And it all pays off!
Jump back to June and Sophie, Kat and myself were frantically trying to finish off our fleshy, weird, circus-freak-inspired lovechild Darling.
We sent her down to Wellington to the World of Wearable Arts team, to see if she’d possibly make the cut for their show.
In July we were thrilled to hear she made it, and booked ourselves in to see her come to life in the WOW show itself.
The Textile Design Lab at AUT shouted us a trip down to Welly last Wednesday, where we watched the preview show followed by a Designers day on Thursday.
The show itself was absolutely epic.
I’ve never been to one before and to sum it up, it’s like a parallel universe where the most whacky and beautiful creatures dwell.
The show was broken up in to the different Wearable Art categories, with extra performers and set design providing context and a backdrop for the costumes themselves.
I noticed that the performers really made the costumes. Their performances were a major part of how the audience interpreted the costume and added personality and character to what could otherwise be a narrative-free piece of wearable art on a stage.
Darling’s performer was a lot taller than us, she hunched over a lot in the costume (which is what we wanted). She made these long, inquisitive, but slightly hesitant steps and peered around slowly with her head. She also gave some slight playful shakes of her head like we suggested. Kat thought she looked like a chicken…. among the other connections we’ve heard (slug, sci-fi character, penis, limp hand…)
We received a lot of positive feedback from the other designers on the Thursday, with a lot being drawn to her ugliness.
A lot of costumes were stunning. Darling is sad and grotesque. Some people don’t really take to it, and you can easily tell when you show pictures who they are. I see through a lot of polite comments “ohhhh”, “interesting….”, “woowwww”, “what is it???”. I know these people don’t really “get” her, especially against the other beautiful pieces of wearable art. And that’s okay. We never wanted to make something shallow, that anyone could just “get” and relate to. We wanted to make something that some people disliked, and some loved.
I stayed in Wellington a little bit longer than the others, and went to a second show, the Awards show, where all the award winners were announced.
To my delight, we were announced as runner ups to the “WOW Factor Award”, chosen by Dame Suzie Moncrieff as the most innovative garment with the ‘wow’ factor.
Very very very proud of us, and creating something 100% authentic and original. I’m also buzzing that we’ve managed to make something that thousands of other people enjoy (or not) and are even paying to see.