Carrie Underwood’s video-screen gown takes the prize for being the most innovative fashion worn at the Grammys.
It was also completely unexpected. On the arrivals red carpet, the country singer wore an understated Roberto Cavalli gown, not even one of his wilder concoctions.
But on stage, what appeared at first to be a large silver prom dress turned on, and the garment – a four-and-a-half-foot projector screen -- lit up with moving images of designs and flickering colors, even those of falling rose petals and a Monarch butterfly, projected from beyond the stage. The images periodically matched the animation on a digital screen behind her, as well.
"There are so many big performances at the Grammys, and sometimes I like to just stand still and perform," Underwood said backstage. "So (the dress) was the best way to do it, to create a cool environment."
She added: "They can do a lot of amazing things with projectors these days. I said I should take that home where we can watch movies on it … You wanna watch movies on my dress?"
The fabrics were sent for approval to Carrie’s stylist over the course of a week. They were also sent to a video-production company to confirm that they were compatible with the projection technology.
The Theia couture platinum ballgown was created by four sewers and took 80 hours, using 10 yards of satin and 100 yards of tulle and crinoline to support the four-and-a-half-foot skirt and create a proper screen for the high-tech effect.
But that’s not all. The corset is also hand-embroidered -- the old fashioned way -- with thousands of Swarovski crystals.
It’s only a matter of time before fabric and computer technology will create smart fabrics that can project colors, prints and moving images from within the dress.
There are reports of fabrics already in development that can be used for touch-screen technology. And Sean John and Macy's recently teamed with Recom's Video Name Tag to launch a sweater that can hold and display your own personal video-screen. It's been predicted that flexible screens will be available for wearing within three to five years. Of course, just like with flat-screen TVs, the initial price will be sky-high and will only become affordable for the masses 10 years later.
At that point, we may all be walking billboards or iPads. But we do rather like the idea of being able to change the color and design of our clothes with the click of a mouse.
Tell us: Would you wear a video-screen?