'Supernova' claims top Wearable Art award

A multi-award winning Kiwi designer has taken out the top prize at the World of Wearable Art (WOW) Awards show in Wellington.

Gillian Saunders' piece Supernova won the Brancott Estate Supreme award, beating a field of 133 other garments.

'Supernova' claims top Wearable Art award

'Supernova' by Gillian Saunders (World of Wearable Art)

Saunders, of Nelson, also won in the David Jones Avant Garde section for the same piece, seeing her nab two of the top 20 awards at the show.

This year, the judging panel was headed by WOW founder Dame Suzie Moncreiff, along with Zambesi fashion designer Elisabeth Findlay and sculptor Gregor Kregar.

Supernova is the 16th garment Saunders has entered into WOW since 2000, and the ninth award she has won.

This is her first time receiving the top WOW honour.

After having been involved in theatre and television for much of her life, Saunders saw designing wearable art as the next step.

"I had been making stage props for theatre and TV for years. WOW was the perfect challenge - could I make props for the body as well?" Saunders says.

For her winning design, Saunders was inspired by the texture and colours of Thierry Mugler's Chimera dress and the iridescent spiny fins of the 'Hippocampus' from the film Percy Jackson and The Sea of Monsters.

She also took inspiration from images she had seen of space taken by the Hubble telescope.

The 2016 World of Wearable Art show concludes on October 9.