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Lindsay Adler World Of Wearable Art Studio Session 241

World of WearableArt

A couple of years ago I was online seeking inspiration for an avant garde fashion shoot I was planning when I stumbled across a page for “World of WearableArt”. I was instantly in awe of what I saw, but not entirely sure what I was looking at. I had that beautiful mix of curiosity, confusion and inspiration all at once.

The site was filled with beguiling pieces… a woman wearing a dress that was also a cathedral, a person in a piece that looks like a sea-creature, a dress that glowed from the inside out. It was certainly fashion, and at the same time certainly not. The site was theatrical costumes and pieces that step into fantastical worlds that extend far beyond what most would consider ‘clothing’. As the name suggested, it was a showcase of wearable art—clothing as the art form.

This concept is something that always attracted me— clothing not as ‘ready-to-wear’ practical pieces but instead as a canvas for expression. I’ve always loved the avant garde for this reason— ‘fashion’ as an art form instead of a practical necessity. I love rich colors, bizarre shapes, and theatrical elements as a starting point for my own inspiration. When you look at my website, you can see how much fashion-as-art has influenced me through the years.

I gather inspiration from many places, and at times this may be from a fashion designer or costumier. I love to channel the elements that make the piece unique, and then build from there to create my own unique interpretation of their piece. For this reason I found that scrolling through WOW (World of Weararts) sent my mind dancing in all different directions, excited by the creative possibilities and freedom to break free of the expected.

All of that being said, I still haven’t really explained what World of WearableArt actually is. WOW is an international design competition, with entrants from all of the globe compete in an annual competition for accolades, monetary prizes and professional opportunities. The competition culminates in an ‘award shows’ that features the winners of the competition in a performance that is a mix of art, theater, fashion, dance and more. I was surprised when I learned that this event was held in Wellington, New Zealand as when I think of New Zealand I think of grand landscapes, adventure sports, and (of course) Hobbits. I was even more surprised to hear that the event gets nearly 60,000 attendees every single year!

Okay, now that I’ve gone through talking about this inspiration, why am I sharing this? This year I was invited to speak at New Zealand’s annual photographic event, NZIPP. When I heard that the event would be in Wellington, I immediately set out to find a way to collaborate with WOW. This was my chance (how often does one go to Wellington?) to create pieces inspired by and in collaboration with these talent artists. I let the coordinators of the event know my interest, and they immediately started working on finding ways for collaboration.

At the event, I had the opportunity to photograph three pieces in front of a live audience. One piece was for demonstration in front of my small hands-on class. Two other pieces I photographed in one hour in front of HUNDREDS of people watching in the audience. I created both stills and living images (cinemagraphs) of these avant garde pieces. For the cinemagraphs I used a tripod, Canon 5DIV and Profoto D2 modeling lights to capture the motion.

I’d like to take a moment to share what we were able to create. I truly hope that I am invited back in the future, perhaps in a larger collaborative effort with WOW.

 

 
World of WearableArt

World of WearableArt - The Floating - Garment creator - Yanjingting Chen, Donghua University, China

Garment name – THE FLOATING
Garment creator – Yanjingting Chen, Donghua University, China
Model – Lucy Aitchison
Dressers – Felicity Mountford
Makeup and hair by Damask Dewhirst and Ellie Whiting from Matt Forceman hair.

World of WearableArt - The Floating - Garment creator - Yanjingting Chen, Donghua University, China

Garment name – EOS
Garment creator – Claire Prebble, New Zealand
Models name – Paige Shand
Dressers name – Vanessa Kirkham
Makeup and hair by Damask Dewhirst and Ellie Whiting from Matt Forceman hair.

Side note: This piece (EOS) was very special because it was created by one of the youngest artists to ever win WOW who unfortunately died of cancer before she even turned 30. This young artist, Claire Prebble, in her life not only won WOW but also had the honor to create pieces for blockbusters like Avatar. It was definitely an honor to be able to commemorate the life/work of this brilliant young artist.

World of WearableArt - Traditional Progress - Garment creator – Tsz Kwan Au, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Design Institute

Garment name – TRADITIONAL PROGRESS
Garment creator – Tsz Kwan Au, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Design Institute
Model – Sophie Petley
Dressers – Felicity Mountford
Makeup and hair by Damask Dewhirst and Ellie Whiting from Matt Forceman hair.

It was also very exciting that at the event a few different news organizations interviewed me– radio, newspaper, etc to do a feature on the collaboration. I felt honored that my presence and photography gained so much local interest! Really crossing my fingers that I’ll be invited back to create with WOW again!

News coverage:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/culture/93708014/new-york-fashion-photographer-lindsay-adler-shoots-world-of-wearableart

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/standing-room-only/audio/201847940/more-than-just-a-pretty-frock

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Thank you for sharing about your experience with WOW. As a maker of felted hats that are more wearable art versus on trend fashion, it’s so interesting to learn about your perspective of Fashion as Art. Wonderful Images, of course!!

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