Wearable Arts Competition 2019

A key part of our Eye on Nature event is our popular and successful Wearable Arts show. Children from Primary, Intermediate and Secondary schools are challenged to create a unique costume using recycled or organic materials that represents our annual Eye on Nature theme concerning the environment.

Due to the resounding success of the Eye on Nature Wearable Arts show over the past five years, we have decided to move the event to give more children and teenagers the opportunity to participate! The success of the event is down to the amazing creativity and commitment of our primary, intermediate and secondary schools students, teachers and parents, and we can't think of a better way to acknowledge that than to provide a bigger, all-weather venue to showcase all their incredible hard work. The Eye on Nature Wearable Arts Show will be held at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau on Thursday 27 June 2019, 6:30pm-9pm. 

Participants will be creating their costumes to connect with the 2019 Theme idea, Friend or FoeRestoring Habitats-Reducing Threats - Hoa hēhoariri kia haumaru papakāinga. MBCT and all participating students invite the general public to watch the show and support our Tamariki as they advocate important environmental messages through incredible wearable art. Tickets can be purchased online through Eventfinda for as little as $5.00 per person or $12 for a whanau pass (max 2 adults). 

The competition is set to be fierce with over 65 entries already registered and a total prize pool of $3500 cash up for grabs on the night. 

Keep up to date with the latest details on our Facebook Event Page here. 

Click to view entries from 2016 in the below video or see more images on our Facebook page here. 



After consultation with our schools community, we have shifted the Wearable Arts show from the April Eye on Nature event, and moved it to later in the school year.Teachers and students alike feel that this will give them more time after Term 1 to work on their designs, and we want to be sure to be giving them every opportunity to shine! A later event will ease the burden for teachers and students, and therefore encourage more talented and passionate schools to get involved.

It is suggested that in term 4 of 2018 teachers introduce the theme to the students to give them enough research time and make a plan about different options of display. 

In term 1 February 2019, (5 months till submission) students are given opportunities to give their creations dedicated time to produce the best quality outcomes according to age and stage.  We have lots of up to date resources to support your research.

Online Resources:

 Pestdetective.org.nz -gives you pictures of non-native creatures and lots of examples of how children can get involved in some environmental action ideas.

Doc.govt.nz – has a tab on Foe- ‘Pests and Threats’ and ‘War on weeds’ which has a simple visual guide on invasive weeds. It also has great resources on native invertebrates, (friends). In our second link we have catered for your audio learners hoping they will be inspired by the sounds of our precious native birds. Did you know a male and female Kiwi sound very different?

Link 1: Native trees in your green space.

Link 2: Bird songs and calls. 

Weedbusters.org.nz - a great resource which offers alternative native plants and an opportunity to learn what pest plants look like.

Pond.co.nz is the National Grid for Learning and Auckland Council has a range of resources for teachers. There is a booklet on ‘Invertebrates’ and another called ‘The Forest Community’, which are designed to support their Learning Through Experience programs. Great teaching resources to ignite, explore, develop and enrich student’s knowledge of New Zealand’s unique biodiversity. All booklets have references to the National Curriculum and ideas to build in for literacy and numeracy.

Entry details:

Please note that the Wearable Arts will be presented at the Vodafone Event Centre, 770 Great South Rd, Manukau Thursday June 27, 2019.

  • Rehearsal and judging will take place during the school hours on Wednesday 26 June 2019, 12.30pm -2.30pm (you are welcome to come earlier from 11.00am, to practice on the cat walk).
  • Show time is on Thursday 27 June, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, please be at the venue by 5.00pm at the latest. Save the date and your seat here.
  • Expressions of Interest form to be returned to the Trust by 5.00pm November 27, 2018.
  • Registrations for entry close 5pm, Friday 24 May, 2019.

Downloadable Documents:

Click here to download all of the above information, the judging criteria and entry form: 

Garment requirements:

Please remember to strictly adhere to the following criteria and to the theme. 

To help ensure your entry qualifies please use the checklist provided. 

Here are some things to remember before you send in your entry:

  • You must provide every item that you wish your model to wear. For example if you are entering a skirt - there must be an accompanying top. 
  • The use of some organic materials will need to be applied close to the time of rehearsal and judging and especially for the catwalk. You will need to provide a spray water bottle for foliage to keep fresh (as do florists) or have a supply of fresh product to replace.
  • NO artificial bought flowers,  however you may make your own.
  • Your entry must be suitable for climbing stairs (no stilts).
  • Your entry must be comfortable to wear- NO sharp objects  or scratchy surfaces eg: staples.
  • Try your garment on so you will know if it is too heavy, unbalanced, uncomfortable, or will not hold together. Identify movement stress points and reinforce these areas.
  • Garment must be able to withstand transportation and worn 2 or 3 times.
  • Garment must be hung on coat hangers and fabric label stitched inside entry with name and title of garment.
  • Hats must be fitted and well balanced, a strap under the chin may be appropriate. Models must be able to see clearly while wearing the garment.
  • Parent or teacher to help at rehearsal for dressing or any repairs.
  • Please provide clear instructions for wearing the garment.  Make an inventory of all the pieces of your entry and provide clear photos of the front and back of the finished garment worn on a model. 
  • Fill in the brief Wearable Art questionnaire provided by the Trust explaining how your wearable art item relates to the theme, who designed it, who is modeling the garment and how many worked on it. This should also include photos of the front and back of the garment. 

Judging criteria:



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Auckland, New Zealand