Randall Christensen is busy this summer too. Like the rest of the Dancing With The Stars crew including those behind the scenes, I’m sure his work never ends. The Dancing With The Stars Costume designer set his sites on New York City this week to help Macy’s with their MiracleSuit swimwear fashion show. Below is a picture of Randall helping the models get ready for the show….and having a little fun dancing backstage as well. You can view more pics at Randall’s facebook page. See any gowns you like? I like the two in the FRONT!
The costume designer for our show, Randall Christensen, goals for the Finals was “to execute the celebrities’ most personal visions for their make-it or break-it dances” and he succeeded in doing just that….uhhh, well, except for Chelsea and Mark’s freestyle. But, not sure that is Randall’s fault as much as it was Mark’s (in my opinion). More below for how Randall and the dancers came up with their costumes from Stylelist.
Hines Ward and Kym Johnson: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were the inspiration for the couples’ quickstep look, which included a classic top hat, tuxedo and tails for the Pittsburgh Steelers pro. Johnson’s sublime gown featured white sheer mesh encrusted with 12,000 crystals and hand-dyed-and-cut guipure lace appliqué work. For a contemporary twist, its sheer skirt was fringed with horsehair braid.
For their freestyle performance, Ward lived out his marching band fantasy in custom-made drum major regalia. Christensen’s team used velcro and gussets at the armpits to give Ward tear-away sleeves to crank up his dance moves. Meanwhile, custom costumes for the musicians that joined the couple on stage were ordered from Texas in Steelers’ black and gold and arrived “in the nick of time.” Johnson’s majorette “boots” were actually spandex spats slipped over her Latin dance shoes for ease of movement. Her gold fringe minidress was a sexy take on the majorette/cheerleader look.
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas: Since she first slipped on Christensen’s fringe party in the U.S.A. pants during Patriot’s Week, the actress has been a fan and requested the style for her samba. For more fun, Christensen added fringe under a row of thousands of hand-beaded crystals on top. “It was tons of work, but hey it’s the finale,” he says. “And I have to admit it. No one wears fringe pants better than Chelsea.”
For their “Tron”-themed freestyle, the couple deviated from classic ballroom style and requested costumes that didn’t exactly match. Kane wore a turquoise bra-top and Ballas a lime-bedazzled suit. “That surprised be a bit since Mark’s suit was such a bright color, but I obliged them because I want to empower each couple and they should have what they want for this very important routine.” The battery operated shoes and gloves were installed by singer Chris Brown’s lighting team and “it was a wiring nightmare with all the lifts and choreography.” While the drama was spectacular the special effects were a fashion challenge: Kane said after the broadcast that one of the battery packs slipped off after her first big move and was dangling during her performance.
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: The actress wore a minidress featuring Carnivale hues of bright orange, yellow and lime green accented with crystal infused fringe for her sexy, sassy samba.
For her freestyle to Pink’s “Perfect,” Christensen deliberately outfitted Alley in a monk-brown dress, which was torn off to reveal a formfitting black unitard that showed off the slimmed-down figure of the actress who has lost 60-plus pounds in the ballroom. The designer’s fashion message? “Hello world, here is the new Kirstie, hot and fabulous.”
“Kirstie has been transforming right before our eyes and what an eye-popping end to such a glorious journey. And that was all Kirstie with just a bodysuit and her magnificently toned body.”
So, who had your favorite and least favorite costumes this week? Kym and Hines were my favorite and I won’t go there again for what I thought of Mark and Chelsea’s.
How many of you knew that at Dancing with the Stars they had a gifting area where gifts were given out to the stars and pros on Dancing with the Stars? I know I didn’t and I’ve been back stage at the finale before. That was gift enough for me.
Turns out that Anne Koplik Designs has a gifting suite at the Dancing with the Stars finale where they’re giving the stars some of their jewlery. Here are some pictures from the gifting suite that were on the Anne Koplik Designs Facebook page.
Similar to the DWTS gifting, we’ve been running a contest to giveaway some Anne Koplik jewelry (as seen on DWTS) as well. I’m happy to say that the winner is….check your email (or DM on Twitter) to see if you won.
Who thinks we should hold another jewelry giveaway?
DWTS Semi-Finals – Randall Christensen Talks about This Week’s Costumes Which Included A Silver-Crystal Encrusted Neck Brace
Would you believe Kym almost danced with a special neckbrace designed by Randall Christensen (the costume designer for Dancing With The Stars)? It’s true. Up until the last minutes of the show, Randall and his team were working on a silver-crystal encrusted neck brace which Kym almost wore during her dances with Hines. At the last minute, she decided she was strong enough to go on without it. He described last week as “an enormous challenge” with 12 costumes to get ready. See why below.
