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Stylish Spiders - Week 2

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Bren View Drop Down
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  Quote Bren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Stylish Spiders - Week 2
    Posted: 12 Oct 2013 at 17:01
was just saying that to my mum Toots - def a different dress maker this year I actually like some of the dresses :)) main improvement this year for me is the ballroom dresses so much better and some of tonights are really lovely
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  Quote Toots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2013 at 16:27
Loved Kristina's  dress. The costumes seem better this year. I know its early days yet, but things look promising

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  Quote Jo Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2013 at 15:53
Thanks Thess I loved Anya's Tango dress, Kristina's Waltz dress and Natalie's Waltz dress.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.
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  Quote littlesue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2013 at 22:04
Waiting to read this all week!! Thought Suzanne's dress was the worst I have ever seen on a Strictly series.  Thought Vanessa's dress was cut lovely and suited her 'apple' shaped figure.  Think my fave was Natalie's.  Keep up the good work Thess.
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  Quote Bren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2013 at 21:46
Thank Thess great blog Natalie's dress was my fave I think
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  Quote Thess Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2013 at 21:22

Week 2 arrived to see us lurching inexorably down the road towards the junction of frocky horrors.  Some fab frocks this week and some, err ... well, we'll get to those.

So here, in no particular order, are this weeks' runners and riders ...

Ola: there was a dress very similar to this one at the International this year, only the bodice was made from sequinned material rather than the metallic print fabric used for Ola’s gown.  I wonder if DSI made it? Beautifully delicate champagne colour, the metallic print adding most of the sparkle. It was cut nicely at the back and the double crossover straps secured everything in place for what was quite an energetic Smooth in parts!Danced really well.

Iveta: oh dear. Iveta is super slender with delicate features, but if you put her in fringing that long she will look like a spider caught in a car wash carrying a Christmas tree. The boots were not helping.

Susanna: an edgy spiky sort of dress which, when combined with her rather severe hair and make up, echoed the Tango's characteristic sharp lines and staccato beat. Did anyone else see a resemblance to Erin from the early days of Strictly?  I’m not usually a fan of split ballroom skirts, but this one was fluted at the bottom which helped with movement.  A very starkly contrasting look overall, slightly diluted by the flash of fuschia and purple across the back.  I don’t think it added to the look and would have been better without.

Aliona: golf inspired fun and flirty little number in a very brave choice of clashing colours.  It worked! Although the green in Tony’s shirt wasn’t quite a match to Aliona’s.  Not true ‘flapper style’ but I did like the cut of the top, secured with a broad strap for safety, whilst loose enough to show a little movement. And how nice to see Aliona wearing a flared heel, a change from the usual.  But what are they doing to her heir?  Odd colour that did nothing for her.

Vanessa: dressed in an ice blue that was perfect for her colouring. The square neckline was a good choice for her as was the stoned lace band under the bust. It can be tough dressing an older lady but when she is of a larger size, you have to keep an eye to the proportions of the dress. This was a nice length, enough skirt to provide movement, but not so long that she looked like the embodiment of Joyce Grenfells neighbour, Mrs Fanshaw!  Anyway, all the decoration was on the top half, drawing the eye up and away from her tummy. Cute little ruched cap sleeves were balanced by light wiring through the hem.  Nice work DSI. 

Janette: and here we have the first 'fell in the remnants box' style of dress of the series.  There were bits that should have been good, for example the gold lace over purple fabric, the spangled choker, but oh my goodness those skirts were awful!  It's not the clashing colours, it's the unfinished nets that just look tatty, plus the actual design of the skirt didn't dance well at all.  And what were those half sleeves about - flapping around like dishcloths?  Finally that bloody bustle, it just bunched up and flopped about like a ton of spray painted spiders webs. A design that was all style over substance, I hated it.

Anya: a very dramatic gown, inky black velvet teamed with scarlet lace, studded with purple stones, that snaked its’ way down her body accentuating the line of the gown, I wasn’t struck on the trails of ribbon left at the tie point near her shoulder blade it looked a bit untidy. The godets in a lighter weight fabric brought relief to the skirt, so that it wasn’t just a big expanse of black, while the kick ruffle at the hem added another point of interest, flipping with the smallest flick of Anya’s foot. Slinky gloves were a good choice to complete the look, a sleeve would have been too much and this way, there was some interest when viewed from behind Patrick as well. 

