Chainmail dress WOWs judges
Four years ‘‘tinkering’’ on a garment made of chainmail jump rings have earned a Central Otago woman a finalist spot in the World of WearableArt Awards.
Debbie Paton, of Earnscleugh, is one of 121 designers from 14 countries to compete for the 2017 awards. She is the only one from Otago to make the finals.
‘‘It is still sinking in. I don’t know why I got selected. I was just tinkering, having a go and it finished itself and I entered.’’
The garment was made out of ‘‘thousands’’ of silver and copper chainmail jump rings, typically used for jewellery.
‘‘I just love chain mail. It’s lovely. The dress is very heavy. It just started off with a square. Then I thought, ‘I wonder what I could do with the rest?’
‘‘Easy-peasy. I just tinker. You know what they say about idle hands.’’
It was her first time entering a fashion show of any sort.
‘‘I don’t know what to expect.’’ WOW chief executive Gisella Carr said there were 48 finalists from New Zealand, and Paton was Otago’s only finalist.
‘‘WOW’s international reach is becoming more and more evident, something we’ve worked hard to achieve, while at the same time retaining its unique New Zealand heart. Each year, WOW continues to attract an exciting number and range of designers due to the high awareness of the WOW brand, designers’ own networks, and WOW’s work with tertiary institutions around the globe. Many people may not realise just how many of our international designers come to Wellington in September, taking part in WOW’s designer programme, and further strengthening WOW’s inter- national network.
‘‘We encourage and celebrate a huge range of diversity in our designers, from those with professional training and careers, to those who start with a gem of an idea, and have the courage, tenacity and sheer determination to create something extraordinary outside of their own field. On stage, we see the work of international fashion designers, artists from the creative and industrial sectors, alongside students and first-time enthusiasts. This incredible cross-section of entrants is not only reflected in how the garments look, but also in their materials and construction.‘‘
The finalist garments will be showcased in the WOW Awards Show in Wellington from September 21 to October 8.