How an old rug became a WOW garment

Artists get inspiration from a range of different places. For some it's nature, for others it might be a concept or feeling. Kate Mackenzie from Hawke's Bay, on the other hand, was inspired by carpet and women empowerment. 

Kate was driving home one day trying to decide whether she was going to take the plunge and enter the World of WearableArt for a sixth year. She already had the idea in her head - a wearable carpet garment.

Kate said to herself that if she got home and found the right carpet on Trade Me then she would go for it. 

"The most beautiful floral Axminster hall runner in good condition was there with a buy now option. I still hesitated and went to bed without purchasing it - afraid of all the hard work that would be ahead of me. But I did not sleep and at midnight I had the awful thought of waking up in the morning to discover that someone else had purchased it!! So I got up and purchased it just after midnight, because that carpet belonged to me!"

Axminstress Rug

Kate said she had been wanting to use Axminster carpet in a wearable art garment for a few years.

"I love the depth and beauty of it and when I found the right carpet it sparked much thought about women living in the era that this carpet was trending, and how life has changed for women since then. The idea of revolutionising the woollen twinset was a good way to illustrate women empowerment, especially as we have become more confident in finding a voice and free to pursue a career path if we so choose. 

"The carpet has became a symbol for the hidden emotions that have been swept under the rug," she said. 

The project took about four months and incorporated three different rugs that Kate found on Trade Me but it was worth the hard work. Kate's garment Axminstress came 2nd in the Avant-Garde section and Kate came runner-up for the Sustainability Award. 

Kate is no stranger to the World of Wearable Art, this is the second year she has entered and she's hooked. "I always tell my husband I'm having a year off but I can't help myself if I get a good idea," she said. 

Axminstress Clear Cut
"My favourite thing about WOW is that your art can get such good exposure in a positive way. It's a big stage with a big audience and the thought of making a garment that either entertains or sparks some form of emotion from the audience is an honour and a privilege."
Tickets are still available for this year's World of WearableArt which ends on 14 October.