Winners from the 24th Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art (WOW) Awards for 2012 were announced over the weekend with Bay of Plenty Polytechnic fashion tutor Debbie Shepherd picking up a top award.
Debbie's ensemble, City Lolita, won the Shell Sustainability Award in the Avante Garde section. Constructed entirely using upcycled metal zippers, City Lolita featured a corseted tailored jacket, a masculine shirt, tie and feminine crinolined skirt.
Formerly from Merseyside in England, Debbie visited the WOW Museum in Nelson on a holiday back in 2007. "I was so inspired by the amazing designs and works of art on display at the museum that I vowed to one day enter a garment myself."
Debbie immigrated to New Zealand in 2010 and began tutoring at the Polytechnic a year later which further ignited her determination to enter the internationally acclaimed competition.
"The construction of my ensemble was inspired through experimental manipulations using recycled zips - as 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the zipper, it seemed appropriate to pay homage to Gideon Sunback, the inventor.
"I was absolutely thrilled to have been selected as a finalist for WOW - and to win the sustainability award was simply breathtaking. The show itself was fantastic, such an amazing spectacle of music, dance and costume! I would highly recommend it to anyone, even if you're not a fashion fan."