Dylan Mulder's samurai-inspired World of WearableArt garment has been made possible by the advent of 3-D printing.
Mulder is one of 24 Wellingtonians to make the final cut for this year's extravaganza of creativity and design.
The 26-year-old spent more than four months creating his design on his laptop before sending it to be 3-D printed in the Netherlands, the United States and China.
And while his final design is still under wraps before the September awards show, he says it is based on the theme of a samurai.
It is being entered into the Weta Workshop Costume and Film Section: The Crazy Curiosities of the Creature Carnival.
This is the second time he has entered the competition. Last year his Bizarre Bra, styled on a ninja, was a finalist so he wanted to keep with his theme.
"I think Japanese culture is so disciplined, meticulous and regimented. I think it's [ninjas] a really sweet theme. It's ever popular and they never age."
His design, made from strong, white and flexible plastic material, is only possible because 3-D technology has become more accessible, he says.
"It's accessible to the individual rather than being for big companies."
Mulder is believed to be the only male designer from the Wellington region to make it through to the finals, which he says he is "surprised" by.
"I think it is a female-oriented show to tell the truth, but I don't think it has to be."
He decided to go against the pack and design for a male model.
"I am creating fashion directed towards males so I'm using this as an opportunity to get it out there on a large scale."
Mulder says he noticed the crowd going wild when male models were on stage, which he hopes will work to his advantage.
More than 220 garments were judged last weekend and a shortlist of 160 was selected to compete for 39 titles in the awards.
Of those, almost half have come from international designers, including South Africa, China, Malaysia, and Israel.
Mulder believes his garment can stand up against the international competitors thanks to his clever design and the use of 3-D printing.
He studied industrial design at Victoria University and says he likes blending that with his interest in fashion.
Most recently he worked on The Hobbit, predominantly in the costume design department.
He hopes the exposure he will receive in the WOW awards will help propel his career.
This year is the 25th anniversary of the World of WearableArt Awards.
It'll be held at TSB Bank Arena from September 26, with the winners announced on September 27.
Tickets and more information available at worldofwearableart.com.
- The Dominion Post