WOW 2009 - Alaskan Carpenter takes top award

Alaskan carpenter David Walker took away the Montana Supreme WOW Award at the 2009 Montana World of WearableArt Awards show at the TSB Bank Arena on Wellington's waterfront in September, to become the first international designer to take out the top award.

Wendy Hill Makeup is proud to be the official and exclusive makeup of the Montana World of WearableArt Awards show.

Walker's stunning entry was a 17thcentury ball gown -Lady of the Wood - which he created entirely out of mahogany and lacewood with 52 strips of maple and cedar veneer for the hooped skirt, topped off with a glamorous wig made from wood shavings. Lady of the Wood also won the Tourism New Zealand Avant Garde section.

Walker has been creating Wearable art for 10 years, and this was his third year entering the Montana WOW Awards Show. He previously took out the highly coveted WETA Award in 2007.

One of the judges for this year's show, Associate British Royal Sculptor Max Patte, was delighted with the winning entry, which he said worked "on every level".

"It is an original design and beautifully executed, and something that can be appreciated by everyone," he said. "Once again, it raises the game and expectations for next year's WOW."

WOW is one of those events that leaves everyone short of superlatives to adequately describe it, and this year's show - the fifth to take place in Wellington and the 21st overall - was no exception.

This year it attracted entries from designers in 10 countries, with major interest coming from New Zealand, Australia, the USA and India.

From those entries, 165 garments were chosen to perform on stage in seven unique sections of dance and theatre and non-stop entertainment that enthralled just under 40,000 people over 11 shows.

WOW is a unique New Zealand experience, and now rates as one of the outstanding international events on the New Zealand events calendar. The show is estimated to bring millions of dollars a year into the Wellington economy, and is well established as one of the most prestigious art and fashion competitions in the world.

2009 Wow Friends

New Zealand's leading couture and ready-to-wear fashion designer Liz Mitchell (left), who created the beautiful gown worn by WOW host Jennifer Ward Lealand during the WOW Awards ceremony, photographed with Wendy Hill, managing director of Wendy Hill Cosmetics Ltd at the WOW Awards night. Wendy Hill Makeup is the exclusive makeup of WOW.

Managing Director Wendy Hill says as a leading New Zealand makeup brand, the company is very proud to be the exclusive makeup partner of WOW, which she described as an iconic New Zealand brand.

"We are delighted to be the excusive makeup supplier for this unique and hugely popular international event, which is growing bigger and more influential year by year," she says. "We think it is marvellous that WOW, as a major New Zealand brand, recognizes unique New Zealand companies and is so supportive of us and other successful New Zealand companies."

WOW CEO, Gabrielle Hervey, is delighted with the success of the association between WOW and Wendy Hill.

"We have been delighted with the performance of the makeup, and the results - as seen on stage and in our photography - has been stunning. As well our performers and our team of makeup artists love it," she says.

Nelson-Marlborough area representative of the Association of Beauty Therapists of New Zealand, Lisa Davis ofAbout Beauty at Monaco in Nelson, designed and supervised the makeup during the first weekend, working alongside students from Wellington's Institute of Technology (WelTec). More than 50 makeup artists and hairstylists work on the show, mainly Diploma in Beauty Therapy students and tutors from the Wellington Institute of Technology.

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