A carpenter from Alaska has won top prize at the 2009 Montana World of Wearable Art Awards show in Wellington.
David Walker's entry was a 17th-century ball gown, Lady of the Wood, made entirely out of mahogany, lacewood, maple and cedar.
A third-time entrant in Wellington, Mr Walker says designing is just a hobby for him, so he was stunned when his name was read out.
Show founder Suzie Moncrieff says it was a beautifully sculptured entry: the way Mr Walker made the wooden bodice fit was astounding, she says.
The show, in its 21st year, displayed 165 garments. Entries came from New Zealand and 10 other countries.
Ms Moncrieff says that having an international winner of the supreme award shows how global the event has become.