Chief Hair Designer Cherie McIntyre checks in on WelTec hairdressing student Casper-Rose Marama backstage at WOW®.

Wellington New Zealand, September 28, 2016

More than sixty students work backstage at World of WearableArt™ Awards Show.
Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) hairdressing and makeup artistry students are busy working backstage applying their skills to more than 40 models at the internationally acclaimed World of WearableArt™ Awards Show.

WelTec hairdressing tutors Lesley Whitecliffe-Smith and Michelle McAuley prepared the students in the lead up to opening night and are now mentoring the students as they work backstage on WOW® - something they’ll be doing for the next three weeks.

“Students are doing lots of pigtails, partings, barrel curl settings, braidings as well as styling on some of the male models at this year’s World of WearableArt™ Awards ShowWorking on WOW® is incredible and all the students are very excited to have this opportunity,” says Lesley.

“The students do practice sessions with WOW®’s Chief Hair Designer Cherie McIntyre where she demonstrates and talks them through what they need to do.  Working on WOW® means the students can experience another element of hairdressing outside of salon work.  WOW® has been exclusive to WelTec for hair and make-up since it started in Wellington 11 years ago - it has opened up so many opportunities for our graduates.”

Having been involved in WOW® for more than 20 years Cherie McIntyre still gets a buzz from seeing students working on the models.  “Because I've been doing this for a long time you get a good sense of what you need to show them and teach them.  You see from the first day how much they grow, and they see the fruits of the labours on stage.” 

Casper-Rose Marama, a WelTec hairdressing student views the opportunity to be part of WOW® as motivating and really inspiring.  “Everything's different, it's not repetitive work.  It's creative and quite artistic, which is what I really like about it.  When I got the opportunity to be part of the show, it really spiced things up.”

Another student Talisha Te Hiini who will be starting work at Rodney Wayne when she finishes her hairdressing certificate at WelTec, agrees. “It's a fun experience being able to see my work on stage and the environment is incredibly fast-paced because of the costume changes.  Sometimes the models wear nine different garments. I might braid hair one way and then have to do a parting on the same model shortly after.”

“It’s incredibly exciting for students so early on in their career to have an opportunity to work on WOW® which is one of the largest scale and leading creative productions on New Zealand’s arts calendar,” says Chris Gosling Chief Executive of WelTec and Whitireia. 

“People wanting to study creative technologies and applied arts such as these students, will soon have the opportunity to enrol at Te Auaha – the New Zealand Institute of Applied Creativity, which will bring together related programmes from WelTec and Whitireia,” says Chris Gosling.  World of WearableArt founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff is an Ambassador for Te Auaha. 

“Te Auaha will lend itself to these sorts of opportunities including fashion runways, photography shoots and dance productions. It will definitely complement all the things these students are doing backstage and on-stage at WOW®.”



Video: View WelTec students at WOW® here:


To find out more about Te Auaha New Zealand Institute of Applied Creativity visit