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During Thursday’s American Idol episode, Jennifer Lopez performed the ballad, “Feel the Light,” from the animated film Home. But it wasn’t her vocal range that had everyone talking — it was her white gown with what felt like a never-ending circular train that practically took over the entire stage.
While she performed, special effects and images of the film’s animated characters were projected onstage and onto her extremely long skirt, making her almost blend in with the setting.
“The gown is actually a dress with a 20-foot radius skirt attached to it,” power stylist Rob Zangardi (ranked No. 17 with Mariel Haenn on THR‘s 2015 Most Powerful Stylists in Hollywood list) revealed to Pret-a-Reporter. The duo designed the performance look in only two days. He added, “The look was inspired from an old vintage reference that we’ve been holding on to for a long time, waiting for the right moment.”
Sourcing the fabric from International Silks & Woolens in L.A., Haenn noted that “the dress was two separate pieces. There was the dress by Misha that gave us the top silhouette and the giant skirt was then placed over that.”
“It wasn’t until she stepped in and we took her picture in it and showed her how she looked in it that we got the ‘wow’ reaction!” shared Haenn of the singer’s response when seeing the final design. “We were hoping to be able to make a dress that was stunning on its own but also simple enough to allow the animation and projection to be as functional as possible.”
Meanwhile the projection was mapped out and created days in advance to ensure proper placement on the skirt.
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Since the “Feel the Light” single has such an encouraging message (lyrics include “We’re brining it all back/Feel the light/Shining like the stars tonight”), Zangardi said they “needed a giant canvas to convey such an uplifting sentiment aesthetically. Cue the sizable skirt!”
He added: “We wanted this to be spectacular yet elegant.” Mission accomplished.
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