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DWTS Season 23: Week 3 Costume Critique

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 @ 10:09 AM

Dancing With the Stars Costume Critique Blog by Deborah Nelson  of Satin Stitches

DonaldHilary_Tango_Dancing_With_the_Stars_blog_Satin_Stitches.jpgOh my! What a night, for this week’s edition of Dancing with the Stars! The most fun part of the show was the Tango performed by Presidential candidates, Hilary and Donald. I hope you didn’t miss it! I think I heard that Minnesota’s Alan, wore the Donald mask: great job injecting a little humor about the ‘big debate’!

There was plenty of debating on the show, about which team won the ‘Face Off Challenge’ for immunity, this week, but we did see some good dancing and plenty of good costuming. There was only one costume that I really hated.

Gleb Jana Allison Babyface Dancing With the  Stars blog Satin StitchesBabyface and Allison started out the show with a Jive, wearing very sophisticated Jive costumes. A bedazzled, gold and nude-toned middle-connect leotard with dazzling, dangling gold beads added lots of movement for Allison. Babyface was totally debonair in his matching gold lame suit jacket with traditional black tuxedo trousers (side stripes of the gold lame) and white shirt. Black detailing on his jacket added definition and class.

Jana and Gleb wore more traditional Jive costumes, referencing the 1950’s with Jana in a sweetheart necklined bra-top with a hot pink 50’s dirndl skirt with white petticoat underneath. Gleb’s rolled up short sleeved shirt featured large white polka dots on hot pink, and if you looked closely, a scattering of the large dots were circled in rhinestones. Similar polka dotted fabric was used in a cutesy bow, and trimmed the waistband and bra-top straps for Jana, to coordinate their costumes. These costumes should be relatively easy to duplicate.

Rick Emma Vanilla Witney Dancing With the Stars blog Satin StitchesThen the Paso Doble Face Off started with Rick and Emma in traditional matador costuming for Rick and a relatively traditional organza ruffled costume for Emma. Black and white were the chosen colors. Personally, I am not a fan of white lace pasted on a black costume – I prefer a little more subtleness. But the lace on Rick’s jacket and sides of his trousers was a very traditional decoration. The white detailing, horizontally on his cummerbund was not attractive – I never think it’s a good idea to emphasize your waistline this way. I would have left it plain – or maybe add some jet rhinestones for some added glitz. Emma’ asymmetrical costume bodice with 3-D appliques was attractive, but the fullness of her skirt was overwhelming – just too much!

Vanilla Ice and Witney provided an alternative to the traditional, with more sophisticated and ‘fashion forward’ black costumes for their Paso Doble dance. Worn with traditional black tuxedo trousers, Vanilla was very stylish in his quilted leather motorcycle jacket with lots of studs and zipper detailing. Unfortunately he wore a coordinating trucker’s cap (of which I am not a fan… So he isn’t hiding his tax returns or emails, but I’m wondering the status of his hair?) Witney wore a delightful, semi-sheer ankle-length panel skirt with mesh long sleeves and a stoned, corseted midriff section. Their costumes coordinated well.

Cheryl Ryan Dancing With the Stars blog Satin StitchesThe next Face Off was the Cha Cha, performed by James and Sharna and then Ryan and Cheryl. Both professional dancers wore brief and beautiful mesh enhanced costumes that showed off their lovely figures. Both costumes included lots of glitzy beading and rhinestones. I enjoyed Cheryl’s gunmetal off-the-shoulder beaded fringe detail more than Sharna’s deep blue, skimpier lingerie-inspired/architectural leotard costume – but they were both exquisitely designed and constructed.

Sharna James Dancing With the Stars blog Satin Stitches Both guy’s costumes were more subdued, with a relatively simple gunmetal button-down shirt for Ryan and a blue suit with black shirt, with a sprinkling of rhinestones on the shoulders. Both ensembles were classy, and could be worn by amateur dancers of any statue.

The next successful Face Off was Terra and Sasha and Calvin and Lindsay dancing the Viennese Waltz. Both couples were very debonair in their coordinating costumes. The costume staff at DWTS is doing a very nice job creating sophisticated and pretty costumes for Terra. Again, this week her pastel blue gown was very flattering with ruching on her bodice, lovely rhinestone detailing and a very danceable, flowing, double-georgette skirt. The proportion worked well for her, and a similar costume for most any of us, would also be considered sophisticated and pretty. Sasha wore a matching light blue, open, button-down shirt over black trousers.

Lindsay Calvin Terra Sasha Dancing With the Stars blog Satin Stitches Lindsay wore a pink satin charmeuse middle-connect costume with a side view with one of my ‘pet peeves’ – the front bra area just ends up in a point, with a nude strap across the back, connecting to the other side. If you need a secure strap here, decorate it, or design the side view better, so it doesn’t look like the costume stops ‘in the middle of nowhere’. The ruching bodice detailing created a beautifully feminine costume. And guys look great in pink: Calvin’s textured pink sports jacket with black accents was very dapper, coordinated with his black trousers. Both Face Off couples looked sophisticated.


Maks Sasha Rick Dancing With the Stars blog Satin Stitches The Salsa Face Off was not as successful, although I enjoyed Maureen’s fluffy turquoise ruffled Salsa costume and coordinating rhinestoned turquoise shirt over white trousers, for Artem. Maureen’s costume had plenty of organza and satin charmeuse ruffles, but didn’t seem to overwhelm her, as I felt Emma’s did. This pretty costume included the off-the-shoulder neckline and is a more traditional Latin dance costume. The sprinkling of rhinestones was well done on both costumes.
MaureenArtem_Dancing_With_the_Stars_blog_Satin_Stitches.jpgLen was not impressed with the amount of Salsa in Amber Rose and Maks’ routine – “too much hip-hop” he stated. And I was not impressed by their costumes. Maks wore ‘street’ clothes with his open black and white checked shirt (with a few rhinestones) and jeans. OK. But then Amber Rose wore some unfortunate high-rise jean shorts with some odd decorations on them, with shiny pastel spandex leggings, with some rhinestoning on them.
Her top – which I DID like, was encrusted with thousands of rhinestones, and was attractive. Yes, I realize that her ‘booty’ was the emphasis of the words of the song, and then of course also with the choreography. 
But really, her outfit was NOT flattering or attractive. As a costume designer, when I see something that I truly dislike, I do try and come up with a more attractive alternative. I am having trouble with this dance costume dilemma, but maybe simple jeans to match Maks, with some vertical bedazzling to take a little of the emphasis off of her ‘booty’? But…maybe I’m just jealous because I personally have absolutely NO ‘booty’ (and I wish I did – but have none, thanks to male ancestors in my family)! 

Laurie Marilu Dancing With the Stars blog Satin StitchesThankfully the final Tango Face Off was better costumed! Laurie and Val wore beautiful costumes, in the Tango flavor – both in black. Laurie, despite being only 16, didn’t look too ‘grown up’ in her lingerie inspired costume which included real back straps. And Val was dashing in his all black ensemble.

Marilu was beautiful in her modest maroon long-sleeved, turtleneck-collared tango dress with deep zig-zag seaming, attaching her maroon charmeuse satin skirt. Her bodice was encrusted with matching rhinestones. Derek wore a matching maroon, double-breasted velvet vest over his black shirt and pant. They were elegant and sophisticated. And both couples danced beautifully.

Custom dance costume creation can sometimes be a daunting task, but I’m thrilled that the designers and staff at DWTS generally do a magnificent job. Each week it is a real treat to see what they come up with.

Tags: DWTS

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