I’d say Randall did just that last night!! The only costume I questioned a little was Wendy’s. I thought it made her hips and bust look too big and it was a little gawdy. Then again, it kind of fit her personality? Anyway, here is a fun intervew from Stylist for how Randall came up with some of the costumes. Be sure to read the link for more.
StyleList: Kendra Wilkinson has said she wants to go against type and not show too much skin but, c’mon,you want to go skimpy with her?
Randall Christensen: With Kendra, I think we can prove that being covered up is just as sexy as showing a lot of skin. We certainly did that last season with Bristol Palin. But, as the weeks progress, if she continues competing, I’ll bet you see she wants to peel some layers away.
StyleList: Kirstie Alley has had a very public weight struggle. How do you dress her in a way that makes her feel confident and beautiful?
RC: First of all, Kirstie is every woman! She is open, honest, excited and possibly a bit nervous about the costumes. But definitely, she is loving and embracing the costume aspect of the show. We have tried several looks on her and will continue to do so during the production time. Finding just the right look for her is an ongoing process and Kirstie really knows what looks good on her body. I’ve even had her show me clothes she loves to wear, so I can borrow some of that detailing. So I’m confident we will find just the right thing.
StyleList: Wendy Williams is so tall and wears a size 11 shoe. Are you going to have trouble finding things that fit?
RC: Wendy is a dancing goddess already. She looks phenomenal in her clothes and knows what looks best on her. Everything that she will be wearing will be custom made for her body as it is for everyone on the show. She’s going to be amazing.
Below is what Maks and Randall reported to InStyle about their work and costuming Kirstie.
“The season’s going amazing, rehearsals are phenomenal,” he (Maks) continued. “The strength for her is that she wants to do it, she wants to dance. She just loves the idea of it, she loves the movement, shedding off weight.” And she has—costume designer Randall Christensen told us Alley lost at least 16 pounds so far. “She’s the easiest person to change,” Chmerkovskiy said. “People with stuff on them that shouldn’t have been there to begin with are the easiest to change. It just requires their will and my will, and we’ve both have that.” So what dance will they blow you away with? “The cha-cha!” he said. “And she’s miles beyond what I expected.” We can’t wait!
There is also a fascinating article at Rocket News on the costuming process.
“People really don’t realize that there’s no magic closet that we pull this from. It is a bolt of fabric every Wednesday,” says Christensen, a dancer who’s been making costumes professionally since 1978. “We never use a ready-made costume … every single solitary thing is made from scratch.”
Twenty-two custom-made costumes and 11 new stars will make their debut on Monday’s season premiere (8 p.m. EDT). The cast includes actors Kirstie Alley, Ralph Macchio and Chelsea Kane; athletes Sugar Ray Leonard, Hines Ward and Chris Jericho; singer Romeo; radio host Mike Catherwood; talk-show host Wendy Williams; reality star Kendra Wilkinson; and model Petra Nemcova. Each contestant is paired with a professional dancer who choreographs and teaches the week’s routines and dreams up the costume concepts.
Christensen translates their visions into sketches on Tuesday and buys the fabrics on Wednesday. His team of two patternmakers and 10 seamstresses transform the raw materials into costumes by Friday.
Their workroom contains the highest concentration of sequins anywhere at CBS Television City, where “Dancing” is filmed. Along one wall are bolts of fabric: shimmery purple, deep emerald green and bright royal blue — materials ordered from a dance company in Europe where the fringe, stretch fabric, mesh and chiffon all match.
“That’s the toughest challenge,” Christensen says.
Fourteen sewing machines and mannequins from size 0 to 16 are in the room, as are costumes in various stages of creation. (A tiny pewter beaded number sits on a plastic-covered dress form outfitted with “booty pads.”)
And the gowns aren’t just gorgeous on the outside; bra cups and body-shaping panels are hidden inside to provide a solid foundation and prevent wardrobe malfunctions.
Christensen also has to consider the show’s requisite spray tans when it comes to each costume’s color and fit: “They’re going to be mahogany by Monday, they just keep spraying and spraying,” he says. “We can’t use double-stick tape. It does not stick with the perspiration, the gyration and the tanning creams. So if it’s gaping somewhere, we have to take that dress off, rip the stones off, put a dart in, re-sew it and re-stone it.”
The crew has just a few hours to correct any wardrobe issues between Monday afternoon’s dress rehearsal and that night’s live show.
Racks of gowns line another wall, including those ready for Monday’s premiere. Seamstresses sit at large tables at one end of the room, meticulously adding fringe, feathers and crystals to some of Monday’s outfits. Each is assigned a celebrity. If her dancer is eliminated, she assists another dressmaker. Since season two, these 10 women have worked together, creating couture gowns at a breakneck pace.
Randall isn’t the only person working to make the cast sparkle, take a look at this Make-Up table backstage. The Make-up crew posted this on their Facebook page yesterday. We hope to have more to share from them and the DWTS Hair Team as well. So, stay tuned. 😉