Wearable Arts Show

August 20, 2014 at 2:06 PM

While WAS (Wearable Arts Show) doesn’t have quite the same ring as the trademarked WOW (World of Wearable Arts), last night’s WAS definitely had the WOW factor!

Handed an amazing programme (designed by students, Jessica Bardell, Caleb Hill and Helen Jarrett) with an amazing logo (designed by Katherine Chang) boldly emblazoned on the front, there was promise of an amazing show. As the house lights went down and the stage lights came up, the promise was delivered! With every single seat taken, proud parents of students in Years 7-10 were treated to an eye-popping evening of creative talent. The students’ enthusiasm for the event was infectious; it was a pleasure to be there!

The brainchild of Year 8 teacher, Mrs Leisha Slade, WAS is now in its third season and with each passing year, we have seen bolder and more innovative designs, as students research deeper for ideas. This is matched by greater confidence on the catwalk and edgier dances interspersed throughout the show, choreographed and staged for Year 7 and 8 by our Year 11 dance students as part of their NCEA assessments.

On the Sunday prior, ‘people mover,’ Kiri Whitford-Joynt from ‘ID with Style’ put our student models through their paces on the catwalk while their fellow designers looked on, making last minute touches to the costumes. With only a couple of chances to get it right, the transformation in poise and confidence in our students, under Kiri’s tutelage, was remarkable. Kiri went on to take charge back stage on the night of the show organising the models dancers to be on to the stage at the right time – quite a feat when you appreciate the size of some of the costumes!

The evening showcased garment designs and supporting dance items from eight different categories:

  • Preloved Avant Garde
  • Colour
  • Magic and the Love of Books
  • Man’s World
  • Weta Scientific Workshop
  • The Tutu
  • Kiwiana/Pacifica
  • Illusion and Glow in Dark

In past years, WAS has been the domain of Years 7 and 8. This year, two of the categories, Avant Garde and Kiwiana/Pacifica, also invited entry from Years 9 and 10. Several individual prizes were awarded with an overall Supreme Winner from each age group.

The students welcomed five special guests for the evening.  Media personality, Wendy Meyer was the continuity announcer, setting a relaxed yet totally professional tone for the performers. The four judges were Ros Craw, Head of Visual Arts at Somerville Intermediate; Ann Skelly from Waiheke Island, a full time artist who has entered eleven of her own garments into the World of Wearable Arts (WOW) show and has been successful with ten of them; Melody Brook, a local artist who has also been a finalist at WOW; and Anne Lohrentz who is a Design and Innovative Pattern Cutting lecturer at AUT whose tertiary students have achieved several accolades in design competitions.

Preliminary Judging took place at the dress rehearsal where each garment was inspected and each student interviewed but the final judging was done on the night. The judges said they found judging particularly difficult and were pleased to be able to refer to the judging criteria:

- Creativity, zest and innovation

- How well the garment represents the category

- Overall originality

- And finally the presentation and construction of the design

In their concluding comments the judges said they were blown away by the depth of creativity, innovation and talent, and that in this world of an increasingly busy daily life, the students had committed to find the time for such painstaking pieces of work. Some of them clearly represented countless hours of concentrated effort.

Whilst selecting the winners in each category was difficult, to name the two supreme winners was even more so. Winner for Year 7 and 8 came from a new section this year, The Tutu and was won by Tess Elliot who designed and modelled, ‘The Last Straw.’ An elegantly simple outfit with rigid, clean lines made entirely from drinking straws. Tess also had a second win with Read Between the Lines in the Love of Books section.

Year 9 and 10 Supreme Winner was Rebecca Funnell whose ‘Prismatic in Pink’ won the Avante Garde section. Made in shiny pink and white vinyl, this stylish piece was inspired by complex 3D shapes.

A special mention must be made of the winner of The Tutu section. The ‘Cardboard Cutie was modelled and designed by a cheeky Monty Sholtens who proved that in a section dominated by girls in some truly gorgeous outfits, his brown cardboard and pink tuille design had the edge -  and with his nonchalance on the catwalk, he was certainly one of the audience favourites!

Emma King also deserves a mention. Like Supreme Winner Tess, Emma entered two fantastic designs and won with both of them. Neon Raindrops shimmered in the Illumination section and in the Colour section, a ‘FAN-tastic Ray of Sunshine’ made from many folded paper fans in shades of yellow was an elegant stunner.

This was a superb evening greatly enjoyed by a huge audience. In the words of Head of Middle School, Mr Duncan McQueen as he summed up the evening, ‘WOW!’

Year 7 and 8: Tess Elliot - The Last Straw
Year 9 and 10: Rebecca Funnell - Prismatic in Pink

Kate Armstrong - Cycle for Tutu (Avant Garde)
Campbell Jordan - Egg Keeper ((Man’s World)
Monty Sholtens - Cardboard Cutie (The Tutu)
Emma King - Raindrops are falling on my head (Illumination)
Emma Sampson/Claire Hollingworth - Shopping Spree Tagged (Avante Garde)
Kate Armstrong - Marshmallow Pheobe (Colour)
Tess Elliot - Read Between the Lines (Love of Books)
Emma King - FAN-tastic Ray of Sunshine (Colour)
Dylan Mugglesford/Tom Harford - Kiwi Jelly Time (Kiwiana)

Emma Wong-Kam/Leanne Shen - Melody (Avante Garde)
Lucy Scarborough - ‘Fly by’

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