Kym Johnson and Hines Ward: Up until moments before they took the dance-floor for an emotional Argentine tango that received a perfect score, Christensen’s team was working on a silver-crystal encrusted neck brace for an injured Johnson. She was rushed to the hospital May 13 when football pro Ward’s full body weight came down on her neck as the couple attempted a difficult flip.
Johnson ultimately made the call that she felt strong enough to dance without the brace. Her formfitting tango dress with its cutout back and angled hemline was the most labor intensive costume of the night featuring mesh encrusted with “thousands upon thousands of pearls.” “Then we added the sparkle of 10,000 crystals wedged between the pearls,” says Christensen. “To make that costume in five days was a huge undertaking.”
Karina Smirnoff and Ralph Macchio: For their pimp-daddy inspired salsa, Christensen created a skintight bodysuit of leopard for Smirnoff, splitting it down the middle to reveal a red crystal-encrusted bra. “Who else could pull off such a sizzling catsuit but Karina Smirnoff,” says Christensen.
Padding obtained from Christensen’s “secret downtown [Los Angeles] source” was slipped into Macchio’s pants to give him a more prominent backside, an idea the actor and his partner came up with “for fun.” The catsuit was accented with thousands of hand-strung crystal strands and piles of hematite and topaz crystals.
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Christensen says Alley’s transformation (she says she’s lost more than 70 pounds dancing) “blows me away each and every week.” And this week, he showed off her toned upper body in a sleeveless, strapless frock. Her dark paso doble look featured a crystal-encrusted bustier with a tattered black and purple organza neckline. “The draped front was not traditional, but kept with the theme of the dance, which is Spanish gypsy,” he explains. Black leggings were added in keeping with the edgy mood.
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas: The Disney star rose to the top of the leader board again, thanks to her sizzling rumba which she performed in a deep mauve and lavender, midriff-baring frock that had its own dramatic backstory. The costume was originally cotton-candy pink, but the dancers asked for a new, darker look after show producers informed them clearance issues had forced a last-minute music change. “Being the pros that they are and knowing the kind of week the workroom was having, they were cool with my idea of dyeing her original look. We just dipped the whole thing and said a few prayers.”
You can read more at Stylelist.
As if there wasn’t enough excitement here at Pure Dancing with the Stars with the Dancing with the Stars finale just around the corner, now we have another exciting giveaway. That’s right, we’re giving away more free DWTS jewelry to readers of Pure DWTS. Woot!
A big thanks goes out to Anne Koplik Designs for providing the jewelry for the giveaway. They provide much of the jewelry that you see on Dancing with the Stars. Like Anne Koplik Designs Facebook page to see all their Dancing with the Stars related jewelry including pictures of the stars and pros wearing their jewelry.
This giveaway is for the pair of earrings that Chelsea wore last night on Dancing with the Stars. You can find the earrings for sale on the Anne Koplik website. Check them out and see the other great Anne Koplik DWTS earrings.
How to enter to win:
There are 3 ways to enter and unfortunately this is restricted to US and Canada (see we listen) residents only. The only person who can’t win is me (or maybe I should say my wife). Be sure to enter every way to increase your chances of winning.
1. Leave a comment on this site about your favorite DWTS jewelry or how much you love Pure DWTS. Be sure to use a real email since that’s what we’ll use to notify the winner.
2. Send a tweet that includes @puredwts and @AKoplikDesigns. Something like the following will work:
I really want to win the Free @AKoplikDesigns earrings that were worn on DWTS. I love @puredwts giveaways.
3. Like Pure DWTS on Facebook and leave a comment with the tag #FreeDWTSEarrings
That’s all. 3 ways to enter to win some great earrings! We’ll run the competition for a week and then do the giveaway next week based on a random selection amongst all the entries.
Good Morning America goes with Cheryl behind the scenes of Dancing With The Stars. Cheryl explains how they come up with costuming using Mark and Chelsea as an example. Randall Christensen (the costume designer) sketches out the designs as they are inspired. If you look closely, you can see a hint into Chelsea and Mark’s Cha Cha costume for tonight. Cheryl then goes into Mark and Chelsea’s rehearsal to help explain the choreography process. At the end, you can see the final outcome of their Rumba and Argentine Tango costumes. (I wish we could see the other contestants and pros spotlighted too?)
DWTS 2011 – Randall Christensen On The Costuming Process for Dancing With The Stars and More (Video)
Well, the costume designer to Dancing With The Stats, Randall Christensen, didn’t do his weekly spread for Stylelist this week. But, here is Access Hollywood interview with him instead on the costuming process. Models also show off some of his greatest creations on the show while he critiques them and shows you how you can pull them off. This is fun.
The Dancing With The Stars Make-up Team has some great new pictures up at the Facebook page as well. Here they are working on Brooke this past week. Don’t you wish you could see what her note card for the show says? More fun pics at the link.
