US Designer Scoops Three WOW Awards: Six Awards Go to the US in Total
At tonight’s prestigious Brancott Estate World of WearableArt™ (WOW®) Awards Show in Wellington, New Zealand, American designer Sean Purucker scooped up three awards, with three other American designers also winning awards.
The successful designers from America are: Sean Purucker, Lorene Ireland, David Herbert – who were in Wellington to receive their awards tonight – and Frank Strunk III. They were amongst 35 winners of this year’s Brancott Estate WOW® awards, sharing the $150,000 prize pool. For the first time, there were also eight Honorable Mentions at WOW®.
Sean Purucker, California. First place, Children’s section. Second Place, Sustainability
Award. Second place and Honorable Mention, American Express Open Section.
Sean Purucker is a Costume Fabricator from Toluca Lake in California and he has received an award for all three of his entries in this year’s show. Sean is a regular entrant to WOW®, having entered 12 garments in the show since 2008. He has previously won both the WETA Award and WOW Factor Award.
Pretzella, Sean Purucker, United States Winner 2011 Children's Section
This year, his entry Pretzella won top prize in the Children’s Section. He describes this garment as playful food that mimics the bow on a child’s dress.
He describes his entry Lucid Epiphany, which was Second in the American Express Open Section, as being ‘a living dream catcher, inside a pomegranate.’
“Lucid Epiphany represents the struggle to remove life’s worries, allowing you to depart from insomnia, and being left with restful peace,” he says.
Meanwhile, his garment Steamy Affair is made out of steamer baskets, plastic and chain. It received an Honorable Mention in the American Express Open Section and Second place in the Shell Sustainability Award. “Relationships are great when they are healthy, as shown with the steamer basket clothing,” Purucker says. “But, the garment also represents armour that people hide behind, protecting their identity if someone chooses to complicate their relationship.”
Lucid Epiphany, Sean Purucker, United States 2011 American Express Open Section - Runner Up
Sean grew up in Alaska, surrounded by nature and beauty, and he found out about WOW® by accident while looking on the internet for wire artwork; he makes “little wire people” and sculptures for a hobby.
He says he mostly uses real life events as inspiration for his creations. Many of his ideas are planned long ago, and take quite a bit of time to construct and build.
He says he gets a lot out of WOW®. “I like to walk away from each WOW® experience knowing we have showcased the thing that we love to do in the crazy and busy lives we all have, and hopefully we have five minutes just to enjoy the things that we create.”
WOW® founder and co-judge Suzie Moncrieff says there were so many incredible entries this year, that it was one of the most difficult years to judge.
“The garments this year are of a very high standard, so we have added Honorable Mentions to some of the sections, as we felt these entries, such as Steamy Affair needed the recognition they deserved,” says Moncreiff. “It is always inspiring to see new and exciting ideas used to create the amazing works of wearable art for the show, and we acknowledge the many hours and dedication that has gone into making them”.
Lorene Ireland, San Diego. First Place, Air New Zealand Kiwi Icons Section
Lorene Ireland from la Jolla, entered two garments in this year’s WOW® Awards Show, and has won First place in the Air New Zealand Kiwi Icons Section with her garment, Isabelle, which is made out of sea shells and fine china mosaic.
“As an artist, I have explored many mediums and forms of expression, from the most
abstract to the traditional,” she says. “I especially enjoy sculpture because it gives me more freedom to explore the many facets of figurative art.”
Thrilled at being nominated as a WOW® finalist, she hosted a special wine and cheese
reception at her California gallery last week, and travelled to Wellington this week, to
attend the WOW® Awards Show.
WOW® founder and co-judge Suzie Moncrieff says Isabelle “Encapsulates the theme of New Zealand Icons, and how we reminisce the past when collecting shells; a time when creating ornaments and vases was a popular pastime for New Zealanders.”
Frank Strunk III, Florida. Second place, WOW® Factor Award.
Self-taught artist Frank Strunk from St Petersburg in Florida entered Feminine Mettle in the Tourism New Zealand Avant Garde Section, which has awarded him a WOW® Factor Award, chosen by Suzie Moncrieff as “the most innovative garment with the WOW factor.” Frank has now entered the show three times – in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In addition to this year’s award, he also received a Highly Commended prize in 2009.
He describes Feminine Mettle as a stunning, festive bustier; a dress with an industrial edge for that special occasion.
“My goal was to turn metal from a material used for armour in battle into armour to show curves, strength and beauty; to form the metal so that it mimics the characteristics of fabric,” he says. “The female anatomy is so complex, I used geometry, hammer forming, mechanical fasteners and imagination to create Feminine Mettle, a play on words to celebrate the beauty and tenacity of the feminine spirit.”
Suzie Moncrieff says Feminine Mettle “has an edgy approach, and is beautiful, while being strong.”
David Herbert, Chickasaw. Second place, Wellington International Award.
First time WOW® entrant and metal artist David Herbert entered Modern Warfare in the
Tourism New Zealand Avant Garde Section, and was runner up in the Wellington
He was in Wellington tonight to receive this award, which recognises the creativity and
excellence of international designers, going to the best international entries.
David Herbert, a shipbuilder by trade, only started doing metal art just over a year ago. He says Modern Warfare was inspired by old world armour with a sleek sexy look for today’s women.
“I have never done anything like this and didn’t even know WOW® existed,” he says. “I love art and design and was approached by a local gallery to create an outfit to enter into
WOW®, and a local art show. The entire costume was made without the use of a model,
and was based on measurements only. I am completely flattered to have made it this far,
and can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
Suzie Moncrieff says Modern Warfare is a beautifully constructed piece. “It is made out of the difficult material of steel and it creates a futuristic avant garde piece with dramatic
presence on stage.”
In New Zealand’s capital city Wellington, all 2011 Brancott Estate WOW® Award Show
winners and finalists are transported into a world of fantasy and surrealism, reminiscent of the work of the late Italian Film Director Fellini. The Show is two hours of wall-to-wall
colour, energy and creativity, in a stunning choreographed performance featuring the full company of Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) dancers, professional dancers from
Wellington’s Footnote Dance and the entire first year of the New Zealand School of Dance.
Every night, show goers are also treated to cameo appearances by celebrity guests – true
New Zealand icons – during the Air New Zealand Kiwi Icons section.
There are still a few coveted tickets available to see this world-renowned show. To
purchase go to www.worldofwearableart.com
The World of WearableArt™ is a concept created in 1987 by Suzie Moncrieff, to take art
off the wall and adorn the human form, then showcase each creation in a dramatic
setting. A new way to experience art and fashion was born back then, and Suzie
Moncrieff called it WearableArt™. The world renowned annual World of WearableArt
Awards Show in Wellington is proudly a New Zealand event, and now attracts over a
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Brancott Estate World of WearableArt™:
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