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More Hints Meryl Davis And Charlie White Are Dancing On DWTS Season 18

More and more this sounds like a “go” especially with @DWTSgossips new hints as well? If true though, who will be their partners? I hope Derek and Emma or Sharna!!

MerylCharlie

February 27, 2014 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

PureDWTS Season 18 Cast Watch: Interesting Things on Twitter/Instagram

So I know I’ve warned you guys not to read too far into who follows who on Twitter – but that’s exactly what I’m going to do right now.  :-P Do as I say, not as I do, kids! But for what it’s worth, in the past, we have been able to deduce some partnerships based on who the pros and/or rumored celebs recently started following on Twitter – and in season 11, we had a negligent casting director to thank for inadvertently spoiling the entire cast by following all of them of Twitter mere days before the announcement.  So what interesting stories might Twitter tell about this season’s celebs? Keep an eye on this page, as we may update it if some other interesting followings occur between now and the cast announcement…which we will be live blogging starting Tuesday morning, hint hint ;-)

Things to keep in mind: the pros and celebs have gotten much, much more careful than they’ve been in previous seasons – they know we’re watching Twitter, so they aren’t likely to do something as dumb as each following their partner mere days before the cast announcement.  But they do slip-up from time to time, which is where we come in.  Keep in mind as well that the pros and celebs could have met in a capacity unrelated to the show – just because they’re following each other, does not mean they’re partnered together. Or that the celeb is doing DWTS :-P Read more..

I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Exclusive: Designer Randall Christensen Talks Of How He Designed Meryl Davis & Charlie White’s Olympic Costumes & More

Besides Derek Hough helping Meryl Davis and Charlie White with their choreography for the Olympics, did you know there is another Dancing With The Stars connection? Below is a new interview with for Emmy Award winning and former Dancing With The Stars costume designer Randall Christensen as he designed Meryl and Charlie’s breathtaking Olympic costumes. What’s more, they won a GOLD medal in them!! @LinzeyReed and I were so fascinated to learn more, that we came up with a few questions for him. Below Mr. Christensen tells his riveting story from the heart, how he was inspired, and the details that went into making each costume. Not only that, he provided us with a sketch with some silk fabric swatches while he was in the designing process of Meryl’s “My Fair Lady” short program costume. He also tells us about his other ventures. Without further ado, below is Randall Christensen and we can’t thank him again for his time. Read on….

Hi Mr. Christensen, how are you? It’s good to be talking with you and seeing you light up twitter with your interest in the Olympics and Figure Skating. From a recent interview we read with ABC15 in Phoenix, AZ, we hear there is a very special reason why as you designed the costumes for several ice skating teams including gold metalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Congratulations! Their costumes were absolutely divine and your best work yet. We can’t imagine what you must feel like knowing you had a part in them winning Gold in your stunning designs.

I HAVE TO SAY, IT IS BEYOND AN HONOR TO DRESS OUR NEW OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS! I THOUGHT WORKING WITH THE STARS AND DANCERS ON DWTS WAS FULFILLING (WHICH IT WAS), BUT MERYL AND CHARLIE ARE OLYMPIANS! LET ALONE OUR COUNTRY’S HEROES! I WAS THRILLED TO BE ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE.

Can you tell us about how and when this union came to be? What was the designing process like and working with Meryl and Charlie for the Olympics? Was Derek Hough involved in any way with the costume process since he choreographed their Short dance?

MY COMPANY HAS BEEN WORKING WITH MERYL AND CHARLIE FOR SEVERAL YEARS, WHILE I WAS STILL WORKING ON DWTS. THEY APPROACHED US IN 2009/2010 TO MAKE COSTUMES FOR THEM. WHEN I ENDED MY RUN ON DWTS THEY Read more..

February 19, 2014 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Former DWTS Costume Maker Randall Christensen Designs For Meryl Davis And Charlie White

Just an FYI!! Did you know former Dancing With The Stars costume maker Randall Christensen designed Meryl Davis and Charlie White’s costumes for the Olympics? This is so cool. Read on….

“The Olympic stage is the biggest stage in the world. It doesn’t get any bigger than this.”

In a workshop full of sequins, sashes, and all things that sparkle, Christensen is creating works of art.

United States ice dancers Meryl Davis and her partner Charlie White are showing off Randall’s designs on the ice in Sochi. Randall says he was moved to tears by the pair in rehearsals.

