Another exciting season of “Dancing with the Stars” has come and gone! This week, we were treated to two nights of fabulous dancing and not-so-bad costuming (spoken in the true ‘Minnesotan’ speak). This is my last chance (for a few months) to spew my biased (pun intended) thoughts with what I perceive as good and bad custom dance/performance costuming.
An affirmation that all costuming is related: I’m excited to say that I was just alerted to a YouTube video of a high school dance team performance. This team was wearing silk and spandex dip-dyed ombre skirts that Satin Stitches created for them, a few months ago. This design was inspired by a ballroom dance gown photo that was submitted to our design team. In my custom business, we get inspirations for one type of performance costume, from MANY types of performance costumes.
Monday Night included ‘Redemption Dances’ by all three finalist couples. David and Lindsay started this week’s competition with their reprise of a Viennese Waltz. David wore a beige, basic ballroom suit with rhinestone studded lapels. There were stirrups on the pant legs, so I am assuming the fabric had some stretch to it. The sleeves were cut as ‘ballroom sleeves’ (a phrase I’ve used for a several decades) that incorporate enough fabric under the armpits to keep the jacket suitably (another intended pun) in place without the jacket raising up. When the dancer’s arms are in ‘dance position’ the garment looks very smooth, but when the arms are relaxing down by the dancer’s side, they reveal a very wrinkly look.
Lindsay wore a lovely sweetheart necklined dress with 1940’s influenced shoulder treatment that transformed into ruffled back straps. Her dress was constructed out of a demure white, woven fabric with 3-Dimensional mini-floral details. The bodice featured corset construction/seaming which was very attractive and flattering, rather than a simple princess-seamed bodice. Her simple skirt gathered to her natural waistline.
Nomani and Val danced a powerful Quick Step with the use of lots of sheer fabrics. Val’s jacket was made of a bold, sheer black lace, with velvet lapels and back half-belt. Stitched-crease black velvet trousers coordinated with his lace jacket. Normani wore an eye-brow raising sheer-looking ‘catsuit’ (the old fashioned term used by Len). We all know that nude-lining is fabulous (did you see Cher on the Billboards Awards in her Bob Mackie costumes?...Two things – one of my pet peeves is when we are to image things with and without linings – a missing nipple and a missing navel: too weird, Mr. Mackie…)! Strategically placed strands of black beaded fringe added lots textured interest to her costume. I enjoyed Normani and Val in their sheer costumes – much more interesting than the more boring suit worn by David.
Rashad and Emma also danced the Viennese Waltz, in dark green. Rashad sported basic tuxedo pants with satin side stripes and a white pin-tucked, tuxedo shirt. His un-tied bowtie accessory was stitched down in place and outlined with rhinestones – a classic and classy ballroom men’s costume. I loved Emma’s understated sheer chiffon panel skirted costume with embellished lace and mesh bodice. The nude elastic straps did not offend me.
The second section of the finale included the much-anticipated ‘Free Style’ dances and the finalists didn’t disappoint. David and Lindsay reprised their baseball themed costumes from his first competitive dance – yes, they updated these costumes. Their costumes were made of Patriotic red, white and blue with matching rhinestones. An easy to miss accessory was Lindsay’s vertically striped under-bra. Did you know that Lindsay has no hips? The wide horizontal red belt emphasizes her ‘up and down’ silhouette.
Normani and Val wore white ‘nothing special’ costumes for their routine. I did love the ruching on Normani’s bodice with shoulder ties, and I loved the double-breasted vest with banded shirt on Val.
Rashad and Emma presented their Free Style in brightly colored togs. The wild print and bright, bold color palette ‘fit’ their routine, in my opinion and reminded me of the 1980’s – whether this was intended or not…
For the Grand Finale Extravaganza Tuesday evening, I enjoyed the reprise dances with all the contestants and Troupe. The costume department created additional costumes for the finalists, as well as for the Troupe vignettes. Bright, basic colors were chosen to coordinate all, with red (Normani’s red costume was my favorite costume of the night as it was unique and suited her classy, edgy style) and royal, and then costumes of black and gold. It seemed that the guys were always matching, but all the girls wore different designs.
For the final Fusion dances, the costume department didn’t stretch themselves, design-wise. David’s ‘pop of color’ was purple suspenders and a purple bow tie, worn with a basic white shirt and black trousers. Lindsay’s white and purple fringed costume featured too-long fringe, camouflaging her petite frame. The costume overpowered her, in my opinion and also looked amateurish.
Normani and Val wore the best Fusion costumes, with Val again in a black velvet suit (how many black velvet outfits did he have this year?) and Normani in a lovely sheer lace costume. Their dance togs were both classy and sophisticated.
I was disappointed in the lack of coordinating costumes for Rashad and Emma. Rashad’s red sequined sport coat was seen on all the other men, earlier in the show. Emma’s asymmetrical costume with side cutouts was in the ‘ever popular’ nude with (if you really look…) some red rhinestones outlining those cutouts. I would have used a bright pink fabric with more red rhinestones to compliment Rashad’s outfit. Or…she could have worn the red lace costume worn earlier in the evening.
So, after two evenings of “Dancing with the Stars”, we now need to wait until next season for our DWTS ballroom dance costume fix. While I was disappointed for Normani and Val, I am thrilled for Rashad and Emma, as I usually have a soft spot for underdogs, hard workers and yes, football players!