A fashion designer has admitted New Zealand's Prime Minister, Helen Clark, was the inspiration behind an award-winning bra design.

Ms Clark says she is quite chuffed at the result.

The Nelson Wearable arts show is full of extreme fashion, with outfits that look like animals, plants and strange inanimate objects featuring.

One of the most hotly contested categories is the "bizarre bra". And the winner, a designer from Thailand has got the tick of approval from his inspiration Helen Clark.

"He did it with all the microphones coming out looking like me at a press conference, it was actually very, very interesting," she said.

In the name of promoting New Zealand fashion, Ms Clark once wore a dress resembling a giant abalone shell.