“All of a sudden I felt something on my cheek, and realized it was tears. I was crying, I was so proud.”

He believes getting the outfits just right is crucial for the athletes.

“Everything is riding on their look when they take the ice. The hair, the makeup, your presentation, fingernails, everything, including the costume sets the tone before you have to back it up with your skating.”

Randall hopes he provides the tools needed to be the best.

“If I can help you feel that way when you take the floor or take the ice, my job is done, and I have you on your way to being successful, I think.”

He did such a good job. I’m loving their costumes. More at ABC15. Don’t forget, Meryl and Charlie skate this weekend. For more details, see this link at Pure Derek Hough. Pure Derek Hough is also featuring a new interview with Derek Hough where he talks of how he choreographed their short program. All eyes on this captivating pair! Let’s hope they take Gold!!

February 15, 2014 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

DWTS4: Randall’s Costume Retrospective, Week 3

Randall has been incredibly busy traveling lately, but he is still gracious enough to offer his insight on our favorite costumes from seasons past :-) Let’s see what he has to say about the tango & jive costumes from week 3 of season 4!

Apolo & Julianne’s costumes: “Definitely a LOT of fun paying tribute to Uma/John with a retro style costume.  Apolo looked great with his slick and shiny hair pulled back ala John Travolta.”

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson 

Billy Ray & Karina’s costumes: “Looking back at these photos, I don’t even recognize Billy Ray nor Karina!!!  I think that Billy Ray looks BEYOND dashing in his tango costume – sophisticated, masculine and definitely elegant.  And Karina! The upswept hairdo, and that magnificent gown…..killer looks for a good tango!  The sleeveless jacket for Billy Ray was great, as it minimized any raising of his shoulders, which is SO difficult to control when dancing a ballroom dance, especially the tango, which automatically creates tension in the shoulders.  Without suit sleeves, the softness of the shirt minimized any tenseness that may have occurred while dancing.”

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Laila’s costume: “The palazzo pants were a nice twist on the typical tango costume, and with Laila’s long legs, they really soared!  The snake/serpentine rhinestone trim along that (long and sexy) back in navy and hematite stones – stunning!  Laila has such a phenomenal physique that we wanted to showcase her beautiful shoulders, and went with a sports cut halter neckline.  What great shoulders, huh?”

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson Read more..

February 8, 2012 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

Pure DWTS Random Talk On Mel B, Brooke Burke, Corky Ballas, Madonna, And The Super Bowl

Just some random reportings today on things related to dancing and Dancing With The Stars!!

First up, join us in congratulating Spice Girl and Season 5, 2nd place winner Mel B as she has been signed on to co-host the Australian Version of Dancing With The Stars. Below is a take from Adelaide Now with a quote from Mel B confident that she can pull the job off. We wish her much luck!

“To have the opportunity to host Dancing with the Stars is great, as I know exactly what the contestants will be going through,” she said.

“To be honest, I’m just really looking forward to this year. I feel like it’s going to be my Aussie, Sydney year. I also hope to get my (Spice) girls out here.

“Emma (Bunton) and Victoria (Beckham) have new babies. As a group we’ve only been here two days, so we never got to really experience it and I’ve been telling them how fabulous it is out here.”

Speaking of co-hosting, there has been some chatter here, around the internet at various places, and at twitter about Brooke Burke possibly not co-hosting next season’s Dancing With The Stars since she tweeted about some disappointing “crazy Hollywood Industry” news which hit her hard this past week. The tweets lead many to believe it had something to do with her losing her co-hosting job. Well, with two tweets similar to the first tweet below within 8 hours apart yesterday along with Tom Bergeron addressing her as his “partner” in reply, I think it’s safe to say her job is safe?? Then again, who knows? The Hollywood Industry is indeed “crazy”. Look what happened with Steve Jones, Nicole Scherzinger, and Paula Abdul on the X Factor this week. Never did I think they’d be let go in such a fashion and so soon. 8O


i just read the #DWTS new cast rumors! seriously I know NOTHING! @ don’t b holding back on me.We will announce end of this month
@brookeburke
Brooke Burke-Charvet


@ I not b holding back on DWTS new cast info, partner. I CAN reveal that producers will be species specific. #moredancinghumans
@Tom_Bergeron
Tom Bergeron

Moving on! Give it up to Dancing pro Corky Ballas!! He’s been recently helping Olympic ice skating hopefuls Maia and Alex Shibutani on their choreography since last year’s world championships in which they finished third in just their first season as senior skaters. Below are some takes from ESPN. Be sure to read the link in full as they write about how costume designer Randall Christensen helped them with their costumes as well.

