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02/08/2017

Canterbury designers tight-lipped on WOW garments

Tatyanna Meharry and Natasha English with their last year's entry
(Photo:formal dresses melbourne)

Of the 121 designers from 14 different countries, six tight-lipped Canterbury designers have been selected to compete for this year's World of Wearable Art (WOW) awards.

Now in its 29th year, the international design competition and New Zealand's largest annual theatrical production attracts around 60,000 fashion enthusiasts to Wellington each year.

WOW finalists, Christchurch designers and sisters Natasha English and Tatyanna Meharry, look ahead to their fifth finalist garment entry since 2013 taking the stage next month. Their garment, in the open category, makes a statement about the "ugly" state of New Zealand's mental health issues.

"The costume is about issues to do with mental health and just trying to look at it from a different angle, the politics of drugs and prescriptions and medication, and the effects which don't affect only the person, but their entire family," Meharry said.

"We take it seriously that it's a wearable art, but we have to provoke the audience. It just can't be stuff stuck together because it looks pretty. Sometimes it's ugly."

From an artistic family, the sisters won the Supreme Award in their first year working as a team in 2013 and have just returned from their two-week internship at Weta Workshop in Wellington in the costume department.

"We both knew how to sew by the time we were five. We were encouraged to be creative. We're pretty lucky," said Meharry.

WOW finalist, Christchurch designer Janice Elliott, was secretive about her finalist garment in the illumination illusion category, which was her 14th finalist entry in 11 years.

Elliott said it was a fantastic experience being a part of the shows.

"People think it's just a few fashion garments but it's not, it's all the theatrical stuff too. It's just mind-blowing," she said.

"You come out of there thinking 'Wow, that's amazing'."

She said the shows had changed over the years since her first show in 2006.

"Even to just get in now, it's hard. But I managed to scrape in and get to go and have a look.

"You get hooked in. You get addicted. Now I'm thinking I've got an idea for next year. I always end up doing it again."

Canterbury designers Naomi Flasher, Tina Hutchison-Thomas and Loretta Sloan will join English, Meharry and Elliott in Wellington for the WOW awards show from September 21 to October 8.Read more at:formal dresses adelaide

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