Philips has created luminescent costumes for the upcoming world tour of well known band the Black Eyed Peas.

Black Eyed Peas


Fabrics that integrate lighting effects are an emerging, but fast-moving market. Philips is raising the bar with a set of costumes created for the Black Eyed Peas, in collaboration with world renowned stylist B. Akerlund and fashion designer Nancy Tilbury.

Best in show
The six-time Grammy Award winning band challenged Philips to come up with a show-stopping outfit for each of its four singers for their world tour, starting in June 2011. The designs, which are still under wraps, will be both dazzling and innovative, applying wearable technologies in new ways to add a new dimension to the band’s performances.

“We’ve used organic LEDs to create spectacular, dynamic costumes that are capable of producing a whole range of lighting effects,” reveals Rogier van der Heide, Chief Design Officer of Philips Lighting. “OLEDs are thin and flat, so they’re perfect for fabrics, as well as sturdy enough to be taken on tour.” They also tie in well with Philips’ Lighting strategy, which is investing strongly in relatively new technology.

Black Eyed Peas

Dynamic programming

The tour costumes, co-designed by London-based fashion designer Nancy Tilbury, will integrate full-color techniques and be remotely controllable. They follow hot on the heels of Philips’  first collaboration with the band in late May, when it made a luminescent dress for lead singer Fergie for the Billboard Music Awards. In just 10 days, the team created a figure-hugging black outfit that was simple in style, but contained technically complex programming data.

On-board dimming electronics, a power supply and wireless controls were all sewn into the dress, which was made of a flexible lightweight bonded cloth to cleverly conceal the hardware. The team was then able to determine the individual intensity of each luminescent green seam for every tenth of a second during the five-minute set, triggering different lighting scenes in the costume.

“The result was a dynamic dress, programmed to pulse and change with the beat of the music,” Rogier explains. “The result is not only a new costume, but also a new experience for the Black Eyed Peas, their audience and Philips.”


A few words with

Nancy Tilbury, London-based fashion designer

“Clothes will become computational systems that integrate much more than we can imagine.”