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Lady Gaga unveils 'flying dress' at New York album fete

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Monday, November 11, 2013 - 8:24 am

NEW YORK — Lady Gaga's album sales are already stratospheric, so why not her evening wear?

The "Applause" singer unveiled a high-tech, white vehicle she bills as the world's first flying dress. The contraption lifted her up inside a mammoth building at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where she held a launch party for her new album on Sunday.

The battery-powered dress has six booms in a hex formation.

The 27-year-old New York entertainer said later that this was "maybe a small step for Volantis" — as she calls the metal dress — but "a big-time step" for Lady Gaga.

"Volantis is essentially a vehicle," she told the crowd, standing in front of the floral-shaped craft topping a curvy, female silhouette that acts as a fiberoptic body piece.

It has multiple motors with a calculated payload — Gaga herself.

She created it as a symbol of the future and its youth.

"I wanted to make today about something even more important to me, and that something is the youth of the world," Gaga said. "Their minds are just so boundless. They're just so inspiring."

"Although she is a vehicle," she said of the dress, "she is essentially a metaphor for me. I will be a vehicle today for their voices."

Then, in a black leotard and helmet, she donned the dress and lifted off the warehouse pavement. The dress was controlled by a technician she referred to as her "pilot."

On Sunday, it rose to about 70 inches, "but we're still testing it," said designer Nancy Tilbury, creative director of London-based Studio XO that worked with engineers and Lady Gaga on the creation.

"It's feminine technology, there's a certain elegance to it," Tilbury told The Associated Press.

The party launching the album was thrown in a huge, nearby warehouse filled with Jeff Koons sculptures — including one of Lady Gaga with a giant ball between her legs that she introduced while perched on foot-high platform shoes. The sculpture is the image on the cover of her new album.

Guests including Tony Bennett arrived on a ferry from Manhattan, screaming joyfully as they streamed off, dressed in clothing as outrageous as some of Gaga's costumes, and awaiting her live performance at midnight.

The launch's Brooklyn location was kept secret from the public until the last minute. Once fans learned of the general area, they hovered around the navy yard gates, trying to penetrate the tight security.

Lady Gaga's new studio album, "Artpop," will be released worldwide Monday.