The costumes for ABBA’s upcoming “Voyage” digital tour have been shared.
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Designers from fashion houses including Dolce & Gabbana have been working on outfits for the shows which will see avatar versions of ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson perform in front of fans in the framework of “revolutionary” concerts.
The tour opens at London’s brand new ABBA Arena on May 27, with the world premiere taking place the day before (May 26).
‘Voyage’ costume designer B. Åkerlund, who is best known for her work with Madonna, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, has collaborated with leading designers and studios in the worlds of fashion and entertainment, including Manish Arora, Erevos Aether and Michael Schmidt to create looks for the band.
Concert producers Svana Gisla and Ludvig Andersson said in a statement: “Rather than recreate a ‘nostalgic’ 1970s look for ABBA Voyage, our vision, with director Baillie Walsh, was to dress the band like the pops contemporary stars that they are. Our designer B. Åkerlund was the perfect collaborator for this project, bringing together styles ranging from high fashion, to whimsical, to futuristic.
Speaking of Dolce & Gabbana suits, Åkerlund said: “My inspiration came from the Greek gods and goddesses. I wanted to reflect the power ABBA holds as iconic artists. Working with a big fashion house like Dolce & Gabbana was amazing. The details of the clothes show a clear concentration of craftsmanship, and the details are unprecedented. The costumes are the perfect representation of the ancient Greek reference I was aiming for, with a modern disco twist. I am very proud of the way this project came to fruition.
ABBA members approved the designs, and the costumes were then constructed as actual outfits before being “digitized” by Industrial Light and Magic. Avatars, created using motion capture technology, will bring the designs to life live on stage.
Last September, the creators of ABBA’s “Voyage” spoke with NME on the creation of the concert, the chemistry of the group and how long it should last.
Gisla said: “We don’t want to give away all the surprises because we want everyone to come and enjoy them, but there will be lots of hidden surprises, hopefully a bit of stage banter and 100 minutes of pure ABBA euphoria. to be part of in this area that someone had the brilliant idea to build them in the middle of a pandemic and Brexit.
“People talk a lot about ‘immersive experiences’, but I don’t think that phrase was ever really uttered. I hope that when you stand in this arena, in whatever we’ve created specifically to give you that experience, you’ll be like, “Ah, that’s what it really means.” The audio, the visuals, it’s all 360 and there will only be ABBA in the air.
ABBA ‘Voyage’ supports the band’s album of the same name, released last November. Read it NME review.