Recently a friend came to me looking for help building a dress.

“I want it filled with amorphous clouds of light. I don’t want to see any wiring or obvious sources of light”.

I had instant pucker factor, this one was going to be hard. You can find a little demonstration video of the dress being tested here.

A picture of a dress filled with clouds of light.

The trick was getting the light diffused enough through a thin garment so that you couldn’t see any ‘hot spots’ or the positions of the LED’s themselves. My friend didn’t want to see any individual pixels of light.

What you are actually seeing in the dress above is light reflecting off an undergarment. We attached the LEDs to another garment worn underneath the dress, and importantly these LEDs face inwards.

My friends put a lot of research into finding the best materials and styles that was going to work with the approach. The ruffles on the outer dress really help sell the effect.

Solid core wires chain the LEDs together and give us just enough rigidity to curve the LEDs away from the undergarment by 40mm to 50mm. Giving the light a chance to spread out a bit before reflecting off the undergarment. Below you can see a digram of all the layers and an inprogress photo of the LEDs being attached to the undergarment for testing.

A picture of the dress being fitted with lights, alongside a diagram of all the layers used in the final piece.