“Dancing with the Stars” is one of the longest-running celebrity reality TV competitions, with 30 seasons under its belt.
While the ABC show is known for its elaborate dance routines and for casting a wide range of celebrities from film, television, music and sports, this final season – with its many themed weeks – has particularly resonated with viewers for his memorable costumes.
“We’re definitely getting out of the ballroom world a bit and into certain musical genres depending on the theme,” said Daniela Gschwendtner, who designs the costumes for the contestants alongside Steven Lee. “We definitely have a different vibe now in the show with the costumes by having these themes, so it’s a little different than what we did in the past with more traditional ballroom looks. “
This season, which is hosted by Tyra Banks, has incorporated a range of themes including Disney, Britney Spears, “Grease,” Queen, Horror Night and Janet Jackson, among others, and has cast stars such as YouTube star JoJo Siwa, Olympic gymnast Suni Lee, former NBA player Iman Shumpert, Melanie C, member of the “Spice Girls”, TV host Amanda Kloots, influencer Olivia Jade Giannulli, Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby and others.
Gschwendtner and Lee begin each week’s costume design process by working with the show’s producers and dancers to examine themes and come up with ideas. Some themes, like Queen or Janet Jackson, are simpler, while themes like Horror Night allow for more creativity.
The designers said they typically work on the costumes about a week before the show each week, which can be difficult given that each look is tailor-made. The designers also said the pandemic was taking a toll on their resources, sometimes forcing them to turn to other fabrics or materials when quickly making costumes.
“The challenges are making sure everything is stretchy and dancing,” Lee said. “We have to custom build everything because we can’t buy anywhere. Even for the men, we can’t buy them the costumes because they can’t dance in them. We build [the suits] specifically so that he is dancing and has enough stretch.
Gschwendtner and Lee said “Grease” week was their favorite in terms of costumes and show progress.
“We’ve never done it before where it was a full musical where they started from the beginning song to the ending song,” Lee said. “It was almost like you watched the whole show like a musical.”
Banks, who is hosting “Dancing With the Stars” for its second season, also wowed viewers with her outfits, many of which have gone viral for their over-the-top nature.
The model started the season in a burgundy mini dress with two oversized fans starting from her waist. The look went viral on social media: “Some fans love it, some don’t, but we don’t apologize. Tyra doesn’t apologize, ”Eric Archibald, Banks stylist, said on the show. “She’s a model and she likes what she likes. We love things that are just bold and beautiful. Here, we’re not doing simple black dresses, it’s “Dancing with the Stars”.
Archibald explained that his and Banks strategy each week is to be bold with her looks and create memorable fashion moments that “really push the boundaries, but are still very controlled.” Banks referenced each week’s themes alongside the contestants, sporting looks like a schoolgirl outfit for the Britney Spears week in a nod to the singer’s “Baby One More Time” music video and an inspired biker look. from Olivia Newton-John’s character for “Grease” night.
Like Gschwendtner and Lee, Archibald typically works over a one-week period for Banks’ costumes, collaborating with workshops in the Los Angeles area and working with his designer to create designs.
Archibald’s favorite look this season was Banks’ opening night look: a crystal-embellished dress inspired by the coveted “Dancing With the Stars” Mirrorball Trophy.
“We don’t go every week thinking we’re going to go viral, but what we’ve done has been great for the public and just for the culture,” he continued. “Being a former top model and having walked the runway at every show, why not? Let’s be bold and beautiful.
With the 30e the season of “Dancing With the Stars” is set to end on Monday night – the competition is between Kloots, Siwa, Rigsby and Shumpert and their respective dance partners – the show is set to end with a few more notable fashion moments.
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