The Shibutani siblings got in touch with Corky Ballas through their agent, using the Yamaguchi connection, and headed to Los Angeles to begin working with him after the worlds last summer.

“But we are the first skaters he’s worked with in a while,” Alex, 20, said. “Obviously with his background, his son, Mark, and Derek and Julianne, we were honored to work with him. He’s such a fun guy to work with. It was an intensive boot camp-style Latin training with him. He’s kept up with our performances. He thought we could use a breath of fresh air.”

The coaches had high praise for the Shibutanis’ performance.

“It was awesome, awesome,” Zueva said. “All the changes worked really well. Most Latin dance movement is very sharp off ice, but it totally disappears on the floor because the surface is different. [Ballas] found them the best movement on ice.”

They worked with Ballas again in Detroit after the ISU Grand Prix Final, where they finished fifth. Alex said they have gotten “really comfortable” with the Latin style, a break from their usual, more classical style.

“The new program is much more exciting and a much stronger vehicle for us,” Alex said.

Lastly, if you are a fan to dancing in general and huge dance productions, be sure to tune into the Super Bowl halftime tonight. According to the New York Post, Madonna will be dancing, performing and singing 3 classics: Vogue Vogue - Celebration , Ray Of Light Ray of Light - Ray of Light with Holiday Holiday - Madonna mixed in it, Like A Prayer Like a Prayer - Like a Prayer , and her new, hot single Give Me All Your Luvin Give Me All Your Luvin' (feat. Nicki Minaj, M.I.A.) - Give Me All Your Luvin' (feat. Nicki Minaj, M.I.A.) - Single from her new MDNA album Give Me All Your Luvin' (feat. Nicki Minaj, M.I.A.) - Single - Madonna . I wanted to give this a special mention since number one, I’m a huge fan :) and, number two, Madonna did a Salsa in challenging Dancing With The Stars rumored contender Victor Cruise at a press conference on Thursday, and number three, Nappytabs has been helping with the production of it. As you know they’ve helped with choreography on Dancing With The Stars among many other dancing accomplishments in their career. They are also currently helping Derek Hough with his new movie Cobu3D. Below are some tweets Tabitha shared about rehearsals.


What a feeling rehearsin on the field. Indy is so alive with energy too. I think u all gonna love the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Miss my Napz
@NAPPYTABS
Napoleon and Tabitha


Tab says “touchdown…. This is my house”. Last day of rehearsals on the field at #SUPERBOWL http://t.co/uwZxFvSP
@NAPPYTABS
Napoleon and Tabitha

Yes, can you tell I’m excited? :) Be sure to let us know your thoughts and here’s to a fun Super Bowl Holiday!! xxx

UPDATE: According to Madonna website Madonnarama, the Ray of Light and Holiday Mash-up has been replaced by Music(ft. LMFAO – “Party Rock Anthem/Sexy and I Know It” Remix). Also, there will be an
“Open Your Heart/Express Yourself” interlude to transition from Give me all your Luvin’ to Like a Prayer. Madonna has tried to keep the final setlist a secret as long as she could.

February 5, 2012 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

DWTS4 – Randall’s Costume Retrospective, Week 2

 First of all, thanks to all of you for such a great response on Randall’s Costume Retrospective from week 1 of season 4! Glad everyone is enjoying his commentary as much as I am :-D  Now let’s see what he has to say about the costumes from week 2, shall we?

Heather’s costume: “This black/green pants suit was created in England and was such a fun costume to dance the mambo.  The circular bell bottoms were flying all over the place, and accentuated all of the intricate footwork that Heather did.”

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Billy Ray & Karina’s costumes: Dancing to “Ring of Fire”, Billy Ray really wanted to pay tribute to Johnny Cash.  We embellished the back of his jacket with a completely rhinestone-encrusted guitar, quite the vintage country western look of that time period.  To this day it is one of my favorite men’s costumes.  And Karina’s costume had all those firey red rhinestones totally encrusting her bodice, along with that cute vintage June Carter Cash skirt, with a ballroom flare to it.  Quite the perfect couple coordinating their costumes with such a great song.”

