Lupita Nyong'o knows a thing or two about making a statement on the red carpet. But the actress took it to a whole new level on Wednesday night, thanks to a little black dress that literally lit up the room. Nyong'o stepped out in a sparkling, one-of-a-kind ZAC Zac Posen gown, with 500 LED lights built into the fabric that are programmed to twinkle in sequence. The futuristic nature of her dress was right in line with her upcoming big role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The actress — or, rather, the actress' dress — put on a light show for her two appearances that evening. First, she swung by The Daily Show, and her outfit seriously intrigued host Trevor Noah. (He immediately asked, "Is this a Star Wars thing, or just a fashion choice?") Later on, the actress attended the launch of the Star Wars: Force 4 Fashion charity auction, dazzling the crowds with her black, yet bright ensemble.
Nyong'o explained on The Daily Show (and on the Force 4 Fashion red carpet) that her ZAC Zac Posen dress was created in partnership with Made with Code, an initiative started by Google to get more girls interested in learning computer science. You may recognize it as the final look from ZAC Zac Posen's spring '16 show, worn by Coco Rocha. While Posen dreamt up the silhouette, he enlisted designer Madison Maxey to develop technology that would actually light up the dress. Then, 30 girls from the Made with Code program coded the display that came alive on the runway (and now, on the red carpet). "It’s an entire circuit on a textile, so if one connection had come loose, the dress wouldn’t have worked,” Maxey told People about the dress' delicate inner workings at the ZAC Zac Posen show in December. This collaboration aims to "show how inspiring creative code can be," Maxey, a Made with Code mentor, told Mashable. Nyong'o's stylist, Micaela Erlanger, reposted a video of Lupita and her animated gown in action, captioned (quite accurately), "No one lights up a room like Lupita Nyong'o."
You don't need to make a cameo in the latest installment of Star Wars to experience this sartorial magic: You can try your hand at introductory programming and animate your own Zac Posen LED dress on the Made with Code website. This should keep us busy while we wait for the Star Wars press tour to be in full swing, so we can see what other forward-thinking ensembles Nyong'o serves up.