The ‘evolution’ of WOW goes on show at Te Papa

26 August 2013

An exhibition exploring the 25 year evolution of the World of WearableArt™ goes on show at Te Papa from Saturday 24 August.

The WOW® Factor: 25 years in the making looks at the phenomena of WOW®, showcasing designer costumes from previous awards and, for the first time, revealing some secrets from the creative talent behind the annual stage show.

WOW® Chief Executive Meg Matthews says they are thrilled to be able to show the public how the first modest event in Nelson in 1987 has transformed over the past 25 years into a global brand that attracts entrants from all over the world.

“Half the exhibition will be made up of winning costumes, including ‘Wild Walker’, the Supreme Winner of the 1987 show. The other half is creative content, including notes, sketches, miniature props and set models, and video footage from behind the scenes.

“We’ve never released this material before. It’s enormously difficult to get behind the scenes of WOW® unless you’re actually part of the cast or crew so this is a rare opportunity to get an insight into the detailed planning,” said Meg Matthews.

Te Papa Senior Curator Claire Regnault says it’s the first time the Eyelights Gallery has featured a show from an external collection.

“Up until now, this space has primarily featured costumes and clothing from our own collections. It’s very fitting to open the gallery up to WOW® in order to celebrate their 25th anniversary,” said Claire Regnault.

Also on display until the end of January will be Lorraine Downes’ Miss Universe outfit including gown, crown trophy and sash which she has gifted to Te Papa. It’s thirty years since at 19 years old Lorraine became the first and only New Zealand to be crowned Miss Universe.

WOW® Factor: 25 years in the making
Eyelights Gallery, Level 4
24 August 2013 – 24 August 2014
Free entry

Media contact

Heather Church
04 3817083 or 029 601 0180