The costume designer for Dancing With The Stars, Randall Christensen, told Stylist that he let the celebrities put their own “flirty” spin on their costumes this week. Read below and at the link for what happened behind the scenes in preperation for week 7. Note how they had last minute issues with Karina’s costume and they had to rework it. Kirstie added sparkle to her leggings an hour before showtime. What a rush they must have had.
Wilkinson: “Tango is typically danced in black or red and many times lace,” Christensen notes, but he went with a completely different vibe for the reality star. “It was fun to put a spin on that classic silhouette and do a crystal-studded fuchsia bustier.” He added a red, silk satin hip treatment and tiers of red, organza ruffles for a Spanish twist. “The wow factor was hard to miss,” he says.
Alley: The inspiration for her big flirt jive look was the “Cha Cha” character from “Grease.” Her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, ordered up the sparkling leggings for his partner. “We wanted to expose those naughty leopard bra straps and we covered her shoes in leopard on Friday,” Christensen says. After her first fitting, Christensen ripped off an over-skirt to expose the layers of tulle. Then, Alley asked for more sparkle on her leggings, which was applied an hour before show time. “Of course, I couldn’t deny her THAT.”
Hines Ward and Kym Johnson: The football pro channeled James Bond in a tango hall, wearing a white dinner jacket, while his partner wore an ultra-sexy, one-shoulder lace gown with a seductive rose fastened at the skirt’s leg-baring hip slit. “The black lace over the nude mesh was the ultimate tango dress. And Hines was Bond — suave, sophisticated and masculine.”
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff: Climbed to the top of the leader board in a kelly green roaring ’20s inspired ensemble that produced as much drama backstage as it did in the ballroom. Christensen had to rework Smirnoff’s look hours before the live show after fringe for a planned skirt was sent out for dye and came back the wrong color. “It was a moss green, yikes,” says Christensen. “Karina was a real trooper trusting us to bring the newly conceived skirt idea to reality.”
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas: Her head-to-toe lace body stocking wasn’t exactly a typical Paso Doble look. Nor were the edgy goth details on partner Ballas’ jacket, but Christensen is game for the young Disney star’s desire for unusual costumes. “Traditional paso doble? No! Perfectly appropriate for her age, music and talent? Absolutely!”
The Dancing With The Stars Hairteam at Facebook has pics of some of the ladies costumes up close. Below is Chelsea and Karina’s costumes. The detail is amazing when you think about how fast they have to put these together. More at the link.
And below is Kym getting her make-up fine tuned before the show.
So, who had your favorite costumes this week? I was fond of Kendra’s, Kym’s, and Chelsea’s costumes the most this time.
Stylist takes us backstage with Randall Christensen once again to discuss this week’s costume highlights and how he and his crew were inspired. I love what he says about Kirstie and how they have to keep taking in her costumes every week. He addresses the costume issue in Karina’s fall too and more.
Kendra Wilkinson: For her booty-shaking Samba the reality star and her partner, Louis van Amstel wanted “to express “Livin La Vida Loca” and beaded fringe did it,” says Christensen. “Of course the cut of the dress — sexy neckline, bare sides, micro miniskirt — lent itself to those steamy nights in Rio de Janeiro.” The look produced the desired reaction: Judge Bruno Tonioli described the performance as “attack of the killer boobs” and Wilkinson earned her best score.
Kirstie Alley: The 60-year-old actress recently proclaimed she’s almost danced her way into a size 6 and the short, copper, fringe-accented Samba dress Christensen created was a celebration of her toned figure. “I love dressing curvy women and accentuating those feminine curves was a blast,” says Christensen who used short bands of fringe to smother Alley’s skirt with shades of copper and brown. “Kirstie is quite literally melting away and we are taking in her costumes every week. That beautiful transformation of slimming down by toning up is wonderful to witness.”
Ralph Macchio: Smirnoff told co-host Brooke Burke after a week spent worrying if Macchio could manage his dramatic paso doble cape, she tripped on it. Before performing in his royal blue, gold and hot pink opera jacket, “Ralph actually practiced with a cape skirt to familiarize himself with the extra movement the cape would make,” Christensen says. And the couples’ dress rehearsal went off without a hitch: “I’m always biting my nails during dress rehearsal — which is only two hours before we go live on the East Coast — to make sure the costumes function properly without interfering with the performance.” He gave Macchio kudos for his “chivalrous recovery.”
Chelsea Kane: Thirty-five yards of silk chiffon were used to execute Kane’s vision of a flirty, bedazzled “schoolgirl on a field trip” dress.
Romeo: For his “Titanic” themed waltz, Christensen created a flowing, feminine, turn-of-the-century inspired multi-colored ballgown for partner Chelsie Hightower, while dressing the rapper in a replica of Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Jack” costume. The ruched midriff and square neckline on Hightower’s dress were in keeping with the couples’ romantic vision.
