The country superstar's high-tech, custom gown was the result of a massive undertaking by Theia

By Alex Apatoff
February 11, 2013 05:25 AM

Kevork Djansezian/Getty; John Shearer/Invision/AP (2)

We can’t say we were surprised to see that Carrie Underwood had ditched her form-fitting Roberto Cavalli number for a princess-y silver gown to perform her song “Blown Away” at the Grammys Sunday night. When glowing paisley details began to unscroll across her full skirt, however? We definitely didn’t see that coming.

“We wanted it to be artful and dramatic,” Underwood told reporters backstage. “I just like to stand still and sing sometimes, so this seemed like the best way I could do that and still create something visually attention-capturing.” On the technology behind it, she was a little more tight-lipped, saying “I guess I probably shouldn’t tell my secret, should I?” — but luckily, we’ve already got the inside info.

To perform the song that won her best solo country performance, the superstar donned a custom Theia gown designed specifically for the vivid light show. The line’s creative director Don O’Neill sourced fabric for the 4 feet 5 inches-wide skirt that had to be approved by both Underwood’s stylist, Trish Townsend, as well as the video team creating the special effects.

With only three days to create the gown, O’Neill’s team worked around the clock, stitching together 10 yards of Duchesse satin, 100 yards of tulle and crinoline and thousands of Swarovski crystals onto the bodice. Meanwhile, the production team created the effects that were projected onto her gown, including sparkling stars, rose petals and butterflies.

And was all that work worth it? Judging by your overwhelmingly positive reactions on Twitter, absolutely. And O’Neill was thrilled with the result too, especially because he took the line’s name from the Greek goddess of light. “There couldn’t be a more perfect opportunity to fuse light in a literal sense with one of my gowns,” he says in a statement, “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.”

Tell us: What did you think of Underwood’s high-tech couture?

–Alex Apatoff, reporting by Melody Chiu