The costumes for ABBA‘s upcoming ‘Voyage’ digital tour have been shared.
Fashion house designers, including Dolce & Gabbana, have worked on making outfits for the shows that will see avatar versions of ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson perform to fans as part of the “revolutionary” concerts.
The tour opens at London’s brand new ABBA Arena on May 27, with the world premiere taking place the previous day (May 26).
‘Voyage’ costume designer B. Åkerlund, who is best known for her work with the likes of Madonna, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, collaborated with leading designers and studios from 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 recreating a ‘nostalgic’ 1970s look for ABBA Voyage, our vision, along with director Baillie Walsh, was to dress the band as the contemporary pop stars they are. Our designer B. Åkerlund was the perfect collaborator for this project, bringing together styles ranging from high fashion, to fantasy, to futuristic.”
Speaking about the Dolce & Gabbana costumes, Åkerlund said: “My inspiration came from Greek gods and goddesses. I wanted to reflect the power that ABBA hold as iconic artists. Working with a big fashion house like Dolce & Gabbana was amazing. The detail in the garments show a clear focus of the craftsmanship and the details are unparalleled. The costumes are the perfect representation of the ancient Greek reference that I was aiming for, with a twist of modern disco. I am very proud of the way this project came together.”
The members of ABBA approved the designs, and the costumes were then built as real outfits before being ‘digitised’ by Industrial Light and Magic. The avatars, which were created using motion capture technology, will bring the designs to life live on stage.
Last September the creators of ABBA’s ‘Voyage’ spoke to NME about the creation of the concert, the chemistry of the band and how long it’s expected to run for.
Gisla said: “We don’t want to give all the surprises away because we want everyone to come and enjoy it, 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 arena that someone had the brilliant idea of them building in the middle of a pandemic and Brexit.
“People talk about ‘immersive experiences’ a lot, but I don’t think that phrase has ever been truly delivered. I hope that when you stand in that arena, within everything that we’ve created specifically to give you that experience, you’ll go, ‘Ah, that’s what it really means’. The audio, the visuals, everything is 360 and there will just be ABBA in the air.”
ABBA ‘Voyage’ is in support of the band’s album of the same name, which was released last November. Read the NME review.