Fashion guru Manish Arora's 'Butterfly Dress' and three other Indian design outfits will feature at New Zealand's most coveted fashion and arts extravaganza opening on Thursday.
The 2008 Montana World of Wearable Art (WOW) Awards show in Wellington will showcase 'Emerald Tentacles' designed by N.P. Jayaraj & Pooja Bedi; 'I the Centre' by Pooja Gosain; and 'Cockroach Bra' by Pooja Rajput, besides Arora's creation.
Arora's hand-embroidered Swarovski crystal-bejewelled 'Butterfly Dress', created for last year's Paris fashion week, featuring over 1,000 hand-embroidered butterflies sewn on to the dress by 10 craftspersons will be part of the static exhibition.
"As the garment is very intricate and best enjoyed close up, it will be on display in the foyer for the WOW show season and then at the WOW museum in Nelson for the next six months," a spokesperson for Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) said.
"Arora will be visiting New Zealand for the first time in November."
Seven Indian designs were created for the 2008 WOW through an endeavour between the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and TNZ, and three designs were shortlisted for their creativity, innovation and theatrical impact.
The three shortlisted Indian design outfits will be showcased at the 2008 WOW show alongside garments from international designers hailing from countries as far afield as Britain, the US, Canada, Japan, Thailand, Germany and Israel.
As sculptor Suzie Moncrieff, who is WoW's founder and creative director, said, "A significant part of WOW's success is the overwhelming support of The Montana WOW Awards Show by international designers.
"I thank FDCI for their support in promoting WOW in India and hope that we continue getting such high quality garments for future shows."
Jayaraj and Bedi are from Pearl Academy of Fashion, Delhi; Gosain is from NIFT, Delhi; and Rajput is from SNDT College, Mumbai.
This year, the World of Wearable Art Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding with the FDCI to encourage design students and professionals in India to showcase their creative talent before an international audience. This received an overwhelming response with young designers from across the country entering their creations for 2008 WOW.
WOW is held every September in Wellington and attracts an audience of about 33,000 per season.
As a sponsor of WOW since 2001, TNZ chief executive George Hickton said, "WOW is an ideal opportunity for us to show our international audiences that New Zealand is more than just its landscapes; we are a vibrant nation with a sophisticated art scene and an entrepreneurial spirit. There is no other event quite like this."
In its 20th year, the show is a unique concept where designers are encouraged to challenge their creative boundaries. Some of the past entries have included materials as diverse as car parts, fishhooks, business cards, sausage skins, human hair and salmon skins.