An appreciative full house enjoyed the seventh annual Paparoa Wearable Arts Gala parade of creations that ranged from huggable trees and rubbish-bag dresses to fiesta fantasies, sea witches and aliens.
The show opened with a short history of Paparoa, which will celebrate its 150th anniversary at Labour Weekend, followed by a kapa haka performance and kola dancers. Hosted by Dennise Brownlee and Allen Farquharson, the choreographed show and costumes dazzled the crowd.
The overall winner was "Muireartach" (sea witch), designed by Penny Goodall and Louise Sims and modelled by Katie Goodall. Made from woven wire, fabrics, gauze, fishnet stockings, paper mache and Bream Bay snapper scales, it was a popular win.
Judges Bet Nelley, Tom Gomes and Alexandra Smit said the decision had been very hard, with few points separating the contestants.
The winner of the Vintage and Victorian category was 14-year-old designer Scott Owens, whose model, Jenny Gilberd-Longdon, wore a full light-green taffeta dress complete with a 13-hoop crinoline petticoat with lace and organza accessories.
Other category winners were: Spirit of the NZ Bush - "Protection" designed and modelled by Shontelle Wilson; Recycled 21 Century Technology - "Endangerment" designed and modelled by Taylor Martinovich; Fast Forward to the Future - "Queen Baraidia of the Planet Stabbria" designed and modelled by Bron Kaire.
Helen Budds' "Olympic Medals for Recycling" won the People's Choice award in the Trash to Art exhibition, with Maria Ellis' "Capped Canine" winning the judges' first prize.