Monday, 18 July 2016

WOW 2016 rejection

It's finally happened. To me. A thanks but no thanks from WOW. That show that is my life. A rejection. Failure. Noooooooooo!! Hours and hours of work will return to me in a box, never having seen the stage. As I battle with my first rejection from WOW (and I am aware I am in extremely good company here!) I find that this is the saddest part - I will never see the piece I designed specifically for the stage gloriously up there in lights. Or in this case, lighting it up! (put your sound on too!)

My entry, Aoteoroa- the long white cloud - 'is an interpretation of that white cloud, which is not always bright and white, but can darken, and bring spectacular storms - the storms that keep New Zealand lush and green. Raindrops and hail stones glisten in the darkening forms, and lightning flickers ominously throughout the roiling mass. Imposing and beautiful, this show from nature commands admiration and respect.'
Progress in the lounge
The beginning inspiration
aaaaand, this is what we lived with.......
Having initially decided not to enter WOW this year, I convinced myself that I could fit it in if I kept it simple. I still had many bags of bridal tulle offcuts, and I'm not sure how, but these turned into Aotearoa! Wire armatures were made for the skirt, bodice and headpiece, padded and covered in satin bridal scraps. More scraps were shaped with tubing and sewn onto these structures to create the sense of  roiling cloud mass. Tulle scraps were stitched into shape and attached, and spray painted to create shading. Metres and metres of LED's were woven through each piece, and laboriously connected. I know. Bloody lights. We said we'd never do it again!! 2 hours before the shoot we were still trying to figure them out!
A tense moment as we ponder what connects where, and dare not speak!

 Looking through the photos has cheered me up a great deal, as I am still very proud of this piece - I'm just sad that everyone involved in it doesn't get to see it have it's moment of glory. In particular, one Scotty Murdoch, who took the role of Cloud Lighting Consultant, and supplied ALL the lighting components! We'll show it somewhere, Scott!! For the boys who lived with it, taking up the lounge and blocking the TV for months, and wore it for the shoot. For Chantal Brennan, fabulous photographer, Jenelle, support Bunneh extraordinaire. For the entire Svenja support team, and for this guy, who puts up with it all, engineers it, provides sheds to shoot it, goes to bed alone whilst I stay up sewing it, but is so proud of me - my Matt.

I now know what it feels like, and this does not feel good. I think I am only surviving because I had a second entry which did make it - my first ever Bizarre Bra! So I'm still part of it, I still get to see my WOW family. If I didn't have that, I'm not sure how I would be doing. On the positive side, I can now truly empathise when entries don't make it, and know how much of a personal rejection it feels like. Fellow designer Fifi Colston just wrote that it is getting tougher every year as WOW opens up further and further to the world stage, making us up the standard every year, making us world class. She's also just written a note to console those who did not get selected "Many people say 'I should enter' and never do. You did! You rock". Yep, that's right, we rock! You're a wise woman, Fifi! See y'all in Wellington!!


  1. Sorry to hear about the "rejection"...but you are in good company...I am not there this year either. Might be time for me to officially retire! Good luck with all that you do, Svenja, looking forward to catching up in 2017.

    1. Bunnehz await fun in Ballarat with great gleeeeee!!

  2. what a shame it looks magnificent..i can empathize i have missed out on last two years at mandurah wearable arts WA. But still enter every year, and love it..still encourage all i meet to enter, and proudly support this event by making the floral art gift baskets for the winning pieces, cant wait to see the bra..

  3. Hi I think I understand your frustration. I recently entered the local competition for the first time and got the 4th place in my category after some intermediate students garments. I couldn't understand this and I was angry but I know I cannot change the judges' decision now. I felt like my creativity had been completely denied. It will take a long time for me to overcome this feeling. Sorry I am in completely different league and nothing close to your level but I can truly relate to how you feel. I think your creation is awesome : )