arena where World of Wearable Arts takes place, brilliantly lit as a spaceship:

Inside the glittering SHOEBOXInside, along with the bon-bons and soignee vendors, are shoes that define New Zealand luxury; buttery leathers, subtle colors, heels that you can walk in as you transfer your weekend bag to the seaside bach.

I'll take that one, that one, and that one

METALLIC BROGUES. I don't even like flats and I'm excited

The shoes’ construction is, well, those who like Fluevogs and Chie Mihara won’t be disappointed. They also pass the “but are they COMFORTABLE??” test. Kathryn Wilson has two lines – the Miss Wilson line is less expensive – and you can also check out the sale section of their web site. I enjoyed the novelty of cruising shoes after dark by the waterfront, myself.

Pretty much all of these look wearable in real life

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Adorn: Costuming Up Close in Wellington

Saturday, I was at the intricate costume show Adorn, and you should be, too. It’s at The Roxy theater in Miramar here in Wellington, a free event until October 15th.  Saturday was the “soft” opening – the costumers had just finished setting up the exhibit, and were enjoying relaxed conversation with the wide-eyed attendees.

Now that everything is on the internet, there’s still power and charm in seeing special clothing and jewelry items up close – their richness, fragility, and craft. I especially enjoyed seeing Claire Prebble’s ethereal silver filigree corsets and wearable sculptures, and close-ups of Cathy Tree Harris’ work – the details on her corset ensembles are heartbreaking. Flo Foxworthy’s voluptuous ostrich-feather fans were a crowd favorite.

Glorious leathercraft by Nadine Jaggi

Look at that silk and sequin detailing on this corset by Cathy Tree Harris!

Silk and lace corset by Flo Foxworthy

Flo Foxworthy said that even though they are well known as costumers, they are all open to commissions from those who won’t be wearing their works on stage. The full list of exhibitors is:

  • Flo Foxworthy – From burlesque and circus costumes to utterly delicious bikinis and lingerie for everyone.
  • Cathy Tree Harris – World-class corsetry, exquisite fascinators, and more.
  • Clarie Prebble – Glimmering silver, crystal, and pearl jewelery, from bridal to haute joallerie wearable art. This World of Wearable Arts winner had some lovely silver pieces there for sale.
  • Nadine Jaggi – Ornitho Leather Creations – Along with incredible masks, she also does chic feathers-carved-from-leather jewelery.

Wellington has a love affair with costumes, and it comes to the fore at two times of year: February, for the zany Sevens sports event, and September, when The World of Wearable Arts show is in town. This show, intelligently, dovetails with World of Wearable Arts.

A wearable art ensemble by Cathy Tree Harris.

Adorn was the first outing for my new camera, by the way…hope I did the works justice!