The winner of this year's Edible Fashion Awards has got the call up to once again perform on the international stage.

Keryn Whitney is a finalist in the World of Wearable Arts for the eighth time with a design based on a stamp from the historic New Zealand Post.

She joins 61 other Kiwi designers and more than 50 international designers from India through to England.

Ms Whitney said this year's idea came from watching the news, as she noticed a lot about immigration, whether it was in America, Europe or Australia.


"I thought about New Zealand and realised our entire country is built on immigration."

Ms Whitney then went deeper and thought about the families that immigrated here and the messages they would have sent home filled with hope and heartache.

She said when you looked at a tiny stamp it didn't mean much but the amount of weight that it carried with it was huge.

"A stamp is such a powerful symbol and they started to stand out for me. I then just had to work out how to turn a flat conventional image into a three dimension item people wore."

"I sat down with my pens, scribbled and changed about seven to eight designs before I found one that I was pleased with. I had to look at the story I wanted to portray."

Ms Whitney said no matter how many times she entered it never got any easier and actually got harder due to the level of entries rising each year.

"WOW is a very professional global competition for little old me in my living room at home without access to machines and tutors but I think it shows that you don't have to have the best tutors or go to the best university to play with the big guys."

Although Ms Whitney could not give too much away about her outfit until after the final round of judging she said it was something that would resonate with New Zealanders.

"I am in the Aotearoa New Zealand section and I think it is a wearable piece that will have an impact on its own."

WOW Chief Executive Gisella Carr said they encouraged and celebrated a huge range of diversity in the designers, from those with professional training and careers to those who had the courage, tenacity and sheer determination to create something extraordinary outside of their own field.

"This incredible cross-section of entrants is not only reflected in how the garments look, but also in their materials and construction, with every year bringing explorations into new techniques."

WOW director Kip Chapman, said the first round of judging was also the first opportunity for him to see the 2017 finalists.

"Now that I've seen all the garments, it's absolutely 'game on' time," Mr Chapman said.

This first round of judging by WOW's 2017 competition judges took place at the National WOW Museum in Nelson and the finalist garments will now go through two further stages of judging, where they are assessed on stage, in motion.

The finalists will be seen in performance by the public at the WOW Awards Show from September 21 to October 8 before they move to the National WOW Museum for an exhibition, opening in December.