Rachael: oooh fabulously juicy tutti fruitti colours in this zingy latin dress.  The tangerine stripes in crystal stones, were most effective at highlighting the shaping on the bodice. The layers upon layers of asymmetric cut fringing were lovely, but the effect got slightly lost when the dress was on the move.  Also I thought the fringe was too long, it looked messy.  I also think the body may have been cut a little on the short side for her, since the knicker line was quite high up.  Or maybe that was by design. 

Deborah: this dress had some of the same features as her green Tango frock.  Still, if it works once then why not do it again!  I used the same basic chassis for most of my latin dresses back in the day, it saves a LOT of time!  So we had the curved panelling at the sides to draw the eye in and down, the skirt sitting nice and close on the hips and flaring out at the bottom, the addition of fringing to make the most of every movement.  The red 'V' at the front was needed to provide a little relief from the pink and the split sleeves are a great way of showing off your arms without going the whole hog and exposing too  much.  It's quite a feat to dress an older lady for latin without her looking like mutton dressed as lamb, or boring and frumpy. This dress, I felt, achieved a good balance. 

Sophie: playful little pant suit, dripping in bugle beads, which danced so well.  Beads lie absolutely flat and close to the body and have a cleaner sharper look to them, as opposed to the shaggy look you get with fringe, due to being heavier and having a hard flat surface.  The scoop neckline showed off Sophie’s neck and shoulders really well and it danced very nicely.  A good choice for their Charleston, given the acrobatic content. No issues over modesty there!  However the brassy gold colour didn’t work very well with Sophie’s complexion, she would have truly sparkled in silver or a pale pink.

Karen: a sweet fifties inspired frock, with Karen looking like she’s just stepped out of a Cath Kidston brochure.  The flower sprigged material in the skirt was very pretty and the simplicity of the top was a good choice, it didn’t try and fight with the skirt but I have to say that it didn’t really have a lot of oomph about it.  It didn’t make me say “wow!”   Don’t get me wrong, it was very sweet, Karen looked lovely in it and as a couple, the overall look was great with the teal coloured suit and matching tie, but let’s hope she fares a bit better next week. 

Kristina: looking fresh as a daisy in this unusual flowered fabric.  Simple and elegant with no whistles or bells, just a very clean silhouette and a restrained touch with the sparkle.  The strings of pearls at the back were a nice detail, following through the elegant simplicity of the design.  Feathers at the hem made Kristina look like she was floating.  I spotted some flashes of tan underskirts, which I thought was a nice touch, it kept the dress from looking too clinical. A special commendation for Ben, who looked great in pale grey :)

Fiona: a striking colour combination in this slinky number. The darker side panels were swirled through with green and blue, rather like peacocks feathers and this stoning, when seen close up, is stunning. The brighter centre panel drew the eye to Fiona’s middle, and some lovely detailing at the back of the dress acted like an optical illusion designed to minimise the backside. Although I don't know why they are dressing her like this, there's nothing wrong with her figure. I'm not sure how this one is constructed, but Fiona kept tugging the front down, making me think that this dress has no foundation attached. Anyway I liked it, my only gripe being that it didn't seem to go with Tony's ensemble ...

Natalie: gloriously rich red fluid fabric, that rippled beautifully.  A very understated dress, simple cut, but executed really well.  The halterneck, the sweep of the lace over the bust and down into a gentle curve at the back, all accentuated Natalie's curves and good posture.  Good use of broad straps, makes this a safe option for a larger busted lady and results in a lovely sweetheart neck line. Keeping the sparkles red was a good choice, it kep the whole look very classy and elegant.

Abbey: now I liked the design of this dress, but the colours were hit and miss.  I don't think the yellow went with the particular shade of coral pink in the fringe, and the pink didn't do anything for Abbey at all.  Rather insipid if anything.  But the styling was great, with the dress cut away from the sides to mirror Abbey's enviably slender waist.

So there we go, on balance this series is off to a great start frock-wise. The DSI ladies have so far resisted the urge to put floats on the ballroom gowns, something that I am very grateful for.  As a result, the ballroom dresses are all looking very clean and elegant (with just one exception!).  But I am starting to get a little bored with the fringing now. I know it does wonders for a dancer who has yet to learn how to move her hips, but there are other skirt options that can achieve the same thing.  It looks like the halterneck (and all approximations) is an emerging trend and the bangles are definitely here to stay! 

My favourite frocks of the night were Natalie's in ballroom and Rachael’s in latin, but only if I can take the shears to it!  What was yours?



Edited by Thess - 11 Oct 2013 at 21:38
Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.
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