Sunday, 29 September 2013

WoW success - South Pacific Runner Up and International Award Australia and South Pacific

And so ends a pretty amazing week in Wellington! We were lucky to have an uneventful flight and smooth landing, but what really made our arrival special was walking out to see this!

The lovely Noel was there to pick me up, with my name on a sign! It was a complete surprise, and made me feel very special!! I know you weren't keen on having your photo taken Noel, but you made my day!! The afternoon continued in an excellent way with the consumption of a bottle of Veuve - my favourite! Before we knew it, it was Preview night, and as usual, I am so glad to have seen it before the Awards show on Friday. I knew the South Pacific section would be powerful, but when I saw how Hakaturi was presented, I cried – it looked so damn good! We left the show on a high, feeling pretty confident in my chances of achieving, and we had a bed picnic of far too much champagne and stinky cheese whilst we discussed the show.
The next morning was the International Designer Day, where we were hosted by Sarah Hume of the Wellington City Council, and Esmè Palliser, International Designer Wrangler extraordinaire. Feeling a bit shabby, I was happy to have my day planned with my only role to follow orders. After a long and incomprehensible Maori welcome at Te Papa, it was onto a bus to visit the Weta Workshop. I have visited the site before, and been behind the scenes, but this was a truly comprehensive tour of all the workshop facilities – it was AMAZING!! You could see all the designers looking at the different materials and machines and their brains just whirling! Of course, we weren’t allowed to take any photos, and even had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, but I was able to get a shot with the trolls in the front garden! I enjoyed sitting next to Fifi Colston on the bus, who shares my sense of humour, and is herself a successful long-term WoW entrant, having been selected 19 times. Thanks for the giggles, Fifi!!
After lunch at Te Papa, we enjoyed the new format Designer Forum, which is usually held the morning after the Awards night. For one thing, we didn’t have to drag ourselves out after a late night, and the new format of having presentations by two designers changed it from what is frequently a thinly disguised attack from non-selected artists asking why they were not successful, to an entertaining and actually useful exercise. Even though question time was limited, there were still a few that just made you shake your head…..
Friday morning we met up with all the other Australian Designers and headed off to the Australian High Commission, where we were warmly welcomed by High Commissioner Michael Potts and his wife Lynda.
Having been on several other visits where we kind of wondered what we were doing there, it was a very pleasant morning – once my speech was over and done with! I felt fine beforehand, but the minute I got up there felt quite wobbly, and could hear it in my breathing! I was very grateful to have the lectern to grip onto!! Michael was presented with the new Wearable Art book from WoW, a truly luscious book which I am honoured to have a page in, and the Australian Designers were presented with certificates of recognition.
The morning had quite a celebratory feel, as not only Matts’ birthday but our engagement were both announced, and we were congratulated with warmth from all.
And then, here it was – the big night! After an enjoyable afternoon spent dozing, it was time to pretty up, and head downstairs for the Designer pre-show function, where the birthday and the engagement were announced again! It was exciting to see familiar designer faces at the Arena, and meet some new ones as other designers noting the designer nametags would introduce themselves. We had great seats with a clear and slightly elevated view right onto one of the rotating arms of the stage. As the spectacular drew to a close, I started to feel very nervous….

WoW had a different presentation method this year, where all 4 or 5 finalists would be called up on stage to stand next to their garment as the places were announced. It was more interesting for the audience, as they had plenty to look at, although it is possibly more challenging for designers as they must remain composed waiting for their name to be called! Fortunately, I was pretty thrilled to be up there, and very happy to receive second place! We left the stage and were ushered back into the auditorium to watch the rest of the awards, then herded back again, to all reappear on stage for the announcement of the Supreme Award winner and Runner Up. Halfway across backstage I heard my name called, whooped, and started running!! I had quite a ramp to run up in my ridiculous shooz, but ‘I work out, you know’ and with the assistance of a hand in my back made it up in remarkable time. I had no idea what I had won, and had to ask my models!!! As the proceedings ended and I stood on stage clutching the two Awards folders, I looked up at the mirror confetti tumbling down, shining in the lights and thought yep, pretty happy with this!!
More details to follow in a later post - there is champoo waiting to be drunk!!

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