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Double Whammy: Weeks 6 & 7

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  Quote Thess Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Double Whammy: Weeks 6 & 7
    Posted: 16 Nov 2013 at 00:55

A holiday followed by some pressing work issues have got in the way of things spangly lately and I am watching events unfold on catch-up.  Which is great, because I can skip merrily past daft judges who should know better!  Anyway, I began my catch up with Halloween week and oh my what a bunch of frocky horrors we got!

Here’s the rundown of runners and riders for spooky week 6:

Anya: my first thoughts were why have they put her in this bloody awful orange nylon curtain?  Anya was swamped by this creation which was totally wrong on all counts. When Patrick pulled the snaps and revealed the skeleton dress all became clear, but even the skeleton dress wasn’t great.  It was style over substance and a DSI bod trying a bit of ‘clever-clever’ and not quite pulling it off.

Fiona: a muddied up flapper dress that didn’t quite work.  Not that a Charleston particularly lends itself to a Halloween-style choreography, but the styling here was awful.  Has she worn that dress before? Actually no, I don’t think she has but there have been a lot of samey dresses for Fiona. In an attempt to match with Tony’s costume, DSI shoved a piece of check shirt under the bodice and this didn’t work at all for me.

Kristina: sorry, was Kristina dancing?  I was too busy enjoying Ben’s chest. Great frock, showgirl style at the front and a billowing skirt at the back to add flight. The bodice was cut well and I liked the high cut in the back, and although this might sound counter-intuitive it accentuated the curve of her back in a way that is lost when the back is completely exposed.  The split bust was a great detail as it took th eye up and outwards, enhancing Kristina’s Paso posture.  Loved it. 

Sophie: what the bloody hell is that …. Is she really wearing a leatherette lampshade?  Made me think of Victoria Pendletons shocking Union Flag dress with leggings, this was just hideous and did Sophie no favours at all.  Lampshade aside, it’s always a huge mistake to put a girl in leggings when she has issues with those legs, as it draws attention to them.  The best thing about Sophie’s look was her make up. I’m totally nicking that for next Halloween!

Natalie: rising from the smoke like a watery wraith, Natalie looked lovely in this frock dripping with stones and beads.  The African queen inspired neck was beautiful and the strands of beads hanging at the back added interest there, but the jewellery in her hair was a touch too much, it just fought against that gorgeous jewelled neckline.  The tattered skirts, plus multiple arm floats, were messy although they suited the idea of her being some sort of watery ghost and no matter how much they use the colour, I will never be keen on grey as a legitimate colour for a gown! The flecks of green stone was a welcome relief from all the grey, but they were only noticeable in close up.

Iveta: chanelling Lisa Marie in Mars Attacks, Iveta looked like some sort of Martian lizard woman in what was little more than a pair of tights and a scarf! Fab-u-lous!

Rachael: and here we have Miss Haversham dancing the VW. I liked the skirt and the way that the  tiered layers were covered by the sheer top layer, giving it a ghostly and ethereal  look.  It floated around the floor most beautifully.  I did not however like the frill at the top, it did nothing to enhance her topline and looked like overkill when combined with the long sleeves.  I wonder if the DSI designers actually watch how the ladies dance before designing the dresses, or if they just go with a certain look or theme and disregard how it may actually be working against the posture.

Ola: after all that off-white, dusty-beige, grey, grey and more grey, my eyes were crying out for some colour.  And suddenly there was Ola in a beautiful frock, all sumptuous colour and glittering stones.  A bit of an odd contrast colour in the skirts and under the lace, but I wasn’t complaining too loudly, it was a refreshing oasis amongst a bevvy of zombified dancers!  Stunning lace with ribbon rosette flowers in the bodice by the way, probably hugely expensive!

Abbey: nice styling in the cropped bodice, the pleated shoulders balancing the diaphanous skirts.  I love a pleated skirt, they always dance so well and this one was no exception.  Cut daringly low, with just a couple of stabilising straps over the hips, this could have looked stunning, but instead Abbey just looked like she’d been sat in a ditch.  Not a great look for a romantic Rumba.

Karen: what a muddled up costume she got this week.  While the skirt was cut well and she does suit this style, the material was an odd egg yolky colour, blue underskirts and a dusty pink bodice.  If Dave was supposed to be Beetlejuice, then Karen should’ve got a version of Lydia’s scarlet wedding dress. 

Susanna: looking fresh as a daisy in a delicate green shimmy dress.  Great styling, the broad scooped band of stones around the neck and shoulders took the eye out, and balanced her hips nicely.  The base fabric is actually a lovely swirley sparkly material, and it’s a bit lost on the floor, you can only properly appreciate it up close and when he tipped her upside down at the end of their dance! But some sparkles do come across whilst the dress is in flight, to give some depth.  Nice to see that DSI resisted the urge to put fringing down the centre of her back, as they have with other dancers fringed dresses in the past.  When they do, it looks untidy and meaningless, so it was good to see nice clean lines.  My only gripe is that her hair was a bit overwhelming alongside all that flying fringing, and I would have preferred a style with Marcel waves, and closer to her scalp.

My favourites from Halloween week were Ola’s for ballroom and Kristina’s for latin and Iveta’s get a special mention for being THE most daring costume ever seen on Strictly!

