WOW 2012 Collaborative Entry: Full Pictures Gallery !
2012 has been a great year so far for Morgan Culture stuff ! One of the main things that’s kept me busy is the Brancott Estates World of Wearable Art show in Wellington, New Zealand. WOW doesn’t allow any photos to be released before the final judging takes place the night of the show, so I’ve been sitting on these pictures since we first entered, agonizing about not being able to release them! But now they are available for public consumption 🙂
You might remember this piece as my finalist piece in last year’s show…
This year, the WOW factor was taken to a whole new level when I collaborated with costumer Laura Brody. Laura has years of experience in the professional costume and fashion industries and is someone I admire greatly- so I was ecstatic for good reason when she agreed to work with me for WOW 2012! After reviewing the show’s entry sections for the year, we started our collaboration with some reference material from authors and artists we liked,
and then created the following sketches together.
These sketches were used through every step of the process!
We then went shopping. Yes, shopping! We scoured our own fabric collections for appropriate fabric, then ventured into the thrift stores and a military-surplus-slash-hardware-store place.
Next, we draped the piece using two mannequins to simulate our models. Laura used her famous staple draping technique, which she later taught as a workshop in Wellington while we were there for the show!
We completed this piece’s actual construction in just 3 days. Originally, we created the piece for the “musical symphony” section of the show, in which each piece needs to also be a musical instrument. The design of the piece includes a rudimentary “guitar”, made from giant rubber bands and a plastic tote, which the models can play from the inside. However, the piece “wasn’t loud enough” according to WOW judges, so we competed in the American Express Open section instead. Also, our use of all recycled fabrics and items qualified us to compete for the Shell Sustainability Award (though we did not ultimately win it).
The two inner garments were made with a stencil made from hot glue on a mirror, plus some added texture on the garments with 3-D textile paint.
Assembly involved two sewing machines at the same time, lots of coffee, and fun. Lots of fun.
And of course, final surface decoration with Simply Spray fabric paint.
We nailed this piece in just a few weeks from original concept to final submission photo shoot (thanks, Relentless Cinematography, for the images)! It got in, so we stuck it in a box and sent it to the end of the Earth, where we then got to spend two weeks exploring after the epic show.
Working together was a breeze. Sometimes, collaborations can get icky and people compete for control. Laura and I have the perfect balance of skills the other doesn’t- not to mention our compatible design aesthetics, eye for final output (even when seeing scarves at the thrift store and deciding which would make the best tendrils when washed), and our equitable division of labor. We had literally ZERO disagreements during this whole process, and the entire experience was healthy and fun!
For those who don’t know, I’d describe WOW as Cirque du Soleil on steroids. Singers, children, ballet dancers, projection, live music, and crazy costumes.
So looking forward to next year! Laura and I will each be submitting separate garments, plus another collaboration. And we expect to come back to the US with some serious WOW awards in 2013, so get ready!
Oh, and in case you didn’t get enough… our hilarious dressing instructions for this piece!