*photos courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Ian & Cheryl’s costumes: Cheryl’s asymmetrical panel skirt w/slits really showed off some really cool Quicktep moves and Ian’s sleeveless jacket w/coordinating color shirt was a great finish to the couple’s look.  Cheryl’s costume was trimmed out in “Volcano” colored stones which has about 6 colors showing, depending on how the light hits it.  Cheryl has such a curvy and sexy body and this dress really capitalized on showing off her fantastic curves.”

*photos courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Apolo & Julianne’s costumes: Julianne’s pink quickstep gown is still such a memorable gown.  I still have people commenting on it, after all these years.  I think the combination of the fringe skirt overlayed on top of one layer of sheer silk chiffon was a first, and it really showed off some terrific choreography of Julianne’s.  I am so glad that Apolo was game to wear the gray tails suit, as it was a great look with Julianne’s pink.”

*photos courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

John & Edyta’s costumes: The shaded (emerald green to mint green) silk satin ballgown was quite nude for a ballgown look, but who else but Edyta pulls off such a look (consistently)?!  Even with the chiffon floater (bat wing), she was able to control it so that it didn’t get in John’s way when they were dancing (for the most part!).  And John looks sensational in his classic white tie and tails.”

*photos courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Kym’s costume: During the dress rehearsal, Kym stepped in the hemline of her gown, which meant that in the (less than 1 ½ hour) turn around from dress rehearsal to LIVE show time, we had to shorten the skirt a couple of inches – which meant that we had to RIP OFF yards and yards (!) of paillette beaded trim on the hemline, shorten the skirt about 2” and RESTITCH the beaded trim back on!  I have to say that we were literally sweating bullets trying to make that happen before we went live!  I still get a hot flash every time I think about that dress!” 

*photos courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Shandi’s costume: I sure wish I could take the credit for Shandi looking so INCREDIBLE, but honestly I have to say……she comes that way!  That’s the way she looks all of the time!  Tall and incredibly curvy and sexy.  I just did a little “window dressing” and called it a costume!  Wow!!

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Wow! Kym sure knows how to give Randall a heart attack, huh? ;-) Be sure to tune in next week when Randall gives his commentary on the costumes from weeks 3 & 4, which air this Saturday starting at 6 PM EST on GSN.  Need more Randall between now and then? Check out his website, or holler at him on his Facebook page :-)

January 25, 2012 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

DWTS4: Randall’s Costume Retrospective, Week 1

As promised, I am excited to bring you the first installment of our season 4 “costume retrospective” with Randall Christensen, the costume designer for the show from seasons 2-12 of DWTS! You’re in for a real treat, guys – in this edition, Randall not only reveals his inspiration for each of the couples’ costumes, but also explains how the costume department at the studio came to be, some interesting challenges that posed by Heather’s weekly transcontinental traveling, and what you DIDN’T see in Joey & Kym’s disco costumes ;-) Read on!

Did you know that the DWTS costume department wasn’t always located in the same studio as the show itself? Randall explains how tough it was in the early days: “This season was the second season (and the last season) that we had a company in Burbank, CA make the costumes.  A nightmare trying to get the couples over the hill into North Hollywood, with intensely congested traffic.  I remember one fitting where Heather Mills was 2 hrs. late getting there, even though it was only about a 15 mile drive, due to traffic.  That delayed fitting was the catalyst to our getting our own workroom (the very next season), which helped the cast and my crew TREMENDOUSLY!  We gave up the Green Room and created our workroom right in the same bldg. as the show, 2 floors above the soundstage.” Can you imagine how stressful it was for both the costume personnel AND the couples to make that trek for the costumes??? And what kind of problems it posed when there were wardrobe malfunctions that needed a quick fix??? Thank goodness the powers that be recognized the need for an in-house costume department, and made the necessary accomodations :-)

*photos courtesy AP/Chris Pizzello

Billy Ray & Karina’s costumes:Karina’s “tie dyed” red/burgundy burn-out velvet was a great choice of fabrics/color for their first dance.  Individual strands of bugle bead fringe accented her body movements.  Billy Ray’s costume was kept simple for this first week.”

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Ian & Cheryl’s costumes: Cheryl’s costume had chrome “nail heads” and other silver hardware, giving a bit of an edgier look.  We tied in Ian’s look with a chrome studded belt.”

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Edyta’s costume: Edyta always looks sensational in “just a little something” and this costume was no exception!  The crystal encrusted petal bra and that voluminous Cuban style circular skirt was perfect for this first week’s costume!  Love the tropical coral color too.

