Bra wows at New Zealand’s WOW

By Alexis White

You can call him Iggy, but in the annals of wearable art his name is “aBRAcalpyse Now.” Created by Wendy Moyer, a San Miguel de Allende resident and award-winning textile artist, the five-foot long, bra-wearing iguana was quite the attention grabber at the 24th annual Brancott Estate World of WearableArt Awards Show (WOW) recently held in Wellington, New Zealand.

WOW is New Zealand’s single largest arts show. This year, nearly 50,000 people from around the globe attended and were treated to a two-hour spectacular of art, theater, dance and music that brought 164 wearable art designs to life.

Iggy was no slouch when it came to holding up his end of things. He won runner-up for the WETA Award, which recognizes garments that best cross the boundaries between film and wearable art. WETA Workshop is the Oscar-winning special effects company whose creatures and costumes have appeared in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Avatar, King Kong, and many other films, including The Hobbit, due for release at the end of the month.

According to Moyer, “‘aBRAcalpyse Now’ was inspired by Mayan legend, when immense iguana-like entities, the Bacabs, formed the world in 3114 BC. Early sixth century peyote visions revealed the iguana as the Aztec’s spirit guide and protector from evil. Now, 125 years after the beginning of days, ‘aBRAcalypse Now’ heralds the Mayan end of days,” Moyer said. “I have been inspired by artisans and spiritual symbols of Mexico’s oldest indigenous cultures,” she added. “The Huichol yarn-art motifs of peyote breasts give rise to the ancestral iguana god who will guide us through the impending Mayan Baktun. It is time to rejoice in a new era – the rise of the feminine.”

“aBRAcalpyse Now” is a soft sculpture on a wire frame. Ultrasuede and other synthetic fibers were used to create Iggy’s hand stitched body, which was then enhanced with hand-painted and airbrushed acrylics and the addition of silicon scales and polymer nails and eyes. The bra was created with dried gourds, yarn and gold leaf.

Iggy as well as Moyer’s other sculptures have their genesis in the stalls of Mexico’s markets, and especially San Miguel’s Tianguis. Moyer only uses recycled fabrics, which she finds while digging through piles of clothes. From ultrasuede to shantung silk, raw linen to cashmere, the fabrics are former high fashion garments with prestigious labels that are cut, singed, felted and transformed by Moyer.

In 2010, Moyer’s creation “Prickly Heat” received WOW’s Commended Award and was purchased by WOW for its permanent historic collection. The bizarre bra is currently in the “Off the Wall” tour that showcases WOW’s 30 best garments. “Prickly Heat” plays on the nurturing bosom of motherhood by creating a cacti-covered garment alluringly colored and flowering, but adorned with sharp barbs.

Moyer’s work has been exhibited at the invitation-only World Textile Art Organization (WTA) 11th International Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art in Oaxaca as well as at galleries in San Miguel de Allende, which she has called home for a decade. She presently is engaged in the process of preparing her 2013 WOW entry, an idea that will be founded in Mexican legends, gods and agave leaves. For more information about Moyer, go to


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