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11 08, 2021

Unique Sewn Pieces Help To “Illuminate” At Special Gala Event

By |August 11th, 2021|Clients, Projects|0 Comments

We have a lot of fun with our clients by offering some “out of the box” answers to their unique, creative, and completely original soft-goods design ideas. The incredibly innovative production manager Kevin Swank from CYM Lighting came to us with a truly imaginative “prop” idea on a special design they worked on last year pre-pandemic. They were going to be doing the production and lighting design for an exceptionally significant and high-profile upcoming event. The Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards sponsored by Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a yearly Coachella Valley fundraising gala that helps offer much needed primary medical care, affordable housing and medical testing, and social, dental, and behavioral services for those inflicted with the disease and for the loved ones directly affected by it. 

Hosted by the talented Broadway, Film, and Television actress Kristen Chenoweth, Kevin and his team knew that this was going to be an extraordinary night, and so he wanted to build a vibrant and distinctive production design that their audience wouldn’t soon forget. Taking place in the fabulous Palm Springs Convention Center, they had a huge grand ballroom that they were able to transform into a colorful and exciting red-carpet event for this important awards show. With guests such as Barry Manilow and Garry Kief, and with an audience filled with over 2000 enthusiastic and delighted guests, Kevin and his team wanted to fashion a design that would be colorful and dazzling, and still be versatile enough to help give a one-of-a-kind look for each segment of the festivities.

Kevin envisioned having some really fun prop pieces to add to the general ambiance of the gala’s motif, and worked with our manufacturing team to help him be able to build larger than life “theatrical light fixtures”. Cym Lighting built their own ring-frames for the structures, and we then provided them with custom soft goods to tie onto them to help give the illusion of having these large light fixtures, like ones you’d see on a movie set. These were constructed with a specially ordered Silver-Chrome Vinyl for the reflective inside element, and opaque black FR Commando Cloth for the outside. Their team then used paint to help “dirty up” the outside so that it would look like most movie light fixtures do when they get roughed up over the years.

Lighting Designer added John Lotz did a remarkable job adding various beautiful and striking colored lighting throughout the event, to not only along the walls but also within the light fixtures themselves. This genuinely helped tie in the overall feel for each speech and award, and gave them a gorgeous background to have for each speaker. Brilliantly produced by Debbie Chapman (Director of Fundraising Events, for DAP), the end result of this gala event was an extraordinary success! We were beyond thrilled with how fantastic those custom prop pieces turned out, and are excited to work on the next exclusive design project with Kevin again. Contact one of our helpful account reps today, and we will be very happy to assist you on your next unique stage or production design elements, too.

10 03, 2020

Looking for Inspiration? Check Out our Portfolios

By |March 10th, 2020|News, Products, Projects|0 Comments

If you haven’t checked out our portfolios on our website recently, I wanted to give you a little taste of what you will find in each of the portfolios. Here are just a few projects to inspire you – visit out Portfolios page to see many other featured projects that we are proud to have worked on.

ROCK AND ROLL PORTFOLIO

America – the home of legendary rock bands and so many of today’s pop stars. Madonna, Britney Spears, Don Henley, Sting; we have draped and masked stages for the best of them. While we tend to remember a concert in terms of the “set” and the “lighting and effects,” the draperies play an often invisible but integral role in how the show comes together. Giant painted stage backdrops set the scene, masking hides tech areas from the crowd, borders dress the floating trusses to hide the lighting instruments, and skirting surrounds the stage and band risers. Soft goods, as they are known to the “roadies,” are a major part of any touring set.

Project: Tenacious D
Fabric: Brillante

The design for Tenacious D focused on two elements, surface and shape. First, a fabric surface that would mimic a projection screen, and second, a precisely shaped projection proscenium to showcase carefully mapped out graphics. The designer, Dan Hadley, selected our 120 “Brillante,” which has a jet-black backside and a bright white semi-matte surface to take front projection. In order to keep all areas of the proscenium “seamless,” the design was developed so that no individual surface exceeded the 10-foot width of the cloth. The legs were sewn as separate pieces to the proscenium header, making the set three pieces for an easy install. As these photos demonstrate, the Tenacious D production team was able to create a variety of unique looks using the projection proscenium strategy.

