2023 World of WearableArt Competition Celebrates Fashion, Theater, and Craftsmanship

World of Wearable Art Competition

Dawn Mostow & Snow Winters, United States. “Digital Ascension of Kitsune,” Gold Section. 2023 International Design Award: Overall Winner, 2023 International Design Award: Americas, 2023 Gold Section Winner

Each year, the World of WearableArt Show attracts talented designers from around the world to showcase their creative talents. Over a three-week competition in Wellington, New Zealand, artists are challenged to create a variety of stunning works centered around six chosen themes. While three of these—Aotearoa, Avant-Garde, and Open—repeat annually, 2023 featured an additional three sections unique to the year—Bizarre Bra, Gold, and Mars & Beyond. Following a fashion show spectacular that is full of theatrical displays, a few costumes came out on top.

American designers Dawn Mostow and Snow Winters put together the Digital Ascension of Kitsune for the Gold section of the competition. It features a person in a gold full-body suit with nine voluptuous tails curled around its body in various ways. The figure sports an angular mask that is supposed to resemble a fox, and long, claw-like nails. “The mischievous nine-tailed fox spirit, a thousand years old, ascends to digital heaven,” states its official description. Not only did this ensemble take home first prize in Gold, it was named the winner of the International Design Award: Americas.

Gill Saunders of New Zealand created Earthling, which was named the Supreme winner of the 2023 WOW show for its amazing detail, and also winner of the Open section. Another stand-out work from this year was New Zealander Craig McMillan's submission for the Aotearoa section, called Childhood. The costume resembles a realistic insect, and the model of the suit even crawled along the stage to give the full effect of a critter. Taking home the prize in the Avant-Garde section was Antonaneta Tica's Love Me Tender. The large heart shape made up of various pens and objects references how “society pushes us to fall in love with more and more objects, then to buy them for a happier life.”

Scroll down to see more amazing costumes from this year's WOW show.

The 2023 World of WearableArt Show is a three-week competition in Wellington, New Zealand.

World of Wearable Art Competition

Sen No Hida (1000 Folds), Carolyn Gibson & Joelle March, New Zealand, Avant-Garde section 2023

World of Wearable Art

Craig McMillan, New Zealand. “Childhood,” Aotearoa section (Winner)

World of Wearable Art

Seraph, Sasha Wisniowski, Australia, Gold section 2023

It gives talented designers the opportunity to showcase elaborate designs on the world stage.

World of Wearable Art

SAMURAI Girl, Chiaki Shimizu, Japan, Avant-Garde section 2023

The six themes of 2023 were Aotearoa, Avant-Garde, Open, Bizarre Bra, Gold, and Mars & Beyond.

World of Wearable Art

Tears Unseen, Carena West, New Zealand, Open section 2023

Over $185,000 NZD in prize money and 33 awards are given to the finalist designers.

World of Wearable Art Competition

Erna Van der Wat, Joanne Van Wyk, & Lena Van der Wat, New Zealand. “Blooming Proof!”, Mars & Beyond (Winner), Stuff People's Choice Award

World of Wearable Art

Kristy Kirkpatrick & David Kirkpatrick, New Zealand. “Groundbreaking,” Bizarre Bra (Winner)

The Supreme winner of the 2023 WOW show was Earthling by Gill Saunders of New Zealand, while Digital Ascension of Kitsune by American designers Dawn Mostow and Snow Winters, went home with three prestigious awards.

World of Wearable Art

Antoaneta Tica, Romania. “Love Me Tender,” Avant-garde section (Winner)

World of Wearable Art

Gill Saunders, New Zealand. “Earthling,” Open section (Winner) and Supreme WOW Award

World of Wearable Art

Celestial Body, Jagoda Matecka & Zofia Brunarska, Magdalena Abakanowicz University of the Arts, Poznan, Poland, Mars & Beyond section 2023

World of Wearable Art

Entanglement, Celia Ledon, United States, Mars & Beyond section 2023

World of Wearable Art Competition

Once Upon A Time, Marianne van Heeswijk, Netherlands, Open section 2023

See the highlights from this year's competition in this video:

And if you or someone know is interested in joining, you can learn more by watching this clip:

World of WearableArt: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by World of WearableArt.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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