Carrie Underwood, Grammys, Performance

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

That big movie-screen dress that Carrie Underwood wore when she performed at the Grammys—who paid for that and what happens to it now?
—Allee Cat, via Twitter

You speak of the Theia gown so smooth and white that it allowed the Grammy folks to project butterflies all over it. I was a bit surprised—and impressed—when I learned how that dress came together and what happened to it. I have that dish for you, as well as the fate of other famous red carpet dresses you may remember.

First, that Theia gown. It was made especially for Underwood, and for that performance in particular.

The label stitched up the creation in a breathlessly short 3 days, wrestling a total of 10 yards of duchess satin and 100 yards of tulle and crinoline to support the skirt.

Thousands of Swarovski crystals were also involved. After all, this is a celebrity we're talking about; there must be crystals.

By the time the creation was finished, the Grammy projectionists had a 4 1/2-foot-wide skirt to work with; that's why we could see the butterflies so well.

As for what happens to the dress now, that's also an unusual story.

Usually, when a label dresses a star for a public appearance, the garment is considered a loan...especially if the dress is couture.

"Many gowns are just too expensive to gift," says fashion publicist Serene Cicora, whose clients, such as Falguni and Shane Peacock, create dresses worth tens of thousands of dollars. So, when you see, say Jennifer Lopez is Falguni and Shane Peacock number, know that the dress is likely a loaner.

However, that rule applies mostly to red carpet appearances.

"A performance is different," a Theia spokesman tells me. In those cases, "the star's team often pays for the materials," and that includes Underwood's. And when a star pays for materials, the star usually gets to keep the dress.

So! The Theia projection dress is destined for Underwood's personal collection.

But that doesn't mean you'll never see it again. Dress like this have a way of popping up at, say, Grammy Hall of Fame displays, stuff like that, on loan.

Jennifer Lopez

Jeff Vespa/

As for other famous dresses, let's see here: That belly-grazing Versace that Jennifer Lopez wore 13 years ago to the Grammys? That's currently on display at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. I know this because the dress has its own Wikipedia page. Yes.

That infamous meat dress that Lady Gaga wore in 2010? As I've reported in the past, that frock has been, literally, turned into jerky and is now on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...on loan, from what I understand, from Gaga.

Let's just hope that the Hall of Fame has really good refrigeration.

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