Rock and Roll tours are unquestionably our company’s bread and butter, and nothing pleases us more than being able to aid a tour with some fabulous stage curtains for their one-of-a-kind tour designs. Recently we were thrilled to be able to work with the renowned Production Designer Jonny Kingsbury with Cour Design. He had a very unique vision for the tour design for up-and-coming indie-rock artist Clairo, and wanted us to assist him and his amazing lighting and stage design team with a few custom soft goods. Sometimes we do this by manufacturing fresh, new drapery in one fabric and in one style. But other times, like with this project, we used two different types of materials to help them accomplish this incredibly fabulous look.
First they were looking to build three “walls” made of an immaculate fabric that they could use to fashion their stage’s design space at many different kinds and sizes of venues while out on tour. To do this, we built them three 20’h white FR Super Knit drapery that they could hang onto their existing truss and hardware to fashion into these crisp backdrop walls with sharp, clean corners. This fabric is a fabulous ultra-wide substrate that is perfect for both front AND rear projection of graphics, video, or any other kinds of colorful lighting effects that you might want to splash onto it. And as you can see by these gorgeous photos taken by gifted music and concert photographer Matty Vogel, it takes lighting superbly!
Next they wanted to add an exceptional center-point element to the design that would give the stage some dimension and texture, and offer their lighting team a secondary location for selected video and picture projected imagery to really “POP”. To achieve this distinctive look, they built a separate truss frame so that it could be used mid-stage from the backdrop, but upstage from the artist and her band. Since this would be front-projected onto only, and because they didn’t want any residual projection to spill-over onto the backdrop walls, they needed this substrate to be completely opaque—but still offer the same crisp, clean, flat, and smooth surface that the Super Knit did.
This fabric also needed to be over 9’h and 18’w AND seamless, and likewise be a fully opaque, projection-friendly FR substrate that would be wide enough for this specific set-up. These particular characteristics are pretty uncommon, so it directed us to the perfect material—FR Blackout Lining in White/White. Typically used as a printable fabric, this time it worked out beautifully as a custom smooth, white, fully opaque design piece instead. We were able to build this curved, semi-circle custom drape with a “return strip” sewn on the top of it, so that the fabric literally curled up and over the top of the truss piece and tied onto it with hidden sewn twill ties all along the backside. This helped give the entire structure a completely seamless appearance, and give them another super-clean projection surface.
Utilizing two different substrates worked out wonderfully for this truly exclusive stage design, and their lighting team did an outstanding job with all of the stunning lighting and projection effects. These versatile drapes allowed them to have the ability to change the look and feel of the décor for each song set by simply change of the lighting scheme. They created an exceedingly remarkable stage design, befitting a genuinely talented artist. We loved getting to work with Jonny on this project, and get to demonstrate once again one of the favorite mottos we have regarding our custom-manufactured drapery…”If you can dream it, we can sew it!” And if you have a chance to check out Clairo on her current tour, you definitely should!