Wowed over World of Wear­able Arts


A thou­sand metres of exquisitely furled red or­ganza rib­bon has earned Palmer­ston North wear­able arts de­signer Jen­nie Munro a place in this year’s World of Wear­able Art (WOW) fi­nal.

That’s just the fab­ric in the lower part of the cre­ation. En­tered in the ‘‘red’’ sec­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion, Munro’s Un­rav­elled is one of 103 gar­ments by 121 de­sign­ers from 14 coun­tries se­lected for the Welling­ton cat­walk ex­trav­a­ganza in Septem­ber, and the only one from Manawatu.

It’s the sixth time Munro has en­tered and the sixth time she has been se­lected for the fi­nal. This year’s en­try was in­spired by the My­lar sculp­ture of New York artist Tara Dono­van. ‘‘I was sur­prised when I made the fi­nal the first time. I’m still sur­prised, con­sid­er­ing the high cal­i­bre of peo­ple who en­ter from over­seas.’’

It’s per­haps be­cause this year there are fewer fi­nal­ists than last and Munro is not trained in fash­ion or de­sign. She is some­one who sim­ply de­cided to give it a go af­ter at­tend­ing WOW in 2009 with her daugh­ters.

And it’s not as though the teacher’s aide at Ross In­ter­me­di­ate is par­tic­u­larly good at sewing, either.

‘‘My sewing is not flash. The first en­try [in 2010] was re­ally the only one I sewed. What I en­joy most is the op­por­tu­nity to use dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als. I take over [hus­band Bruce’s] shed and get the com­pres­sor go­ing – I use a lot of power tools.’’

In 2012, Munro re­ceived an hon­ourable men­tion award for

Rain, in the vis­ual sym­phony sec­tion. It was in­spired by a soggy camp­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and the Hone Tuwhare poem, also called Rain.

Made from shaped plas­tic that was riv­eted to­gether, the gar­ment came with its own sound ef­fects.

‘‘It had to make a noise. It had a thun­der maker un­der­neath – a pi­ano spring in a card­board tube and the model car­ried a rain­stick.’’

Af­ter 2013’s Born to Be Wild, which she en­tered in the man un­leashed psy­che­delic re­vival cat­e­gory, Munro took a cou­ple of years break, but was back last year, en­ter­ing Out Of The Blue, a brightly painted fi­bre­glass cre­ation in the sur­re­al­ism, cu­bism and ex­pres­sion­ism sec­tion.

The fi­nal­ists’ gar­ments will be show­cased in the WOW Awards Show in Welling­ton from Septem­ber 21 to Oc­to­ber 8, fol­low­ing the fi­nal judg­ing.

‘‘I'm still sur­prised, con­sid­er­ing the high cal­i­bre of peo­ple who en­ter from over­seas.’’ Jen­nie Munro


Jen­nie Munro with her 2012 cre­ation ‘‘Rain’’ and pieces from other cos­tumes that have made World Of Wear­able Arts com­pe­ti­tion.

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