At Saturday’s American Country Music Awards, Carrie Underwood performed “Two Black Cadillacs” in front of a brooding sky, a ruined abbey, plenty of mystical fog, and two actual black Cadillacs. Adding to the darkened stage effects was Underwood’s short black silk faille party dress, by Irish designer Don O’Neill (featured in this magazine last summer). Underwood accessorized the dress, which featured a Chantilly lace illusion neckline and hem, with with black gloves and pink lipstick, giving a hint of mid-century high society to O’Neill’s assuredly modern couture label THEIA.
O’Neill, 45, creative director of THEIA, was raised in the seaside town of Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry and admitted to us last summer the impact growing up around ruined castles and white-crested waves had on his designs. “It was very fantastical,” he says fondly. “You believed that everything was magic, and there was enough around you to engender this spark that mystical things were possible.” It’s a small wonder then that O’Neill’s dress and the AMCA stage design came so smartly together.
The dress Underwood wore is part of THEIA’s Fall 2013 collection, available later this year – and it bodes well from Don O’Neill.