Carrie Underwood’s showstopper dress

 Don O'NeillImagine a dress that becomes a kaleidoscope, a light show of colourful animated drawings, twinkling stars, and even butterflies that sail skyward.
It’s not the fiery fantasy that the fictional heroine Katniss Everdeen wore in the Hunger Games. It’s the satin, bell-shaped wonder that country crossover singer Carrie Underwood wore at the Grammys. The gown was so awe-inspiring, it all but outshone the song she was singing.
“When I received the call from Carrie’s stylist, Trish Townsend, asking me to make the dress, I felt a rush of excitement,” said Don O’Neill, “and immediately said I’d be thrilled and honored to design a gown for her.”
O’Neill is the creative director of Theia, the house that made the dress. He explained that a team of four artisans labored more than 80 hours to make the platinum garment from 10 yards of Duchess Satin, 100 yards of tulle, and crinoline.
“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.” 


While Carrie sang, technicians sprayed the lighting effects on her garment in finely-focused beams.The result was a tour de force of fashion and showmanship befitting the Greek goddess of light for whom Theia is named. The mythical spirit made everything she gazed upon glimmer and glow. She even gave gold and silver their gleam. 

She certainly cast her glittery rays upon Carrie Underwood.

When Irish Eyes are sparkling

Theia CollectionRecently, DolceDolce’s Terry Milk spent an evening among the stars of Irish couture. She came away delighted and inspired. Here are Terry’s impressions of an evening of Emerald Isle couture: 

… And all eyes were sparkling on Park Avenue in New York recently. Ireland’s Consul General, Noel Kilkenny and Mrs. Hanora ’Dea Kilkenny hosted a Celebration of Irish Fashion and Art. The lights of New York City were completely upstaged by the dazzling creations of two of Ireland‘s bright young talents, Don O’Neill, Creative Director of Theia, and Roisin Fitzpatrick, a contemporary artist, creator of the Artist of the Light collection.
Roisin’s interesting patterns swirl across the white silk backgrounds inlaid with Swarowski crystals. The effect is mesmerizing and inspires contemplation. That is exactly her intention. Roisin explained she created these images in response to her own near-death experience. Light seemed to radiate from her as she passionately described how an aneurysm changed, and nearly ended, her life.
For this exhibition most were in a square format, and were inspired by such images as galaxies, snowflakes, nautilus shells, and Celtic themes among others. You can see them at
Terry MilkAlthough they are from opposite coasts in Ireland — Roisin from Dublin and Don O’Neill from CountyKerry — the artist and designer have so much more in common than just being Irish. Both employ light as a design element, they absolutely embrace their heritage, and Celtic symbols are used extensively throughout their work.
Theia CollectionThe art on the walls reflected the sparkling evening gowns designed by Don O’Neill. Models twirled smoothly across the floor, showing the most flattering aspects of his designs. Most of the garments were covered in jewels, but the generous use of luxurious fabric allowed them flow gracefully.
Don’s great Irish sense of humor charmed the audience as he described his background and his design motivations. His goal is to make every woman feel like a goddess, hence the name Theia – Goddess of Light. The gowns are stunning, extraordinarily easy to wear, and make you look beautiful. That may explain why Oprah featured one of his gowns on the cover of O Magazine. The actress Angela Bassett, who is also a fan, took time from her extended run on Broadway in the play The Mountaintop to attend the reception, naturally wearing one of Don’s designs.
Available at Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s, the luxurious designer clothes are surprisingly rsih Consul Noel Kilkenny Roisin Fitzpatrick Don O'Neill.affordable. And they fit every woman — model thin or not.