Keeping abreast of the news

Wi-fi enabled bra shows rolling video bulletin

Last updated 08:14 17/07/2014
World of WearableArt Awards
UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Tim Bayley, left, Janet Southwick and Ernie Little Have entered a bra into the World of WearableArt Awards made of recycled ultra fibre.

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A bra made out of fibre-optic cables featuring a working tablet computer which displays a rolling news clip, a dynamic light show, and a small satellite is among the Nelson and Tasman region's 12 contributions to this year's World of WearableArts Show.

Nelson couple Tim Bayley and Janet Southwick, together with their friend Ernie Little, have put together a bra that could be connected to a wi-fi network "if it wanted to". They scavenged the cables a year and a half ago when they were being installed in the street.

Bayley said he and Southwick had been toying with the theme of "keeping abreast of the news" for some 10 years. They had originally intended to make a bra out of newsprint using a papier mache technique, but decided to move with the times.

"It's basically how we're all going to keep abreast of the news in future, because it'll all come to the television screen by fibre."

Bayley built the moving parts, Southwick did the bra fittings, and Little, a photographer, took care of the news clip.

The team is among 15 designers from the Nelson and Tasman region who will see their creations on the World of WearableArt Awards catwalk this year.

The show's organisers said around half the 166 garments selected for the show were Kiwi-made, with the rest from international designers based in the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, India, Denmark, China, Taiwan, Australia and beyond. The popular show will be held in Wellington from September 25 until October 10.

Judges completed the first round of assessments early this month. Two further judging rounds are planned in September to decide the the section winners, special prizes and the overall Supreme winner.

Nelson Mail chief photographer Martin de Ruyter, wife Karen Stade and their son Troy Stade, 20, were also responsible for one of the chosen designs. De Ruyter said their Bizarre Bra was a piece of "trench art" that was inspired by the copper creations made by soldiers during and after World War I. It is made out of copper casings from spent .303 bullets.

"I'm using the tools of my grandfather, great grandfather and great, great grandfather."

The project, which took the family several months to complete, was also informed by Karen Stade's work as a historian on an upcoming Nelson Provincial Museum exhibit about World War I.

More than 50,000 people are expected to attend the World of WearableArt Awards Show. Tickets are available for sale at

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  • Among the designers whose work will feature in this year's World of WearableArt Awards are: Tim Bayley, Nelson; Julie Brawley, Brightwater; Jane Ewers, Upper Moutere; Carol Hargadon, Nelson; Donna Allfrey, Nelson (two garments); Lex Allfrey, Nelson; Martin de Ruyter, Nelson; Nicki van Asch, Nelson (two garments); Peter Wakeman, Motueka.

- The Nelson Mail


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