“We have to find a way to have the dress glow.” Marlene Dietrich


Designer: ElektroCouture


Marlene Dietrich was an internationally acclaimed actress, a role model to many women, a live performer and much more – she was a FashionTech visionary. She dreamed of inventive and avant-garde ideas that were ahead of her time.

How Marlene planned her stage performances were phenomenal and she was also known as the master of lights. Besides meticulously planning her dresses with her haute-couture designer, Jean Louis, she would also make plans for the stage lighting. She truly wanted viewers to be awed by focusing on the effect of her ideas whether it be through fashion, lighting or both.

Then in 2017 the Founder & CEO of ElektroCouture, Lisa Lang, found Marlene’s personal letters in the archive of the Deutsche Kinemathek.

To mark the 25th anniversary of Marlene’s death, the ElektroCouture team decided to fulfill her wish and Marlene’s last dress was finally realized.

For the creation of the dress, we collaborated with Swarovski on custom-made crystals, which suit perfectly with the material and e-broidery® technique by Forster Rohner Textile Innovations that utilizes Osram LEDs.

In all, the dress required a combination of new technology and traditional craftsmanship and required 151 LEDs, 313 flowers and 2371 specifically developed crystals by Swarovski. The dress glows can switch to different light patterns to match Dietrich’s different songs.

If you want to know more about this story explore the documentary “The Last Dress of Marlene Dietrich” below or our publication in Google Arts and Culture.

Marlene was dreamed by ElektroCouture with Anja Dragan as a contributing designer.