Internationally renowned Indonesian accessories designer, Rinaldy Yunardi, has beaten 122 designers from 13 countries, competing for 37 awards to take out top honours in the 2017 World of WearableArt™ (WOW®) Awards. First-time WOW entrant, Yunardi entered two garments, both of which won their respective section awards, as well as one winning the Supreme WOW Award.

As the 2017 Supreme Award Winner, Yunardi will take home NZD30,000 as well as a further NZD12,000 for winning two Section Awards. With a 20-year career in designing millinery and fashion accessories, Jakarta-based Yunardi has a recognised career in design. He is one of the few designers who entered two garments this year:

  • Encapsulate: First in the Open Section and Winner of the Supreme WOW Award
  • Cosmos: First in the Avant-garde Section

WOW’s Founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff says,

We are delighted to have such a distinguished designer winning two section awards, as well as the Supreme WOW Award. WOW has worked hard to reach out to designers around the world, and it’s exciting when they agree to step into our world. Rinaldy Yunardi joins a stellar lineup of New Zealand and international designers who have won awards at WOW in its 29-year history.

Yunardi says both his WOW garments are inspired by the universe being a well-ordered whole, encapsulating a system of thought, reason, and emotions. Encapsulate is a particularly striking design of a capsule in two halves, made of plastic ropes and LEDs. Cosmos is a full-body black and silver garment with elaborate headdress, made of mesh crystals, plastic rope, and metal.

Moncrieff says the judges were particularly impressed by Yunardi’s design aesthetic, for its exceptional strength in simplicity of design, and uniqueness of form.

The Runner-Up for the Supreme WOW Award is Refuse Refuge by Grace DuVal (Chicago, USA), which is also Winner of the Sustainability Award. Made of bicycle inner tubes and spokes, DuVal says “Refuse Refuge is a warrior woman, an alien-human, building her future from the rubble of the earth’s past.” DuVal chose tyre tubes because they are both resilient and mouldable, and there is a great surplus of them.

Every tube was pulled from the trash of bicycle shops around Chicago. These materials that refuse to decompose will be all that we have left in the future. – DuVal

World of WearableArt (WOW) is the world’s leading wearable art design competition. Now in its 29th year, WOW’s combination of an international design competition inside a spectacular stage production is New Zealand’s single largest annual theatrical show and a must-see event for close to 60,000 people every year.

The rules of competition mean that anything that is wearable can find a place on stage, as long as it is original, innovative and well-made. WOW attracts some of the most creative people from around the world, working at the cutting edge of fashion, art, design, costume and theatre, alongside students and first-time enthusiasts. WOW is a license to play, explore and experiment with resources and processes, with entrants using unexpected materials to create highly sophisticated garments incorporating everything from artisan craftsmanship to futuristic fabrication technologies

WOW’s 2017 judges were Dame Suzie Moncrieff, fashion designer and artist Kerrie Hughes, artist Michel Tuffery, Weta Workshop’s Sir Richard Taylor, Cirque du Soleil’s Valérie Desjardins and David Jones’ Teneille Ferguson. The judging process is in three stages, with garments being assessed in detail, as well as for their performance on stage.

After the show’s season in Wellington, the winning garments from each year’s show are then exhibited at the iconic National WOW Museum in Nelson, which attracts more than 40,000 visitors each year. The exhibition allows people to see the garments up close, and truly appreciate the level of detailing and expertise needed to create an award-winning work of wearable art.

The WOW Awards Show is on now at TSB Bank Arena in Wellington until 8 October. The exhibition of 2017 WOW garments will open in early December 2017.

Get your tickets now at


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