Jennifer Lopez is already considered one of pop music’s most amazing acts to see live today, it’s not because of theatrics but her powerful and passionate voice. Yet, she provided something to audiences worldwide with her performance at American Idol, that was other than her incredible voice. Millions have been talking about it ever since. The little piece of magic besides her rich vocals was her unique and startling dress.
Already a judge on the show previously, Lopez came on American Idol to perform the super hit soundtrack melody Feel the Light from the animated movie Home. One glance at her attire and everyone was impressed with the scale and flawless elegance of her white silken gown. The first overhead shot revealed Jennifer Lopez standing within a white circle with a more than 20 feet radius formed by the stretch of her dress. If this amazing sight wasn’t impressive enough, what was about to happen next blew people away even more.
As she began making her way to the end of the first verse, the audience was taken by complete surprise as her dress seemed to spring to a life of its own and the white gown began being engulfed by what looked like liquid color and a deep velvet black starry sky moving from the hem of her dress all the way up to her waist.
The audience couldn’t tell what was more magical, her voice or her dress.
It wasn’t long before the audience began to realize that what Lopez was wearing for the performance was no normal dress, but rather a unique collaboration of projection technology, textiles and state of the art animation. The animated sequences being projected on her dress corresponded amazingly well with the theme of the film, showing interstellar art and reconstructions of stars, galaxies, meteor belts, planets, constellations and nebulous formations, eventually showcasing scenes from the film. As the projected deep space reached the navel of her dress, it seemed like Lopez was standing at the center of a galaxy with clusters of stars and solar systems swirling around her in orbit. You can’t ask for a more starry performance- The singer superstar had literally become a star!
The audience weren’t the only ones blown away by the intense and psychedelic experience that Lopez’s starburst electrifying dress had brought to them. The internet was just as taken aback at what they had just seen. This was a performance that was the first of its kind and as soon as it hit the world wide web, viewers began Googling the specifications of the dress and how the effects had been achieved. The video reached millions of views within a few days.
It soon came to light that the legendary dress and its corresponding visuals had been worked on months in advance and had demanded the services of a whole team to plan it to perfection. The radiant dress, was actually two pieces of garment put together. The original outfit was a silk satin gown by the designer Misha and the outstanding 20 foot radial skirt was added to the gown using fabric from the Los Angeles manufacturer International Silk & Woolens. As Mariel Haenn, a member of Jennifer Lopez’s team of stylists elaborated:
“There was the dress by Misha that gave us the top silhouette and the giant skirt was then placed over that, we wanted to make something no one had ever seen before”
Rob Zangardi, the other stylist from the team told Hollywood Reporter: “The gown is actually a dress with a 20-foot radius skirt attached to it. 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.”
Apparently Jennifer was more than satisfied when she tried on the dress in rehearsal.
“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!” Mariel Haen told reporters. “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.”
The visuals that the team planned to project onto the giant silken skirt had to be adjusted till the last few days leading upto the performance, because it all depended upon how the skirt would end up being attached to the rest of the dress. As Zangardi told the press: “We wanted this to be spectacular yet elegant”
Whether they succeeded or not, you can decide for yourself by watching the video of this amazing performance.
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