Sunday, 28 September 2014

WOW- Literally

Most New Zealanders will know that WOW stands for World of WearableArt & that the WOW Museum is in Nelson where the original wearable art fashion show started 26 years ago (Correction-it started in Wakefield. Thanks Jimu). It’s since shifted to Wellington where it has become one of Wellington’s (& New Zealand’s) major events of the year, attracting hundreds of local & international entries and thousands of visitors to the spectacular show. Coincidentally we visited the museum on the eve of this year's show.

Below is a selection of some of the garments on display, many of these are past winners in their various categories and some supreme winners.

You might notice that some of the photos are a little “noisy”, noise is the digital equivalent of film grain and is caused by a high ISO number (one of the 3 elements that make up the exposure triangle in photography, the others being shutter speed and aperture). ISO is the level of sensitivity of a camera to available light. Higher ISO = more light on the sensor = more noise. I dialled in far too much ISO for these photos; the display rooms were very dark and I didn’t want to use flash as it’s too harsh but I went a little over board I’m afraid. David says in other words, I cocked up!

I loved this one, “Ms Qwerty & her friend K9”, the whole dress and dog were made up totally from computer keyboard keys.

This trio were a little bit creepy.

A “conveyor belt” rotated through the room under the beam of a fabulous light display with about 20 different garments on show (along with an intrepid photographer). The displays are changed twice a year.

We also enjoyed watching the costumes come alive in the theatre where the actual footage of the WOW show was shown & featured each of the garments on display. Some people have an incredible imagination and are amazingly talented.

The light display in the ultra violet & fluro rooms reminded me of the nightclubs of my youth!

There are also two classic car displays that are part of WOW; the Classic Car Gallery and the Classic Collection.

Some of the WearableArt costumes are on display beside the vehicles.

We both thought the layout, lighting & props in the Classic Car Gallery were extremely well done. And talk about shiny cars & perfect paint jobs. Everything was immaculate, not a speck of dust anywhere.

David spent a few minutes reminiscing over this Messerschmitt, a cute little 3 wheel bubble car. He was once a back seat passenger in one of these (there are only two seats), on a trip from his home town of Orpington, Kent to Hastings in East Sussex, UK.

Next was a huge building housing the Classic Collection of cars and what a impressive collection it was. So many familiar models for both of us this time.

The car I most desired when I got my license at 15 was a Ford Anglia 105E with the slanted back window. It was the height of cool! But I had to make do with a bright blue Ford Anglia 100E (looks like a Ford Prefect, no slanted back window) and even then I had to share it with Mum & my sister. Well of course I did, Mum & Dad bought it. Mum named it Myrtle after a cantankerous aunt of Dad's.

It would seem that we always had the poor brother of the better spec-ed models available, here's me with our black Ford Consul at the cowshed on the farm.

When I finally could afford to buy my own car I really wanted a MKlll Zephyr but I ended up with a MkI Cortina instead- champagne tastes with a beer pocket even then! But it did have a racing stripe. I was sad that they didn’t have one on display though, I’m sure they’re a classic.

If he could have David would have driven the MKIX Jaguar out the door. This was very nostalgic for him, he had already pointed out at least half a dozen cars he’d owned in the UK and the Jag was the very last one he owned before he moved to NZ. He opened the door (ignoring the Do Not Touch signs) to show me the splendid walnut interior complete with matching fold down picnic tables for the back seat passengers. Along with all his UK vehicles there were plenty of others that he’d had dealings with in NZ while he was in the motor trade here.

Mum soon made up for the Anglia mistake, the next car we shared was a racy Mini Cooper S.

Love the head scarf. Not!
Some of these looked very familiar; Dad’s sister & family had plenty of chunky Vauxhalls & Holdens. My cousins used to collect my sister and I and we’d go swimming at the Tukituki River near Havelock North in Hawkes Bay. Those were the carefree days of endless summers.

I added the Morris 8 (centre) for Dad, I’m sure it was a Morris 8 that he spent some of his misguided youth in.

What an awesome collection of cars, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip down memory lane.

Then it was back through the Classic Gallery with one last display, a very classic & iconic NZ scene. An EJ Holden parked outside the bach/crib (NZ holiday home) with a crate of DB (beer) under the veranda, a tasselled sun umbrella and pukekos on the roof. And a good kiwi “no.8 wire” coathanger aerial.

Reminiscent of our summer holidays at a Mahia bach (Northern Hawkes Bay) with our Holden HQ wagon- there's even a fishing rod on the roof. That's me in the fetching green toweling hat and zinc nose!


  1. Photo's not too noisy.....slight correction Wow started in Wakefield.....I went to the second one and many others till it moved to Wellywood...first cars is real nostalgia-ville...mine was a 1937 Morris 8...with two tone iridescent blue paint job....the day of the Wahine Storm in Chch, I had to use second gear, against the wind to get ended up in the knackers yard....cheers J

  2. You are too kind Jimu, I think you need your specs on, there's plenty of noise if you blow them up! :) And correction made, thanks for that. I could quite imagine that you might have made a garment or two for WOW at some stage. At least your Morris 8 had a cool paint job.


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