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Apolo & Julianne’s costumes: Julianne’s red beaded fringe number was TONS of work to create, but oh-so-worth it!  That skirt just did NOT stay still!   And Apolo’s red bandana was a fun tribute to his signature look when competing in speed skating.  I loved that he was comfortable (and confident enough) to wear a bit of red trim on his shirt – to tie in (not only his bandana, but also ) with Julianne.  Apolo was an incredible athlete, and dedicated and determined to do whatever was needed to give him an edge.  I’ve noticed (and appreciated ) that about all of the athletes that have been on the show.”

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Joey & Kym’s costumes: Kym Johnson/Joey Fatone – now here is one confident (and FUN) celebrity!  Joey really wanted for us to trim the back of his vest with TWO WORDS – FAT and ONE.  The producers didn’t want us to do that, so we went with his Fatone (one word) rhinestone encrusted on the back of his vest.  And what a FUN costume for Kym – a tribute to the 70’s-80’s “ABBA” look.  Smoking on Kym’s smoking body, don’t you think?  Very fun, and a bit tongue-in-cheek.”

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Laila’s costume: Laila is such a phenomenally gorgeous woman, and one terrific athlete.  Because she is so tall, and has quite the muscular body, I really wanted to make sure her femininity came through.  In spite of all her muscles (fantastic biceps!!!!) Laila is ALL woman!  This rust silk satin gown with crystal encrusted appliqué was soft yet sexy, and did that skirt ever soar when she moved!  Of course standing over 6 ft. tall in heels certainly made for a dramatic silhouette, one which Maks could still certainly handle.”

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Heather’s costume (and the special challenges it posed): The first few weeks of pre production and the first couple of weeks of the live show posed quite a challenge for us and Heather.  Because of the notoriety of Heather, we had to do so much secretively, so as to not alert the public as to her being on the show (during pre-production I was the only person on my staff who knew she was one of the celebrities – we had to keep it THAT hush, hush!).  So consequently, we had a company in London create the first two weeks’ costumes for her, as she was training weekly in England (flying over to compete and then returning back to England).  The company we used had been the costume makers for the UK version of DWTS (Strictly Come Dancing) and we are good friends, so I felt really comfortable having them take care of Heather.  They travelled a great distance to give Heather her fittings.  This gown was one of their creations and fitted Heather’s style and physique perfectly!  I think that the biggest challenge was to find a dance shoe company that could/would make VEGAN dance shoes.  Being a strict vegetarian, Heather was quite concerned about wearing dance shoes which always have leather suede soles, for proper traction on the dance floor.  Thank goodness her assistant knew of a great shoe company that made several pairs for her to try out, rehearse in, and another set to perform in.  And Heather was incredibly helpful, not to mention a total JOY to work with!  I don’t know that I have ever had (before Heather or since) a person who got so excited on each and every design session.  There were times when we were giggling and she was clapping and exclaiming how much fun this was.  Heather was one of my most memorable celebrities that I have worked with, totally professional and very appreciative!

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Wow! I never realized what challenges the costume department had to overcome behind the scenes! But obviously, they handled them with such skill and perseverence that we never saw them.  But it is fun to know behind-the-scenes tidbits like these…definitely makes the show more fun to watch, at least for me :-)

Still need more DWTS costume goodness? You can always check out Randall’s website and Facebook page, and be sure to stay tuned here for more costume retrospectives from the man himself – we’ve got Randall’s take on the week 2 costumes coming at you later this week ;-)

January 23, 2012 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Exclusive! An Interview with Randall Christensen, Part II

Last week, we gave you part one of our exclusive interview with Randall Christensen, the costume designer for season 2-12 of DWTS.  Now read on for more insight from the man behind the costumes…as well as some exciting news! :-D

What are some of the shows that stood out for you the most when you costumed them, and why? (i.e. certain theme nights, specific seasons, finales, etc.)

Randall Christensen:  Movie/Broadway or TV night is always great fun.  We get to step out of character even more.  If you can dream it up, SOMEONE will wear it!  Themed nights are always fun.  Loved the Halloween show back several years ago.  Edyta as Morticia Addams (The Addams Family), Monique Coleman/Louis van Amstel in their “Ghostbusters” tear away coveralls, to “slime” green…..great fun!  Doing specific time periods are fun and challenging as well.  Doing a retro ‘50’s Paso Doble for Nicole Scherzinger was one of the most challenging, as the Paso Doble is so serious and passionate, yet the ‘50’s inspired song just didn’t go…..but Derek is a genius with choreography, and we came up with a fun yet strong look for them both.

