For the first time in its 21-year history, the Montana World of WearableArt (WOW) competition, held in Wellington from September 24 to October 4, saw an international artist take the supreme award. Alaskan carpenter David Walker’s Lady of the Wood was comprised of mahogany and lacewood with 52 strips of maple and cedar veneer for the hooped skirt and a wig made from wood shavings. WOW founder and director Suzie Moncrieff said there was no sign of a recession at the awards show, with 37 designers from all over the world attending. “It was very exciting for an international designer to win, reflecting how truly global the event has become.” Time magazine’s Stephanie Stephens described WOW as “a fabulous event that’s equal parts couture, choreography and craziness.” “WOW, Moncrieff says, “is a glorious rebellion against the mundane.” First time Wellington entrants, Hayley May and Fiona Christie were runners-up in the supreme award and won the creative excellence section, themed fold, with their intricate garment, Second Skin. The piece, designed by the film-maker and architect, resembled a reptile as it sheds its skin.