For three decades, WOW has been dazzling international audiences and blurring geographical borders as well as the boundaries between fashion and art. The annual WOW Competition attracts the world's leading designers, offering a unique platform that enables them to showcase their creativity without commercial restrictions.
Every designer starts with the human form as a blank canvas, creating garments akin to art installations. The artistic vision is naturally paramount; however, it does not rule out practicality: all creations of the contestants in the World of WearableArt™ must be wearable!
This is something that the designers prove annually in Wellington, New Zealand, at the WOW Awards Show — a theatrical display and art performance all in one. A total of 122 finalist designers representing 13 countries were shortlisted for the competition in 2017. The spectacular WOW show was witnessed by an audience of 60,000.
Some of the most prominent and striking works created for the WOW Awards Show over a number of years will travel to Russia for the first time in the autumn of 2018. Erarta is the first Russian museum honored to present these masterpieces of design. The visitors will have a chance to marvel at a great variety of astonishing garments: a coquettish dress made of pink fiberglass designed to make the wearer feel like a princess; the flamboyant American Dream resembling a fast and stylish retro car; a piece made of fabric, papier-mâché and wire turning anyone into a fantasy deep sea creature; a garment shaped like a Gothic castle; and many more.
Erarta Museum views fashion as an important medium of contemporary art. For several years it has been collaborating with the world's most established designers and institutions in order to demonstrate in St. Petersburg some outstanding fashion creations. The Museum's previous exhibitions famously featured futuristic footwear by internationally renowned designers; the incredible works by the distinguished milliner Philip Treacy; the original costumes from the films of Federico Fellini which informed the European fashion of the 20th century; and the sensational Undressed project by the London based Victoria and Albert Museum telling the story of underwear design.
The exhibition bringing together the best creations from the WOW design competition will be a logical and important step forward both for the Museum and the World of WearableArt™ project, given the astonishing number of talented Russian designers worthy of taking part in this international competition. Garments from the World of WearableArt™ will be on display from 6 October 2018 through 3 February 2019.