Revealing the textile technology behind ‘that dress’ at the Royal Variety

Beautiful dress for Ellie Goulding that filled the entire stage
Beautiful dress for Ellie Goulding that filled the entire stage

Specialist wide format print technology provider CMYUK has revealed that it played a key supporting role for one of the most visually stunning acts ever seen at the Royal Variety Performance last year.

Creative director Dan Shipton teamed up with video artist Frieder Weiss and production designer Carl Robertshaw, who specialises in the design of lightweight structures for live events and installations, to create a beautiful dress for Ellie Goulding that filled the entire stage.

The elaborate garment later evolved into a beautifully animated shell, and with the help of puppeteers, came alive with the music. The fabric became the surface for Weiss to project his artistic vision using his unique projection technology that responds to any movement on stage in real time, amalgamating the vast dress, its subtle movement and the beauty of Ellie’s voice into a spectacular stage moment.

The material that Robertshaw chose brought their concept to life, which was more than 600 sq ft of 3m wide Berger taffeta. Mick Crook, director at CMYUK said: “When our client said they needed a material that could be used on stage we recommended the taffeta because, in our experience, it’s both versatile and robust. We tested a few materials to get the most vibrant effect and the Berger Taffeta won out. Nothing had been tried like this before so we were thrilled when we saw the final result on the night.

We’ve seen some extraordinary and different applications for digital textile media, but this one was stunning!

For more information on the range of Berger textiles available from CMYUK.