Dressing the 'Stars'

 

Stylist dishes on hit ABC show

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By Maddy Marr

Randall Christensen really wants everyone to look her or his best, especially if you’re of a certain age. The Emmy-winning costume designer for Dancing with the Stars has dressed such sexy contestants as Lisa Rinna, Jennifer Grey and Jane Seymour in past seasons and is currently working with Kirstie Alley, 60. That experience is precisely why Christensen was the perfect man to help judge a 40-plus modeling contest sponsored by Wilhelmina and Miraclesuit and find the next It Woman. (Think you got it? The search is still on.) We got some style insight from the fashion guru who’s been with the hit show since Season 2 (six years).

 What is it like dressing the “Stars?’’

Every couple has to see me before they leave on Tuesday night, as the entire show’s designs are finalized by that evening. We then shop the entire show on Wednesday, buying all of the fabrics. We cut on Thursday and sew it all together, have all day fittings on Friday and Saturday. Embellishing starts on Sunday, as well as final fittings, then bead, stone and bedazzle through the night until everything is show ready.

What is the wildest outfit you ever created?

I would have to say dressing Toni Braxton in a Marie Antoinette “cage’’ gown . . . in four days! That was our biggest challenge and our most over-the-top costume. Another would be Joana Kruppa’s “Futuristic Paso Doble’’ and wiring the lights all over her costume, and keeping them working while she danced a strenuous routine.

Do celebs have any choice in what they wear?

Definitely. All of the contestants are in on each design session. They need to feel their most confident, and it is my job to get inside their head and find out what makes them tick, what makes them happy.

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