Wearable of the Week # 6

Wearable of the Week # 6

Over 100 WOW® fans crammed into Te Papa’s Eyelight’s Gallery last Saturday to hear the maker of this week’s wearable speak. Its Bells for Her by Sean Purucker.

Bell Back Model
Bells for Her by Sean Purucker. Photograph courtesy of Sean Purucker.

Sean Purucker lives in LA where he works as a costume fabricator. He grew up, however in Alaska. Bells For Her harks back to his Alaskan childhood – to memories of snowy winters, of sleighing, of jingle bells. Bells For Her is inspired by his mother, who is a music teacher.

Ryan and Mom snow
Sean’s mom Rachelle and brother Ryan in Alaska. Photo courtesy of Sean Purucker.

As with most of Sean’s work, Bells for Her began as a pencil sketch. Sean remained true to the drawing until it came to his choice of fabric. Originally, Sean had imagined the garment in pink – that is until he discovered a bright blue next to the pink. Blue certainly seems truer somehow to the Alaskan spirit – evocative of cool brilliant blue skies.

Sketch by Sean Purucker for Bells for Her. Courtesy of Sean Purucker.
Sketch by Sean Purucker for Bells for Her. Courtesy of Sean Purucker.

Sean entered Bells for Her in WOW®’s Visual Symphony section in 2012.  For this section, entrants were invited to to create a garment that made sound. On stage each sound was woven into a musical score by Gareth Farr, one of New Zealand’s leading composers and percussionists.

As the garments didn’t come with instructions, Gareth spent time working out ‘what would happen if you wiggle that or … shake that’.

Sean had expected the model simply to shimmy on stage to ring her bells. Gareth, however, had other ideas. As the model shimmied and jingled, a scantily clad male dancer appeared armed with a pair of tiny mallots and played her bells.

Bells For Her by Sean Purucker (USA) on stage at the 2012 World of WearableArt Award show.
Bells For Her by Sean Purucker (USA) on stage at the 2012 World of WearableArt™ Award show with the Wellington Vector Orchestra.

Bells for Her earned Sean second place in the Visual Symphony section. Sean has been a regular WearableArt™ entrant since 2008, and has accrued a number of awards including winning the Children’s Section in 2011, the Weta Award in 2010 and the WOW Factor Award in 2008 for a spectactular group of punk birds.

Sean won the Children’s Section of the 2011 WearableArt™ Awards with Pretzella in 2011. Designers were asked to make a work inspired by food.

To see more of Sean’s imaginative and varied work, from punk birds to funky fungi and crazy cacti visit his photographic gallery.

‘Wearable of the Week’ is posted in conjunction with The WOW Factor: 25 Years in the Making, which is on display at Te Papa until 17 August 2014. For more on the World of WearableArt™ visit WOW® online.

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