Mission: WOW

The World of Wearable Arts and Classic Car Museum in Nelson, New Zealand is the sort of place anyone with a creative bent can spend time to refresh and revive or to inspire and refill their creative flow. 

There is a strict criteria and judging of all of the garments before they are selected to take part in the World Of Wearable Arts Award Show held annually in Wellington, New Zealand. As all of the garments on display at the WOW museum have been part of a show or have placed in one of the shows categories, the standard is very high. 

Having seen the WOW show in Wellington in October there were definitely some “ah-ha” moments on viewing the winning garments up close. I was completely blown away by the attention to detail and hard work which went into the garments. I’d love to see a design process on some of the pieces as they are simply that incredible. 

Photography isn’t allowed inside the WOW section of the museum to protect the artists rights. I find by being surrounded by this much talent the creative juices start to flow and sitting, watching the conveyor belt glide through the room with each stunning costume, I’m wishing I had my sketch book. 

Walking through the glow in the dark section, if you can manage it with no one around, can be quite eerie. Its as if the designs could move at any moment and I’m reminded of a haunted forest where a glowing figure shadowed my every move. 

There is also a film display set up with footage from the previous WOW shows. Set to music, watching this is where I find myself coming back to the real world. 

The car museum, appropriately housed in the old Honda factory, is a stunningly well kept collection of cars spanning generations. Admire the classic beauty of the 1934 Plymouth Roadster, or the Auburn 653 sedan, wander past Ferraris and a Maserati, or visualise the evolution of motorcars. There are more ‘wearable art’ displays through the car museum. 

This year though, my highlight has to be the Project ’64 Mini. They best explain their mission in their own words:
“So two guys are having a beer and one says lets break the world speed record and the other one says, OK, but lets use a 48 year old mini. Sounds funny, but it’s no joke.”
Following these guys through their mission to get a 48 year old mini over to the big U S A and break a world speed record has been one of the most inspired stories of my year. Seeing the mini, in real life, still looking like a mini, absolutely made my day! Image

Image Credits: Chris Jones

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