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.

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