The Miami Herald has a great new interview up with Randall as well this week. Below he addresses the wildest costume he ever had to design for the show, Kirstie’s shoe mishap, and more. Be sure to read the rest of the interview at the link because he also talks about why women over 40 are “so hot”.
What is the wildest outfit you ever created?
I would have to say dressing Toni Braxton in a Marie Antoinette “cage’’ gown . . . in four days! That was our biggest challenge and our most over-the-top costume. Another would be Joana Kruppa’s “Futuristic Paso Doble’’ and wiring the lights all over her costume, and keeping them working while she danced a strenuous routine.
Kirstie Alley had a shoe mishap. Is that common?
Losing a shoe is one of those freak accidents. When she was being spun across the floor, Kirstie made sure her foot did not come off the floor; thereby being penalized for doing a “lift.’’ She put a lot of pressure on her foot to maintain contact with the floor. Unfortunately, her toes slipped out.
How do you choose the high heels? Aren’t they hard to dance in?
Typically, a 2.5 to a 3 inch heel is the best height for proper balance and skeletal alignment. The shoes we use [made from a company in Beverly Hills] are specially made for a dance floor with suede soles. They are quite lightweight yet still have a strong steel shank to support the arch and heel.
Do celebs have any choice in what they wear?
Definitely. All of the contestants are in on each design session. They need to feel their most confident, and it is my job to get inside their head and find out what makes them tick, what makes them happy.
So, which costumes did you like the most this week? Once again, I have to give this honor to Chelsie and Romeo. Chelsie was gorgeous in purple chiffon. I loved Maks and Kirstie’s costumes too. I was hoping she’d choose something dark and with long fringes. They need to be careful about giving her bright colors.
More photos (like the photos above) at OnTheRedCarpet.com.
Once the head costume designer, Randall Christensen heard the playlist for the show last week, he knew “red, white, and blue” wouldn’t “be the norm”. He gives Stylist the lowdown for how he came up with some of the costumes.
Chelsea Kane: This season’s girl-to-beat turned up the heat in a pair of fringed red-and-white striped pants topped with a midriff-baring star-spangled tank. To create the kinetic pants,which punctuated every thrust of Kane’s hips, Christensen’s team cut individual strips of fabric, adhering them to the base pattern one-by-one. “Just attaching the fringe took hours upon hours,” Christensen says.
Kirstie Alley: Wore royal blue palooza pants and a tattered peasant top which featured a sheer, bedazzled midriff to boogie to Lenny Kravitz’s “American Woman.” Alley danced under the tutelage of stand-in dance coach, John Travolta. The actor encouraged his friend to ditch the Manolo Blahnik heels she slipped out of last week for a pair of high-top sneakers, but Christensen gave her classic court shoes instead. “Pumps were appropriate for the song’s era,” he explains, Custom rhinestone buckles were added to authenticate the look.
Meanwhile, the design team barely had enough time to make Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s custom skin-tight leather pants, which he wore shirtless. The pants were a special request by Alley.
Petra Nemcova: The supermodel’s back-baring gold gown was inspired by the glamorous Las Vegas look of Marilyn Monroe crossed with Sharon Stone in “Casino,” Christensen says. “We had originally discussed a more Vegas showgirl look, but once the choreography was in place it was obvious the look of a more classic couple in formal wear was the way to go. And what’s more glamorous than Marilyn and Sharon?” he says. Nemcova helped design her elbow-length gloves cinched with silver-crystal jewelry while her lush ostrich boa became a feathery stole.
Kendra Wilkinson: Christensen used stretch blue satin to create her sleeveless tails and encrusted her vest in silver-studded stars. An inventive addition to her costume: Over-the-knee tights made to resemble boots. Their flexible fabric made dancing easier and Christensen added crystals for sparkle. “I think the look empowered her and gave her confidence,” he says.
Romeo: The rapper’s refined tuxedo and tails salute to Fred Astaire, and partner Chelsie Hightower’s sublime Ginger Rogers’ inspired off-white bias cut gown was StyleList’s favorite look of the night.
So, which costumes were your favorites? I loved Chelsie and Romeo, Kym and Hines, and most of all >>>>MAKS!!!! Did anyone not love this?!! And I will take Maks (and Derek if he were here) shirtless and in black leather any day before Mark!
The Wausa Daily Herald also has a great 2 page article up of the costuming process. Below is a picture of Randall’s crew and a small take. Be sure to see the link for much more.
“People really don’t realize that there’s no magic closet that we pull this from. It is a bolt of fabric every Wednesday,” said 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.”
Each week, Christensen translates their visions into sketches on Tuesday and buys the fabrics on Wednesday. His team of two patternmakers and 10 seamstresses transforms 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 said.
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.”)
Lastly, don’t miss seeing some new pictures posted by the make-up crew at their Facebook page. Here’s one of Romeo and Chelsie.