Grammy Award winning artist Carrie Underwood, lit up the stage last night at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards in an illuminated custom couture THEIA ball gown-- the eveningwear collection inspired by the Greek Goddess of light.
“When I received the call from Underwood stylist, Trish Townsend asking me to make the dress, I felt a rush of excitement and immediately said I’d be thrilled and honored to design a gown for her,” states Don O’Neill, Creative Director, THEIA. He goes on to say “Quickly after hanging up the phone, I realized “Oh My God” how on earth can we do this in the midst of crazy last minute Fall collection preparations? Thankfully it all managed to come together not a second too soon.”
Over the course of the next 6 days, fabric options were sourced from France and shipped to Carrie’s team for approval as well as to the video production company to ensure compatibility with the projection technology. Upon receiving the green light from both parties the team had three days left to create the gown. Beading and stitching was frantically started and in record time, the dress was completed and shipped out for the fitting with Ms. Underwood.
The platinum ball gown features over 10 yards of Duchess Satin, 100 yards of tulle and crinoline to support the skirt and took over 80 hours to make by a team of four. Looking to the Freedom Tower in New York City for inspiration, O’Neill opted for an asymmetrical neckline taken from the spire that will crown the building. The inside corset is hand embroidered with thousands of Swarovski crystals and the four and a half foot wide skirt was designed to seamlessly fuse fashion with projection technology.
When researching names for this eveningwear collection back in 2009, O’Neill was drawn to Theia, the Greek Goddess of light. She was credited for giving diamonds and gemstones their sparkle, gold their sheen and bringing light into the world through her children, Helios the sun, Eos the Dawn and Celine the moon. O’Neill says “I loved the serendipity of finding THEIA, the perfect name for an eveningwear company. There couldn’t be a more perfect opportunity to fuse light in a literal sense with one of my gowns and have it showcased on a national stage by Carrie Underwood, the first celebrity to wear a THEIA dress four years ago when we launched.”
*photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America