You Need to See the World of WearableArt™: Colorado Springs

Here’s a little story about me that you probably won’t believe but it is true. Today, I sport torn jeans and old t-shirts but there was a time when I filled binders with fashion drawings. That’s right, as a teenager, I designed dresses fit for queens of the runway. I never had plans of becoming a fashion designer, I knew my limitations, but I loved fashion. 

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Fast forward to this past weekend, and the World of WearableArt™ exhibit at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College reminded me of my former passion. Plus, I think that have I been exposed to something like WOW® when I was younger, I might have chosen a different path.

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For 31 years, the World of WearableArt™ has been New Zealand’s largest art show. What is it? It’s the intersection of art and fashion. The show requires participating designers to think way, way outside of the box. Thirty-two award-winning garments are chosen to participate in a fashion show unlike any other. The exhibit at this Colorado Springs’ art museum includes a can’t-be-missed video of the show.

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These artistic creations use the human body as their canvas and they use  all sorts of unconventional and unexpected materials. Some use wood, others use metal and plastic. The sky’s the limit when it comes to WOW® creations and this exhibit in Colorado Springs is a testament to the creativity of the human spirit.

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The exhibit has been organized by the World of WearableArt™, Ltd. and has been developed in partnership with the New Zealand Government. 

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This isn’t just a “look, but don’t touch” exhibit. There is an interactive area where museum-goers can create their own WOW® designs.  

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Not every person who enters this competition is a clothing designer and that’s part of what makes this competition so very different from the others. Each piece designed is also completely distinct and while some have a raison d’être, like the “dress” that makes a statement about surviving cancer, some are simply a beautiful composition of uncommonly worn materials.

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This exhibit runs through September 22, and I highly recommend seeing it. You do not need to have any interest in fashion design. In fact, the exact words my furniture designer husband said as we left the museum on Saturday were: “Well, that was a lot better than I thought it would be!”

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By the way, Colorado Springs Fine Art Center at Colorado College is well worth a visit at any time of year. I love the large breezy hallway that leads into the heart of the museum. It’s an entryway that gives a visitor the true sense of the enormous value art brings to our society. A value beyond money. A value beyond beauty. It’s a measure of who we are as humans; who we have been, who we are today and what we can be. 

Thank you to Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center for hosting this visit.

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