Welcome to our second year as show directors of WOW. Last year was truly awesome; it is such a big show to top, and yet that is our challenge. We’re not allowed to spoil the surprise, but we can say this – it’s going to be bigger! In fact, it’s a real epic. And as you can see from our website, we are no stranger to epic.

With our inaugural performance under our belts, we now feel more confident to stretch our wings and really explore the magic of WOW. Right now, with the show just four months away, we’ve got a storyline together and are working with our musical director Don McGlashan to create a soundscape to complement both the action and the garments. What we discovered the first year is that we create The Worlds that the Wearable Art pieces exhibit within. This year there are seven entry sections and seven new Worlds. 

We’re working with artist Reuben Paterson to create the show’s look and feel, using his explosive, colourful artwork as inspiration. We’re also working with Weta Workshop this year for the first time. We’ve known co-founder and co-director Richard Taylor for years, but this is the first time we actually get to work together.

We’ve just held auditions for models, and we’re putting the dance and performance aspects of the show into place, ready for the moment when the garments arrive and we can slot them in. They’re the undisputed stars of the show and it’s pretty exciting when those first hints of what’s going to be in the show start to arrive.

It’s a huge project, and sometimes the shows can change in tiny ways night by night as we tweak and adjust things right up until the last minute to get it perfect for the audience. The biggest challenge to date has been to find clever solutions to deliver the vision of the show without breaking the bank!

We’ve always been huge fans of WOW. It’s a cauldron of different designer influences and ideas, and it’s wonderful that our special New Zealand flavour is now being showcased around the world in museums and galleries. The garments you’ve loved in the past, and the ones that are going to wow you this year, could also become part of a travelling exhibition one day, bring inspiration and pleasure to thousands more.

That’s the wonderful thing about WOW’s ever-growing collection – it works on so many levels. It works photographically as beautiful fashion and art, it works as absorbing museum and gallery pieces, it works as a moving billboard for the unique New Zealand imagination at world-class events, and of course it shines as a truly jaw-dropping show. We’re absolutely loving being able to create that for you in September, and we can’t wait to see your reaction.

Prepare to be gobsmacked!

– Mike Mizrahi & Marie Adams