World of WearableArt - Up Close

Experience World of WearableArt like never before in this immersive exhibition at Te Papa

Events WOW Up close Te Papa Johnny Hendrikus 2020 4


12 Dec 2020 – 14 Feb 2021


Te Papa, 55 Cable Street

World of WearableArt Up Close (Ao KākahuToi – Kia Tata) is your chance to see every detail of some of the most breathtaking wearable art garments from the World of WearableArt Awards Show (WOW).

This theatrical journey through WOW brings you up close to 38 extraordinary garments from the world’s leading wearable art competition. Explore the limitless creativity and jaw-dropping detail of the garments and learn the unique stories behind the designs.

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Three people view an exhibit from World of WearableArt at Te Papa
Two people take a selfie at the World of WearableArt exhibit
Woven In-tent, Kirsten Fletcher, Australia

The exhibition features award-winning works of wearable art created by designers from New Zealand and around the globe, including garments from the most recent 2019 Awards Competition with connections to some of the world’s most popular celebrities including:

  • Gemini: The Twins by Dawn Mostow and Ben Gould (United States) whose latex creations have graced the runways of Paris and New York and been worn by celebrities such as Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Kylie Jenner.
  • The Lady Warrior by Rinaldy Yunardi (Indonesia) who claimed three awards in 2019 for this garment made of recycled paper. Rinaldy has created garments and accessories for a long-list of celebrities including Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Madonna who wore his crown and necklace for the 2018 Met Gala.
  • Woven In-tent by Kirsten Fletcher (Australia), an avant-garde garment created using 500 abandoned tents that was worn by Lizzo for a Rolling Stone magazine photoshoot earlier this year.



WOW is an internationally renowned wearable art competition that attracts entries from over 40 countries each year. While the 2020 World of WearableArt Competition and Award Show were cancelled due to Covid-19, this new bespoke exhibition brings you even closer to the wearable art phenomenon.

Alongside the exhibition, a series of special events will take place at Te Papa; from a glittering opening party, to high tea experiences, after dark evenings, floor talks and dinners. 

Images courtesy of World of WearableArt Ltd.

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WOW 22 Hi res original file for use with large format printing and similar v3

WOW Up Close Exhibition Tours

Te Papa, 55 Cable Street, Wellington

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The World of WearableArt (WOW) theatrical extravaganza has lived up to its name and wowed audiences for more than 30 years. Te Papa’s new exhibit captures the magic of the show that brings together art, design and fashion into one spectacular event.

Guided tours enhance the exhibit and share more about the 35 award-winning garments that are included, created by talent from New Zealand and abroad. With an expert guide, you’ll hear behind the scenes stories and detailed insights into what goes into the process of creation. Tours are available throughout the duration of the exhibit, with a number of days and times to choose from.

WOW Exhibition at Te Papa

Talks: Up Close with WOW

Te Papa, 55 Cable St, Wellington

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As you can imagine, a lot goes into creating World of WearableArt shows. As part of Te Papa’s wider exhibit, across three events the museum is hosting talks with some of the WOW team. This special behind the scenes look spans what goes into the show itself, how the clothes come alive through modelling, and how the garments are cared for.

On December 15, Stephen Blackburn, Head of Show Production, and Malia Johnston, Show Director, will discuss the making of a WOW show. On January 19, Leonie Trathen, Wardrobe Operations and Garment Logistics Manager, and Tarikura Kapea, long-term WOW model and performer, will share the art of being a WOW model. On February 2, Tanya Jacobs, Garment Technology and Collection Manager, and Heather Wallace, Garment Technician, will discuss caring for the wearable art collection.


World of WearableArt - Up Close: Late Nights

Te Papa, 55 Cable St, Wellington

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Come 2021, Te Papa is hosting two late night events as part of its Up Close with WOW exhibition. Grab yourself a ticket and peruse the different displays, including 38 works from previous shows, created by artists from around the world and New Zealand.

Immerse yourself in the fantastical imaginations of those behind the show, and learn more about the technical processes that go into the garments. Your ticket also includes live music, one drink on arrival - with a cash bar also onsite, and canapes from the food stations.


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