World Of Wearable Art is Less WOW and More WTF

junkyardarts February 25, 2012 1
World Of Wearable Art is Less WOW and More WTF

world of wearable art 2011 Chrysolophus-Pictus,-Nicole-Pitchers,-United-Kingdom-LRSo, the World of WearableArt is a competition/showcase/exhibition of artists from around the world exercising their skills and imagination in the realm of costume design.

Which I totally get and support.  And if I may ‘Larry David’ this article up a bit:

I really appreciate that this event exists and provides a venue for those working outside the traditional fashion industry and in more art-related fields such as theatre and dance…

that being said, what the shit is going on here?

Not to be an asshole (says the person about to be an asshole) but some of these top costumes from 2011 are not only fashion-house knockoffs that are in their own right considered ‘art’, but some of these costumes are, if I may, whack.  They are effing whack.

Like these McQueen rip offs

world of wearable art 2011 Chrysolophus-Pictus,-Nicole-Pitchers,-United-Kingdom-LRworld of wearable art 2011 Hylonome,-Mary-Wing-To,-United-Kingdom

And before anyone says “yeah but you love McQueen and can’t anyone ever make something about a similar subject without being compared to him?”. Sure!  You sure can!  But not when the pieces are direct ripoffs – as in, not only color or inspiration, but entire theme, material, and design.  And that’s not to say these aren’t cool and all, but there’s nothing innovative about them.  And if we’ve seen it before, why present it now?

Some of the pieces are downright troubling…

world of wearable art 2011 All-Sorted,-Loretta-Johnson,-Canterbury-lr_0

What am I looking at here?  I know it’s for a ‘Children’ theme, but when I was little I don’t think I would have wanted to encounter a living trash bag full of grandma candy with laser nipples and Sideshow Bob coif.  Just sayin’.

Then there’s these two who got the lucky job of wearing the post-apocalyptic sex kink outfits…

world of wearable art 2011 Sir-Lace-Alot,-Julie-Brawley,-Nelsonworld of wearable art 2011 A-Nightmare-Near-By,-Siu-Ping-Wan,-United-Kingdom,jpg

One of these is called ‘A Nightmare’.  I’ll let you figure out which one.

Now it wasn’t all bad – there are a few pieces that were pretty cool and inventive…

world of wearable art 2011 Isabelle,-Lorene-Ireland,-United-States4MB

world of wearable art 2011 Exquisite-Corpse,-Katie-Collier,-Wellingtonlr_0

world of wearable art 2011 Hermecea,-Jan-Kerr,-Paraparaumu

I think the lobster lady might be my favorite.  At least there is a fully-realized character and the design allows for real use in the theatre.  And I love to eat them.  Which may or may not make me biased.

world of wearable art 2011 When-Brunel-Met-Chanel,-Steve-Brown,-Tauranga

Finally, we have something weird, but kinda cool, and Tim Burton would approve.

I love good costume design, so it sucks as someone who pay attention to the industry, when things come up short.  Certainly not all of these did, but the promo images the site uses to promote their event suggest they have had some pretty amazing work in the past.  Here’s hoping 2011 is just an off year.  In the meantime, here are some costume designers I think are pretty neat:

Milena Canonero, Ngila Dickson, Colleen Atwood, & Wendy Patridge.

World of WearableArt /

One Comment »

  1. Lawrence Stone February 25, 2012 at 2:04 pm -

    Can you imagine if people dressed like this everyday? Awesome. Thank you for bringing this to my attention :)