© Deborah J. Nelson/Satin Stitches Ltd.
Yes, yes, I have been taking a few weeks off, enjoying the summer in the evenings and weekends. But some of my COSTUME CRITIQUE fans have missed me, and my ruminations. So here I am, glued to my telly, enjoying Cat Deeley and her lover-ly accent. Yes, I wrote this during- right after the show, but did not have the time to edit and post until now.
Watching past shows and past seasons, I could always count on fun fashion styles from Cat, and cheeky British accents from Cat and Nigel. I was not disappointed tonight!
Costuming for the dance contestants, however, had some bright spots and some very dull spots. Contrary to the opinions in the recent blog titled Costumes- They can Make or Break You-costumes DO matter. The blogger suggests that costumes are annoying, I believe the CAN make or break your performance.
Especially for those of us who are looking to be entertained, and may or may not be able to spot all the nuances in a great versus super-great dance performance. I do understand that if you are a passionate about your craft and art of dancing and choreography, you may feel that costumes are not important-the pure dance moves are what should be important.
BUT remember that SYTYCD and other television reality shows have millions of viewers, and a good share of them are looking to be entertained, as are MOST audience members. So, bring on the costuming!
The first performance of the evening, was a Tahitian routine by Lauren and All-Star Mark. Of course, a Tahitian performance would look a little silly in a T-shirt and jeans, right? Feathers and faux-grass were added to basic swimwear for a sort of authentic-looking costume. Remember, I am from the Mid-west: it looked Tahitian to me! It actually was a little distracting for me. As one of the judges mentioned-who knew if the moves were right or not-it was energetic and fun to watch! The body art on Mark was a plus. Of course makeup and hair styling are also an important part of any performance.
Andechike and Anya performed a Salsa. I loved Anya’s beaded apple green to chartreuse, fringed costume. It was perfect- short, sexy and sensational! Sad to say, Andechike’s costume was NOT. His white mesh shirt with apple green trim was OK, but why the bright blue pants? Whoa. NOT a good look-it made the outfit look very amateurish. What color would have been better? Basic black? Maybe white? I understand that apple green or chartreuse pants might have been a little weird, but pulling in bright blue WAS weird.
The next couple-Jose and Courtney also looked a little weird. The judges did not appreciate the routine, commenting that Jose was stripped of his personality during Mr. Cellophane, and his dance technique was not up to par. Dressed in a sort of Mr. Bojangles outfit that gave a sad, down-and-out look, he contrasted with Courtney’s over-the-top, traditional showgirl costume. The two shades of pink, combined with black feathers for her tailpiece and fans were a pretty color combo, but her tailpiece was way too big for her. The proportion of her costume was off-she needed to be a couple of feet taller, to carry it off.
Robert, with All-Star Allison danced a contemporary piece, wearing contemporary clothing. Pretty darn boring, for us fashionistas. The dancing was incredible, but I would have enjoyed the performance much more, with visually pleasing costuming accenting the dancing.
Billy and All-Star Anya performed a Jive. Their costumes were simple, yet attractive in pink and black. They were an example of what most anyone could have put together. Anya had a sort of Frederick’s of Hollywood non-rigid bustier and hot pink petticoat right out of a square dance shop. Billy’s pink shirt had some fun sequin trim- a nice touch.
Perfect costumes for Kent and All-Star Neil were used in their perfect Broadway Damn Yankees presentation. I agree wholeheartedly with Mia Michaels, when she says I LOVE BOYS! But boys dancing needs to have masculine costumes, along with masculine dance moves. The baseball uniforms were authentic and the SYTYCD used to create a Yankee-esque chest logo. Very nice. Yes I CAN love non-glitzy costuming!
Lauren and Billy had simple, contemporary gray outfits, to highlight their Boogie Shoes, for their Jazz dance. They wore bright blue and bright pink, rhinestoned shoes with suspenders on Billy and a belt, buttons and dance trunks to match Lauren. What a fun, fun idea, to highlight the shoes! This was an example of how to make simple, contemporary, street-wear costumes that were INTERESTING and spot-on.
Jose and Dominic danced a B-Boy routine. I was expecting another sloppy, loose, boring hip-hop look. NOT SO! Wow! I really was impressed with, and liked, the similar, but not matching hooded jackets with knee-padded pants. Why? The outfits were slim fitting, not oversized, with interesting design details, such as shiny, patent-leather-looking jacket fronts, with large metallic insignias. There were fun stud-looking details on the pants and silver metallic fishnet mesh for the sleeves and hoods. Manly, glitzy with a street-look, what more could you ask for?
Then back to Contemporary, with Andechicke and Kent. Yawn for the costuming, with simple streetwear. Could this routine been done with costumes. No. But magic of fabric movement or glitz.
Robert and All-Star Ashley finished off the evening with a Disco. I enjoyed the costuming for this 1970s era routine, with costumes that were evocative of this genre. The color combination was very pleasing to the eye, even though on my television, the cobalt shirt on Robert did not seem to match Ashley’s fuchsia and purple handkerchief costume. This costume looked professionally designed. The best part? Her elasticized straps were rhinestoned, and looked like they BELONGED, and were a part of her costume. None of those nasty nude straps that are all too prevalent on Dancing With the Stars! It was a JOLLY good look!
So there you have it! I am back to my old form with my opinions on costuming. And I was even thrilled to see no nude elastic straps! We are in the groove again, here at Satin Stitches, designing so many new looks for delivery this fall. And yes, summer will soon be just a memory. I hope you are all enjoying YOUR summers!