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DWTS Season 15: Week 8 Costume Critique

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 @ 12:11 PM

In honor of Veteran’s Day this week, Dancing With the Stars paid tribute to our military with beautiful and poignant routines. There was a mix of traditional ballroom costumes and military inspired ensembles.

DWTS 8 GroupLeft to right, aligned with the photo, you see Cheryl in a beautiful, traditional white ballroom gown with beautiful black and white feathers at the hemline and black glitzy neckline trim. Her gown is very elegant and complimented Emmitt’s very dapper dance tuxedo ensemble. They made a very elegant couple.

While Maks was very low-key in his white T-shirt with green trousers, Kirstie’s beautifully tailored, non-stretch military-esque costume was not. Her ankle-length skirt has the fullness of a double-circle skirt. It flowed beautifully. Her classically trimmed jacket and hat fit her beautifully, skimming her body, creating a very flattering look for her. Always keep this in mind: the most flattering fit for everyone, is skimming the body - never too tight to emphasize lumps or bumps and never boxy - too boxy just adds lots of unnecessary girth to a figure.

Kelly’s yellow chiffon gown was attractive, with the front bodice drape, shoulder drapes and 3 skirt layers. Val’s matching woven chiffon shirt was loose (necessary with a non-stretch fabric) and trimmed with matching gold satin collar, cuffs and front band. Attractive costumes but nothing new.

Peta and Gilles went with the 80’s with their ‘Top Gun’ costumes. Gilles was manly in his black flight suit and Peta’s harem-panted jumpsuit was retro-stylish. Her outfit would be more difficult to pull off, if you weren’t tall, slim and confident.

Karina and Apolo mixed a ‘Seal-Team 6’ look with a delightful 1940’s inspired costume. I loved the shiny leather belt straps on Apolo’s vest, as it was a great way to add non-glitzy shine to a plain matte costume, resulting in a fun and sexy vest. Very manly! I also loved Karina’s mint green with wispy black lace ensemble, mostly because it incorporated a beautiful back on her top, showing just enough skin to maintain her sexiness, without the trash factor. (Yes, I think ballroom costumes can sometimes look a bit trashy-and this isn’t all bad-just sometimes!)

I’ve always loved sailor outfits. I confess that it is my favorite look, of all our country’s military uniforms. Melissa and Tony coordinated well. The costume department’s choice of feminine, flowing Palazzo pants on Melissa to contrast with the masculine, tailored trousers on Tony worked well. The couple wasn’t dressed as twins, and looked classy.

Shawn and Derek mixed a costumer’s take on an army uniform with an angelic Shawn. Kudos to the costume design department for both costumes. Shawn, again, was flattered with the good use of white textures and design lines to enhance her shape and dance moves. The tailoring on Derek’s uniform was impeccable - one of my favorite outfits for Derek, this season. I salute you!

Now on to the outrageous Trios for the second half of the show!

DWTS 8 ShawnShawn’s tribal themed performance was fabulous! Despite Len’s horrendous score of 7 for their dance because of ‘lack of Samba content’, there was no lack of costume content! Shawn looked stunning, and was totally flattered by the styling (included the shoulder pads) of her costume. It suited her shape, it had the right amount of glitz, and if I had to wear a tribal dance costume (and I had a suitable body) I would want to wear this outfit. BEAUTIFUL! Leather and feathers on the guys…Yum! If I could have tribal dance partners, I’d vote for Mark & Derek in these outfits.

DWTS 8 ApolloI can’t say the same for the outfits for Apolo and his partners. Of course the costuming was a takeoff of ‘Grease’ (from the 80’s), with 50’s costuming. Their costumes were totally appropriate for their performance. But all in all, the costumes were just pretty boring.

DWTS 8 KirstieNOT boring, were the men with Kirstie! The angel wings were a bit much, but those jacquard jackets with asymmetrical front closing with appropriately accenting buttons…WOW…I loved them! Kirstie’s gown was dainty and demure, and flattered her figure. But why those distracting black legs? She chose to wear a supposedly flattering unitard under her dress. For me, it would have been beautiful without the slit/opening. That was a total mistake by the costume department.

DWTS 8 KellyKelly was flanked by two shirtless guys sporting suspenders – not much to say about their costuming (or lack thereof)! I liked Kelly’s tailored coat-dress. It was a nice contrast to the skin seen on the guys, with black beaded fringe for some movement. The rhinestoned satin cuffs and lapels were nice details. Her skimpy silver bedazzled bra completed her outfit, nicely.
Gilles was sandwiched between two lovely blonde ladies in traditional, sultry hot pink and blue beaded Salsa costumes, complete with sparkle organza ruffled back-skirts. If you know your colors, you can confirm that the overlapping of the pink and blue beaded fringe created a third color – purple, as an added texture for their costumes. My only real objection was that Peta’s was WAY TOO LOW, dipping down to her nether-regions on the front. Oh my! Thankfully their skirts were secured with decorative strapping so that Peta’s wouldn’t slip down and cause a ‘costume malfunction’.

DWTS 8 PetaOh, yes…Gilles. He was wearing an impeccably tailored shirt and pant, complete with stitched creases in the pant legs. We will miss him and his swarthy good looks. (And yes, I know a little something about swarthy good looks…if you know me personally…just look at my offspring, and realize that something swarthy happened with my Swedish and miscellaneous northern European genes!)

DWTS 8 EmmittEmmitt kept true to himself and again, didn’t add any glitz to his ensemble. He does go ‘all in’ with the colors he chooses, however. This time with a very bright neon lime green for his shirt and aqua/turquoise for his trousers. His dance-mates wore coordinating frou-frou, organza ruffled skirts with minimal tops. Cheryl and Kym were overly feminine, but a wonderful contrast to Emmitt’s masculinity. Their costumes weren’t my favorites (especially with their naked-except-elastic-strapped backs), but they created a festive ‘picture’.


DWTS 8 Melissa

In contrast, Melissa was so classy in her bustier and cape/skirt (over red glitzed-out briefs). Her ‘boys’ wore simple, matching bolero jackets with red shirts and black trousers and cummerbunds, showcased high waistlines. I really enjoy Melissa’s more covered look, complete with a dynamite lace neck decoration, something my short neck could absolutely NEVER pull off! AND, her costume had real shoulder straps – what more could I ask? One of my absolute favorite’s this week.



The cast has been downsized but the dancing has gotten even more incredible. What a fabulous All-Star season. I’m sure you all are excited for our pre-Thanksgiving treat, next week!

Tags: Past Seasons DWTS Costume Critiques


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