Randall Christensen, costume designer for "Dancing with the Stars"
Designer Randall Christensen is the Oscar, Calvin and Ralph in his field. Christensen is the costume designer for “Dancing with the Stars,” and instead of of a runway, his clothes take a turn on the dance floor.
Christensen is an Emmy award-winning costume designer. He contributed gowns for Jennifer Lopez in the movie “Shall We Dance” and designed costumes for an entire show for Princess Cruises’ newest ship the Ruby Princess.
My column in today’s Life was a question-and-answer with Christensen. Here are more detailed answers and more questions.
How long does it take to make each costume? We average about 40-50 hours per ladies’ costume, based on how complex the design is, and how much trim/beading/rhinestones are on the costume.
How many people help with sewing, cutting, beading, etc. Typically we have one seamstress sew, fit, finish and bead/trim a costume. They get to know their lady’s body much better that way, and thus get better fits as the weeks progress. Sometimes if there are lots of beads and rhinestones we will have two to three ladies working on one dress.
What happens to the costume after the celebrity wears it? The celebrity has the option of purchasing any (or all) of their costumes worn on the show. Lots of the costumes go on the national tour. After the costumes have been used, they are shipped to my company in Phoenix, Ariz. There, Randall Designs offers the costumes for sale. Lots of people cannot believe that we are actually selling THE costume worn by the celebrity or pro dancer, and not a copy. We actually DO offer the original costume for purchase.
Does the professional dancer have any input into the style of the costume. Absolutely! I consider the professional dancer to be the director of their particular scene (dance). So I take direction from the pro dancer, and go from there. Does the celebrity? It is so very important to have the celebrity’s input as well. With the extremely short timeline that we are working under, I don’t have time to convince the celebrity to wear something that he or she is not comfortable wearing. If they’re not getting the idea, and not liking it, we move on to another idea. They really have to like it initially, or we just come up with another idea.
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