WOW at Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mssachusetts

What a World of Wearable Art

By: - May 10, 2017

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts
Until June 11, 2017

No words about WOW, the World Of Wearable Art can illuminate and excite as images do. Wow!

Therefore, please watch the slideshow first and our short article just adds useful information about the show and WOW New Zealand.

Kudos to PEM, the staff at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and to Dame Suzie Moncrieff, the founder/inventor of WOW twenty-five years ago. Then, of course, to all participants in this exhibition. They have imagined and executed wearable art that is ‘Out of this World.’

A yearly costume competition draws artists, designers and crafts people from many corners of the globe to follow the call and submit their creations. Over the years the competition has garnered worldwide recognition and it ends in front of 60,000 fans during runway shows in Wellington, New Zealand.

Fifteen minutes of that high drama event is presented on three video screens at the museum, where many more costumes come to life in a multifaceted and amazingly colorful and fast pace performance piece that turns and tumbles live mannequins, dancers and actors in and out of focus.

Among the 32 works in this exhibition are participants from New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, China, Hong Kong and the USA. They have applied materials such as virgin wool and old tires, aluminum and ceramics, feathers and plastics, wood and cloth, fiberglass and taxidermy, and other unimaginable materials.

Labels describe their very thoughtful symbolism and titles, such as: Beast in the Beauty, by  Alaskan carpenter, David Walker, who dedicated his creation to his wife and all who live with cancer. Mengyue Wu with Yuru Ma, and Xiao Tong Guo from China, young designers, are represented with two costumes that point to necessary environmental changes. The titles are Born to Die and Revive.

Among the participants from New Zealand are couture designers of Samoan and Maori heritage, who incorporated cultural expressions in Le Tatau (the Tattoo) and The Exchange, made for a couple that is wearing special Maori leaders clothing. Lighthearted costumes are also exhibited such as Noor Reverie, a play on Moroccan lanterns, by Rebecca Maxwell and American Dream, a sassy car costume deconstructed by Sarah Thomas.

If you can, hurry to experience this ‘Fata Morgana’ (mirage), before it comes to an end on June 11.