Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made a surprise appearance as a model at the World of WearableArt (WOW) show in Wellington.
Wearing a specially commissioned piece, Digitally Grown, by New Zealand designer Dylan Mulder, Ardern appeared alongside a Māori warrior wielding a taiaha at the show on Friday evening.
"Ardern's participation in, and support of, New Zealand's most spectacular and best-known theatrical production is reminiscent of former Prime Minister Helen Clark's appearance in WOW IN 2002," World of WearableArt said in a statement.
Mulder is a New Zealand-born industrial designer and 3D artist.
He first entered WOW in 2012 and has been a finalist five times, winning numerous prizes including the 2016 Cirque du Soleil Invited Artisan Award, WOW said.
"To celebrate the return of WOW in 2022, Mulder was commissioned to create a unique work of wearable art to feature onstage during the Aotearoa Section," the statement said.
"The creation of this garment was a collaboration between Mulder, WOW Show creatives and the Competition team.
"The end result is a breathtaking, contemporary garment that references the mountains of Aotearoa and connection to the land. It is not a 2022 WOW entry or finalist."
The wearable art awards have returned after a break of two years.
WOW chief executive David Tingey said he was pleased the Prime Minister had appeared.
"We are delighted the Prime Minister was keen to throw her support behind the performance, art, music and events sector as we rebuild," Tingey said.
Mulder said it was an honour to create the garment.
" For me, it is a symbolic moment of regaining a sense of normalcy in my natural design flow where it shines best," the designer said.
"A strong green light to shed resistance and continue projecting outwards, creatively. I found together with the creative team we naturally aligned in our values on wanting to celebrate New Zealand's continued progression and re-emergence back into the international scene."