Awards still amaze

An Alaskan carpenter's 17th century-style ball gown made entirely of wood has won the top prize at the World of WearableArt (WOW) awards in Wellington.

David Walker's Lady Of The Wood was comprised of mahogany and lacewood with 52 strips of maple and cedar veneer for the hooped skirt and a wig made from wood shavings.

• Slideshow: Wearable art wows audiences

Along with supreme award, the gown won the avant garde section, as the winners of the 21st WOW were announced in Wellington's TSB Centre last night..

It was Walker's third year in the show and 10th making wearable art.

Judge Max Patte said Walker's design was a "beautifully executed" original design which worked on every level.

"Once again, it raises the game and expectations for next year's WOW."

Designers entered 165 garments in seven sections: graffiti art, magic gardens, super heroes, dancing cowboys, creatures from the dark, South Pacific, and a parallel universe.

Timaru artist Sarah Thomas won the Weta award for the second year, as well as the open section with her piece, American Dream, modelled on the 1950s car.

The 2009 winners of WOW were. -Supreme: Lady Of The Wood, David Walker, United States; runner-up, Second Skin, Hayley May and Fiona Christie, Wellington.

First-time entrant award: Lagarus Ovatus En Masse, Catherine Anderton, Wellington.

Special awards
Student design: Bound, Gina Digirolamo and Lindsey Eisentraut, US; runner-up, Multi-Plug, Ragini Ahuja and Rishabh Rhode, India.

Sustainability: Queen Adelaide, Emma Whiteside, Wellington.

International: Saddle Up, Mary Wing To, United Kingdom; runner-up, Screen Play, Amy Jean Boebel and Sue Hobby, US.

Weta: American Dream, Sarah Thomas, Timaru; runner-up: Wanderer, Sue Cederman, Motueka.

WOW factor: Firebird, Susan Holmes, Auckland.

Section winners
Children: The Dandelion Clock, Tracey Koole, Auckland.

Illumination illusion: Into Thin Air, Marie Gant Roxburgh, Christchurch.

Man unleashed: Sir Lazyboy, Cassandra Bowe, Nelson.

Open section: American Dream, Sarah Thomas, Timaru.

South Pacific: Rock On In The Shadowlands, Janet Bathgate, Nelson.

Avant garde: Lady Of The Wood, David Walker, United States.

Creative excellence: Second Skin, Hayley May and Fiona Christie, Wellington.

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