DIGITAL PRINTING PORTFOLIO

If you can visualize it, we can print it.  As big or as wide as you want it.  Check out our show page of really impressive digitally printed backdrops and drapes for really impressive showbiz personalities such as Lady Gaga, Kenny Chesney and Brooks & Dunn.  And see what can be done to blow away the crowds at major public events and trade shows.  We can even combine digital printing with a whole host of special effects that will leave jaws on the floor. 

Project: Marc Anthony “Legacy Tour”
Fabric: Crystal Poplin

Sew What? Inc. created an extraordinary 46’h x 75’w digitally printed brail lift drape in just one week for Marc Anthony’s Legacy Tour. For this project, there were 16 vertical lift lines placed strategically on the back side of the drape. We craft these as near-invisible sewn vertical lines with O-rings running vertically to capture the aircraft cable that is used for lifting the drape. For durability and a gorgeous lighting surface, we chose to direct print onto our Crystal Poplin. In order to make sure that each printed segment is lined up perfectly, we used thousands of sewing pins to pre-pin by hand all the sections of cloth. This backdrop looked amazing on stage for the Legacy Tour!

THEATRE PORTFOLIO

Grand drape, tab curtain, austrian, theatrical backdrops, tabs, legs and borders…. These are all words that we associate with the stage and the wonderful world of theatre. Sew What? Inc specializes in theatrical drapery manufacturing, so your needs can all be filled with just one telephone call. Not only for professional theatres – don’t forget that schools, churches, universities and even cruise ships have stages!

Photo By George Davidson

Project: GRIDWORKS for Princess Cruises / Ruby Princess
Fabric: IFR 26oz Velour / Custom Dye

Once again we had the privilege of working with Gridworks, one of the premier providers servicing the audio/video needs of the cruise line industry. This project was for Princess Cruise’s Ruby Princess while in dry dock. Gridworks team of installation experts had visited the ship some months prior to dry dock, and were armed with the measurements for a fast changeover and successful replacement of the drapery elements in both the Princess Theatre and Explorers Lounge.  All elements were sewn from Inherently Flame Retardant velour. Aside from the obvious and most featured Austrian Drape there were over 20 other items dressing the stage – including several scrims, a leno, a muslin cyclorama and plenty of masking drapes, legs and borders.

SPECIAL EVENT PORTFOLIO

Grammy Awards, SAG Awards, Golden Globe Awards; you name them and we have draped them! Tents in tennis courts and 5 course dinners in stadiums – the special events industry is all about transformation. Watch while designers transform the ordinary special event into the extraordinary. Custom trade show displays rely on the many effects that drapery can provide. Our in-stock inventory of pipe and drape has been an instant solution for many special event planners with a sudden on-site masking issue. Designers and special event planners alike can benefit from our services and fast turnarounds.

Project: Indiana Conference for Women
Fabric: Silver Textura and Pewter Textura

For the Indiana Conference for Women, we used a mixture of drapes from our Silver Satin Rental Drapery Collection. This stage included a row of complementary 30’h Silver Satin, Silver Textura, and Pewter Textura drapery legs with 16’h-22’h Crushed Silver Satin Swags. These drapes covered the entire wall of the ballroom, giving the event a clean, timeless appearance. These curtains light up beautifully, reflecting the colorful light splashed onto them. By using this mix of our rental drapes, they were able to have their own unique vision become a stunning reality.

RENT WHAT? RENTAL PORTFOLIO

Our rental drapery team has performed for many of the biggest names in entertainment, so we know the realities of dressing up a major venue and dancing around all the surprises that can pop up at the last second. It’s not just about having the right products, but having the experience and service our customers will remember when it comes to booking each new tour.

Project: Jonathan Antoine
Fabric: Pewter Textura

For Jonathan Antoine’s first solo performance in the United States, his team was looking for stage curtains that would be easy to work with, light up beautifully, and give the stage a timeless look. Antoine’s team decided to use a variety of our Pewter Textura rental drapes from our Timeless and Traditional Rental Drapery Collection. The stage was set using a mixture of pre-pleated legs and swagettes in various sizes. These rental drapes, along with a creative lighting design, resulted in a stunning stage design that gave the show a modern, yet timeless look.

Pretty impressive, don’t you think? There is so much more on our Portfolios page, including links to more content on Flickr and YouTube. So, make sure to head over to our Portfolios page today, and feel free to contact us for help with your next project!

