Opening night World of WearableArt audience members were tonight treated to 166 garments made from wood, glass, metal - right through to lampshades and fibre-optic cables.
Half of the designs were from Kiwi entrants, with the rest coming as far afield as Taiwan, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Also arriving for the Wellington show from exotic locales was a troupe of Shaolin monks, who performed kung fu martial arts in the closing section of the event.
IN PICTURES: Click on the galleries to the left to see all of the looks from the different categories.
Dance group The Balkanistas were locals, but their members hailed from as far afield as Japan, Greece and Germany, as did the Balkan-style music and dance they would perform to warm up the crowds of the 13 night and matinee shows to come.
Artists and costume designers were able to compete in WoW's seven sections, including the Avant Garde, Children's, Costume and Film, Creative Excellence, Open and South Pacific - as well as the infamous Bizarre Bra category.
The supreme and section awards and the competition's $165,000 prize money will be presented at tomorrow night's show.
Also on offer was a four-week internship at Miramar's Weta Workshop, for the winner of the Costume and Film section.
Miramar-based designer Paula Rowan had entered two pieces for the Children's and another for the Bizarre Bra sections and was very excited to see her creations up on stage.
''They always do really well, making the garment look better than you ever thought possible.''
The medical sales representative had been entering for the last five years and picked up the Tutu award in 2013.
Even with its international prestige, Rowan said the competition attracted designers from all walks of life to participate.
''You're not a professional but you can still get your garment up on stage. It's not at all elitist.''
More than 50,000 people are expected to attend the WoW event, which was extended this year to include a third weekend.
- The Dominion Post
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