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No WOW factor now

Featherston designer Taralee Freeman [right] and Marie Wright and Zach McDonald-Wright. PHOTO/FILE

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A Featherston designer’s moment to finally unveil her latest creation to the world has hit a covid stumbling block after this month’s World of WearableArt [WOW] show was postponed.

Taralee Freeman, Marie Wright and Zach McDonald-Wright [both from Wellington], are 2021 finalists in Aotearoa’s most spectacular theatrical stage production set for September 30 – October 17. However, WOW officials have suspended the event.

Freeman, a Featherston resident for 20 years, was understandably saddened by the news, but remained optimistic the event would go ahead later this year.

“It was a little bit disheartening when I heard the news, but in the back of my mind I was kind of expecting it when we went into level 4,” she said.

“I would like to think that a show like this, where there’s an injection of arts and creativity into these weird and wonky times, would go on because we definitely need it.”

Freeman said she felt for the organisers and other designers, particularly from overseas, who would also be devastated by the postponement.

“As beautiful as it is to be able to represent Wairarapa in this phenomenal event, I think about the other designers. It affects all the designers of the world.

“We’ve also got to remember the hard work that goes behind what WOW does to make sure our garments get displayed beautifully on stage. It would have been a decision they wouldn’t have taken lightly.”

Freeman said when the time comes, it would be worth the wait.

“It’s like waiting for the birth of your creation to be actually displayed, that’s how it is,” she said.

“And when it does go on stage it’s so moving to see all of the designs and to see how well they work cohesively together, it’s beautiful. I can’t wait.”

Organisers of WOW are now working with Wellington City Council and WellingtonNZ to find alternative dates for the 2021 Awards Show.

Preparations were well under way for the 2021 show when alert level 4 lockdown was announced on August 17, with the WOW stage under construction in the TSB Arena, rehearsals taking place, and models being fitted into garments.

WOW chief executive David Tingey said the covid-19 outbreak in New Zealand meant the organisation had no alternative option.

“It is simply not possible to rehearse a show on the scale of WOW remotely and be ready to open on September 30, regardless of potential changes in alert restrictions between now and the scheduled opening date,” he said.

WOW founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff said they were optimistic the 2021 event
would happen.

All 2021 ticket holders are asked to wait until WOW has secured postponement dates.

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