4 02, 2020

Innovative Stage Design Dazzles Audiences At Inspirational Conference

By |February 4th, 2020|Products, Projects|1 Comment

We love it when our amazing clients come to us looking to help them come up with an original production design based on their own really cool, unique event’s “vision”. And then sometimes when helping our clients think “outside the box” on their stage design, we end up building them custom drapery to help make it look like their stage is actually INSIDE of a box.                        

We were recently excited to be contacted by gifted Production Designers Shay and Ben Walton with GT Pro, who were working with the brilliant Lighting/Show/Technical Designer Chase Hall to produce the main stage design for the Mosaic Conference 2019. Entitled “The New”, this wildly popular three-day yearly conference was being held at the iconic Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Gorgeously restored–consisting of a remarkably dramatic proscenium, a 1600-person seating capacity, and an absolutely stunning Gothic architectural features–this venue offered a truly spectacular setting for all of the many eclectic performances and speeches that the conference offered its captivated audience.

Shay, Ben, and Chase wanted this special event’s stage design to be clean and powerful, yet still versatile enough to be used as the backdrop for various segments of the conference’s renowned speakers, artists, and influencers. They and their design team decided to create three sides of a crisp, white “box” that they could project engaging videos, inspirational imagery, and colorful lighting onto throughout each segment of the summit.

They started by having SW custom-build them an extremely large, all-white drape with minimal vertical seams and a smooth, flat surface. Using fabulous 192” FR Superknit substrate, we were able to construct a larger-than-life 40’h x 80’w single drape for this production design. Measuring, inspecting, cutting, and sewing multiple panels of fabric that were 40’ high by 16’ wide is no small endeavor, and keeping it clean for the entire production process was quite an impressive feat in and of itself!

Next we consulted with Chase on ways to best way to fashion the sharp corners that would really bring home the stage design’s exceptionally distinct look. He and his team ended up installing virtually invisible aircraft cable on the stage floor and the top of the truss structure, making sure it was good and taut. Once tension was applied, it created the appearance of perfectly tight corners. Adding some large LED screens to the staging offered even more versatility with the overall vibe of the motif, which also encouraged a fresh look and feel for each and every element of this lively and inspirational symposium.

We were ecstatic to hear how successful the weekend was, and were genuinely thrilled to see these fantastic event photos provided by The Mosaic Team, too. Getting to work on meaningful projects like this one is always such an honor for us, and we are very excited to see what this amazing design team comes up with next! Don’t hesitate to contact one of our account representatives today to learn how we might be able to help you create a one-of-a-kind design for your upcoming special events, too.

11 11, 2019

Custom Soft Goods Help Create Memorable Tour Stage Design

By |November 11th, 2019|Clients, Projects|1 Comment

We love being able to work with our regular clients on uniquely remarkable drapery projects, and truly enjoy getting to see how they are able to turn something possibly considered “standard” into an undeniably memorable stage design. It takes a uniquely talented lighting and stage designer who can take some simple white drapery and turn them into complete “wow” pieces, and that never ceases to always impress us!

This past summer we were thrilled to be able to work with one of these such designers, the incredible Adam “Orby” Cowan, with the Breaking Benjamin World Tour again. He and his stage and lighting design team devised a very cool look using the band’s existing record-cover design as a main backdrop. But they also wanted to add some edgy, versatile soft good pieces to the stage design to be able to create an absolutely sensational, distinctive motif for this international tour.

They had constructed some truss “hanging” structures (two squares and a triangle) and were looking to drape them with a tour-friendly substrate that they could light up with all different colors and gobo designs. Wanting drapes that would be seamless, crisp, white, and still durable, he decided to have us custom build them set pieces using the ever-popular FR Super Knit fabric. Using this wide, flame retardant substrate was a fabulous way to build stage curtains that would help to give them the clean and taut look they were envisioning, and which could additionally be front and rear projected onto beautifully as well.

Orby did such a phenomenal job as lighting programmer and operator for all of the concerts, by crafting a completely one-of-a-kind look and feel for every part of each concert, and from venue to venue. You can see by these gorgeous photographs taken by gifted band photographer Courtney Dellafiora that he was enormously successful in building an exceptional look for the band’s stage time and time again.

Sometimes the drapery that you are picturing for your stage design may not yet exist—so that is exactly where Sew What? comes in! Chat with one of our helpful and creative drapery specialists today, and let us help you figure out the most amazing drapery that we can custom build for your own exclusive tour, production, or special event design. It’s what we love to do, and it shows!