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How Are We Inspired?

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Sun, Sep 08, 2019 @ 18:09 PM

Inspirations for dance and show choir costume designs come from everywhere…from movies, Broadway shows, Award Show Red carpets, magazine pictorials showing what celebrity stars are wearing, street fashions, ready-to-wear or couture fashion shows etc. Inspirations can also come from viewing competitions or performances of your competitors, mentors or even the groups or individuals that we work with. AND from the hidden caverns of our designers’ brains!

We ask our clients to provide inspirations for what they might like to have designed and created for their groups. At Satin Stitches, when we are tasked with creating a high school dance team or show choir costume, with a certain theme, besides requesting visuals from our client, we also search the internet for visuals that can inspire us.

Here are some examples of fun costumes that Satin Stitches has created, and their visual inspirations:

Rockettes1. The Radio City Rockettes deep blue velvet jackets were the inspiration for one of my personal favorite Brainerd high school dance team costumes.


Vanessa Williams-Dance With Me2. Vanessa Williams, the de-crowned pageant queen, singer and actress wore a Latin dance costume in the movie “Dance with Me”. This dress was the inspiration for one set of costumes that we created for the collegiate show choir group, The Wisconsin Singers.

Julia Roberts Vintage Valentino3. A Red Carpet vintage Valentino gown worn by Julia Roberts one year, was another inspiration for a set of costumes that we created for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin Singers.

Halle Berry Red Carpet-DS 20134. “Dance Spirit Magazine” occasionally asks for themed costumes for a pictorial. One year the theme was Red Carpet gowns inspiring dance costumes. We created this danceable costume, based on Halle Berry’s striped Red Carpet gown.

1 A Inspiration from one costume to another5. We are also inspired, as our clients are, with costumes that we have previously created for someone else. We make sure that the new costume will not be viewed as ‘the same’ and never seen in the same performance area. For example, a skating costume could be an inspiration for a ballroom costume, and a solo dance costume could be the inspiration for a singing group’s new look.

A collar here, or a sleeve or skirt silhouette there, can all be bits and parts of a new team/group costume, put together with other inspired ideas.

At Satin Stitches, all of us designers continually document visuals that we see, yes, from everywhere. We know that you and your team or group have been visually inspired. We just ask that you share your visuals with us, to help us to create your perfect performance costume.

So continue, as we do, to soak in all those exciting visuals – they just might inspire a totally new look for your team!

©Deborah J. Nelson/ Head Designer and President of Satin Stitches Ltd.


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