If you could pick any of the pros, past or present, on the show to be your assistant, who would it be and why?

RC:  Hands down, Edyta Sliwinska would be a great co-designer.  She has such an eye for style!  Lacey Schwimmer has some really fun, “out there” and cutting edge ideas too.

What was the best part of your job on DWTS?

RC:  Hands down, the best part of my job was the trust of the producers, and being able to create with such freedom.  You just do NOT get that in the television industry, and that was the most rewarding thing I can imagine.  Weekly, the most rewarding part of my job was when Harold Wheeler and orchestra start playing the overture, there’s not a week that went by that I was ALWAYS there, with shivers running down my spine.  When those couples came down that stairway……truly a magical moment each and every week.  I never missed that descending down the stairs at the top of the show – NEVER! Read more..

January 17, 2012 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Exclusive! An Interview with Randall Christensen, Part I

A few months back, we asked you guys to submit questions for Randall Christensen, the costume designer for DWTS from seasons 2-12.  Well now that the holidays are over and we’re starting to get back into the swing of things, we’re sharing Randall’s responses :-)

We’ve been lucky to get a chance to chat with Randall, since he has kept very busy since moving on from DWTS! He’s currently working a couture swimwear line with MiracleSuit (check out Vogue’s post on the Macy’s MiracleSuit fashion show last summer!), is working on a sportswear/ready to wear collection, and is still designing dancesport costumes for Randall Designs, Inc., his costume design company for the past 30 years.  Let’s see what this dancewear icon has to say in response to some of your burning questions :-)

At what age did you start designing?

Randall Christensen: I started designing for my professional partner and students back in the early ‘80’s, learning the craft with “hands on” experience.  I am self-taught.

Who were your mentors?

RC: My first mentor (and still most influential) was Bob Mackie.  He was designing for Carol Burnett as well as Cher for their (respective) shows.  I was a pre-teen and tried to NEVER miss a single one of their shows, as I was mesmerized by their costumes!

Seems like things at DWTS run on a pretty hectic timetable. Can you descibe what a typical week was like for you at DWTS?

RC: A typical week at DWTS starts new on Monday/Tuesday with new designs for each couple.  If we are lucky enough to get the music by Monday (instead of typically Tuesday) I try to get the couples up to the wardrobe department to discuss concepts for the next week’s costumes.  I only get 15-20 (30 mins. tops) to listen to the music, research ideas, discuss, design and finalize.  Then the entire show is shopped Wednesday by 5pm and delivered back to the studio, where I go over every women’s design with our cutter/fitter (the mens’ costumes are done off site, by our dance tailor in downtown Los Angeles).  The costumes are cut/sewn/preliminarily fitted on Thursday, then I have celebrity fittings all day Friday. My assistant helps on Saturday with the professional women’s fittings, they’re altered and ready for the final fitting on Sunday, after the couples do their blocking for the camera.  Adjustments are made and then are trimmed, beaded, crystallized and trimmed out to completion.  Monday morning is time to review each costume before setting them in the individual dressing rooms.  We have dress rehearsal only a few hours before we go LIVE on the east coast.  During that time any last minute adjustments are made and redelivered to the couples’ dressing rooms, sometimes just minutes before they’re to go to the top of the stairs for their walk down – live!  We have to design/shop/fit/finish each and every costume in 3.5 to 4 days!!  Whew!

What types of fabrics are the best for ballroom costumes?

RC: Thank goodness for stretch fabrics, jerseys, lycras, etc.!  These help the costume to be quite comfortable as well as flexible.  We can then get a terrific fit with little to no wrinkles in the fabric.  Chiffon (both silk and polyester) are great for the ballgown skirts, due to the wonderful movement.  Charmeuse satin is a terrific vintage type fabric, reminiscent of some of Ginger Rogers’ gowns.

Are there limitations, or can you work with pretty much anything?

RC: I push the limits every chance I get!  How else can you continue to come up with fresh ideas?  That being said, some fabrics are VERY challenging!  I try not to use brocades, as they are just to stiff and unforgiving for costumes.  Not to mention the fact that they do not flow at all!  I love using natural trims, for an organic vibe, still mixing in crystal rhinestones of course.  We have to have a sparkle on almost everything.

