"I'm speechless, dumbfounded! Wow! How do you react when someone rings you up and tells you you've won lotto – well, it must feel something like this...But more than anything, thank you for considering a frock tart fit to be in such fine company."

Ngila Dickson is an award-winning costume designer. Born in Dunedin in 1958, she has worked as a magazine editor, stylist and fashion designer, before entering the film industry.

Ngila's costume design work includes New Zealand films Ruby and Rata and Heavenly Creatures. She also spent several years designing for the television series Xena Warrior Princess and Hercules, receiving Best Contribution to Design Award at the New Zealand Television Awards for her work on Xena: Warrior Princess in 1997 and 1998, and Best Costume Award at the 4th International Cult TV Awards.

Ngila has received numerous nominations and awards. Her work dominated the 2004 Academy Award's Costume Design category with a double nomination for Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and The Last Samurai, winning an Oscar Award for Best Costume Design with Richard Taylor for The Lord of the Rings. She also received a Bafta Award and an American costume industry award, judged by her peers, in the same year. Ngila's costumes designed for The Last Samurai were displayed in Barney's department store windows, Madison Avenue, New York in the build-up to the 2004 Oscars. Also during this award season Ngila garnered the Costume Guild Award for Lord of the Rings and a Saturn Award for The Last Sumurai.

Ngila has been working off-shore since 2004 on such diverse projects as The Illusionist, set in 1900's Vienna, Blood Diamond in Africa, and The International, a contemporary thriller set in Berlin, Istanbul, Milan and New York. 

Ngila was awarded an  Officer of the Order of New Zealand (ONZM) for services to design and the film industry in the 2004 Queens Birthday Honours.  In 2008 she received an Arts Foundation Laureate Award.

Ngila is married to art historian Hamish Keith and lives in Auckland.


An interview with Ngila Dickson about her work as a costume-designing career.
   Born in Dunedin, New Zealand
    Costume design for The Rainbow Warrior Conspiracy
    Costume design for My Grandfather is a Vampire
    Costume design for Crush and The Rainbow Warrior
   Costume design for Heavenly Creatures
   Xena: Warrior Princess wins Best Contribution to Design Award, NZ Television Awards
  Xena: Warrior Princess wins Best Costume Award, 4th International Cult TV Awards.
   Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring British Film and Television Award Nominations
  The Lord of the Rings won Oscar Award for Best Costume Design with Richard Taylor,  Bafta Award, Costume Guild Award and an American costume industry award;The Last Sumurai wins Saturn Award and costumes are displayed at Barney's New York;Awarded Officer of the Order of New Zealand (ONZM)
Costume design for Blood Diamond and The Illustionist
   Costume design for Fool's GoldArts Foundation Laureate Award
    Costume design for Green Lantern