What is the most extravagant costume you’ve ever designed for the show, and who wore it?

RC: I would say the most extravagant costume would have to be Toni Braxton’s Marie Antoinette-inspired Viennese Waltz gown (complete with powdered blonde wig and all).  To be as authentic as possible, we went to a costume house and purchased a “cage” to make the silhouette as close to the look of the era as possible.  It was almost all completely sewn by hand, on the dress form as there is no way to get that wide cage (for the hips) on the sewing machine to work on.  Quite labor intense, but what a gorgeous look!  And still, we did it in just under 4 days……I still break out in a sweat thinking about that one!

*photo courtesy ABC/Kelsey McNeal

If you could only pick one DWTS costume as your “all-time favorite”, which would it be and why?

RC: Besides Toni Braxton’s Marie Antoinette gown, I would have to say Joanna Krupa’s “Futuristic Paso Doble.”  We pushed the limits (again) of what we could do in just 4 days.  The silver silk lame with electric lights (all wired into the dress) was sensational, but a nightmare to get done in such a short time.  We had a lighting specialist up from San Diego for 3 days just wiring the darn thing.

*photo courtesy of ABC

Everyone has regrets. Have you ever looked back at a costume you’ve designed for the show and thought “What was I thinking???” If so, which one & why?

RC: Oh, I’m sure we ALL have regrets, but I have to say, we have a really good track record if you consider that from concept to completion is 4 days maximum.  The discipline the couple has to have to stick with the original design, in spite of choreographing after the design is done, a procedure which is completely backwards! That being said, each and every week I look at the costumes, making mental notes as to what we could have done better, or what I would have done differently.  The beauty is I get another chance 4 days later.

Who have been your favorite celebs and/or pros to design for, and why?

RC: I count myself quite lucky to have such a great rapport with the pro dancers, and we have such fun with (and trust in) each other.  Our design sessions are quite intense and rewarding. I have enjoyed the trust that almost all of the celebrities have shown to me.  I honestly think that they put their trust in me (and their pro partner) due mainly to the fact that they are in such a foreign and vulnerable area.  They have not danced like this before, and really have to rely on our experience and expertise.  The trust that Susan Lucci, Jennifer Gray, Florence Henderson, Chelsea Kane and Kirstie Alley (to name a few) showed me was quite humbling and really rewarding!  This definitely impacts how wonderful their costumes showed on them.

Do you have an all-time favorite? 

RC:  I would have to say that as far as professional dancers, Edyta Sliwinska made ME look good!  I wish I could take credit for her beauty, but she came that way!!  That being said, I have to admit that Edyta was remarkably prepared each week, knew what looked good on her, and above all else, she left me to interpret her ideas and trusted me completely.  What a dream lady to work with!  Toni Braxton and Brandy both were appreciative, trusting and so lovely to design for.

What happens to the costumes after they’ve been worn?

RC: The celebrities have the option of purchasing any of their costumes, once the season is over.  Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson purchased all of their costumes, along with several celebs. buying their favorite one(s).  We keep a great majority of the costumes from past seasons in a storage facility quite close to the studio.  We also keep a few on hand right in the workroom, in case we need a last minute “fix.”  We have NEVER had to use one of those yet!

We’ve noticed some get reused and others don’t. How do you decide which ones get reused?

RC: We reuse costumes based on the producers’ requirements/suggestions, as well as our guest choreographers’ ideas.  Many times (most of the time) we re-work them so that their silhouettes more readily coordinate with each of the other dancers’ looks, for a more cohesive themed look. There is just not enough hours in the week to make ALL the costumes seen on Monday’s and Tuesday’s shows.  That said, we ALWAYS make something new for our couples for Monday’s show.  The pro numbers and (pro) group numbers may get previously worn costumes, but NEVER on celebs nor their partners for Monday’s competition!

*photo courtesy ABC/Adam Larkey

Do certain pros want specific kinds of alterations (i.e. shorter hems, lower necklines, mesh inserts, etc) on costumes that have been worn before by someone else?

RC: Again, it’s all about the overall theme/silhouette desired.  Our pro dancers do have their specific preferences, and if we could accommodate them, we most certainly would.  Some of those preferences are just going to be kept secret – no use spoiling the illusion……

Tune in later this week when we reveal part II of our exclusive interview…and Randall talks theme nights, panic attacks, and his love of princess seams (?) ;-) You won’t want to miss it!!!

January 9, 2012 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!