And onward, without stopping for breath or even a cup of tea, to week 7.  After last weeks’ Halloween frocky horrors I was expecting a return to form and wasn’t disappointed, well apart from only a couple of frocks that I felt didn’t work as well as they might have done.

Here we go ……

Kristina: a lively little bouncy two piece but I didn’t understand the connection between sailors and the Jive!  As a costume it was fine – the skirt danced nicely and the neatly cut bodice showed off Kristina’s figure, but I didn’t like the cutesy shoes and ankle socks combination, all a bit too juvenile looking. 

Fiona: great bodice, the colour palette suited Fiona very well indeed and the checkerboard design over the bust was unusual and effective in drawing the eye to Fiona’s bosom and away from her waist, but I really dislike this idea of just wrapping a long skirt around a short dress and calling it a costume. The lines are always compromised, there are lumps and bumps under the fabric and it will never look like anything other than a practice skirt. I have seen dresses properly designed to carry through from ballroom to latin, but this kind of design is lazy. I notice that she took it off completely after they had danced.   And Tony’s bolero design did not match any aspect of Fiona’s dress. The whole ensemble, as a couple, looked very cobbled together as if the costumiers were on the back foot having assumed they would be long gone by now.

Abbey: quite a nice flapper dress, a great colour for her and how much did she look like Flavia in the black wig?! Not keen on the ties at the shoulder and I felt that bodice top was a little loose, and flapping about in places, but on a second viewing I think this is by design.  The ruched styling down the bodice played up Abbey’s height nicely and the fringing was a perfect length for her. My only criticism was that the dress was not anchored to a foundation garment.  Not because the dress rode up (well it probably did judging by how she tugged it back down after the performance), but that she wore white knickers when they should have been pink or flesh coloured!

Iveta: well, what a confident little outfit!  Actually I couldn’t rule out the possibility that she had just been spray painted with Hammerite!  We’ve seen a few versions of this catsuit design now, and if memory serves it is usually brought out when some obfuscation and misdirection is needed. Iveta looked spectacular and it is entirely possible that, for the second week running, all the men watching believed she danced a solo. Usually catsuits finish at the ankle, cutting the leg line and making the leg look shorter than it is. Iveta’s catsuit was pulled into her shoes almost reaching her toes, which I felt was a clever move as it elongated the leg beautifully. 

 

Susanna: we’ve seen this style a few times now as well, and that’s because it works so well. This particular design with the godets works much better than a simple fishtail cut, because there is more room to stride out and the weight in the skirt helps to keep it closely skimming the hips yet also helps it swing out at the bottom. The delicate colour suited Susanna to a T and it’s clearly a trending colour this season, judging by how often it is being used.  The feathers on the hemline added a beautifully light quality to the movement of the dress. Although cut a little low in the back, it allowed room for those bands across Susanna’s back, which added interest to the rear view and although they echoed the line of the belt, I feel it would have looked better without it (the belt, that is!).  If I’m being picky I might have liked more intensity in the stoning at the top of the bodice to balance the hemline, but it was a great mover.

Karen: DSI often use surprising fabrics in their designs, some with success while others … well, anyone remember Erin’s 1970’s caravan curtains dress?  Exactly!  The cut of this dress was lovely, neat and tidy, great silhouette on the floor and danced fabulously well.  I especially liked how the black panels at the sides were revealed to have sheer fabric inserts, so many different textures working very well and because of this I’m glad that the bodice was restrained as too much up top would have fought like crazy with the tartan. And on that note, the tartan was just too trite an idea.  Better to have gone all out punk with it and attach sparkly safety pins.   I might have liked that more!  

Ola: fab colour, which she carried very well.  Beautifully cut in the skirts, not godets this time, but flared panels, which carried the eye down and out to the feathers at the hem. A nice bit of interest was seen in the way the ruched top half of the bodice was decorated and the design cleverly accentuated Ola’s bust (which actually isn’t as big as you think) and balanced the hemline. Danced well on the floor.

Sophie: sexy wraparound style that looked sleek and stylish and gave plenty of room for her legs to kick up.  I’m not convinced that the black straps were part of the original design, I’m thinking that they could have been an addition after a dress rehearsal, but I liked their seemingly haphazard placing.  Lovely fluid fabric used that draped well and caught the air to flutter when she moved.

Anya: so much to like about this frock and yet so much to hate!  Colour fab on her, the lines of the dress accentuating her body, the diagonal straps at the back very reminiscient of 1930’s Hollywood glamour …… BUT …… I do not like splits in ballroom gowns and when they actually are not so much a split but a missing piece of skirt (as was the case here at Anya’s right leg) I like them even less.  Not very elegant and I don’t think it danced too well, since the disjointed panels flapped about a bit and flew up into her face when she flipped over Patricks shoulder.

On the whole, there were a lot of gorgeous frocks this week. My favourites were Susanna’s for the ballroom and Iveta’s for the latin.

What was yours?



Edited by Thess - 16 Nov 2013 at 02:15
Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.
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  Quote Jo Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2013 at 09:05
Thanks Thess Another great read.

I loved Abbey's dress... In fact the whole look was amazing!
She's worn alot of black and/or white so it was nice to see her in pink.


I liked Susanna and Ola's dresses... and Kristina looked cute in her little jive outfit.



Edited by Jo Bird - 16 Nov 2013 at 09:07
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.
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  Quote thengp12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2013 at 20:10
Thank you Jo. Who are the DSI? Sorry i just have pictures of people designing outfits on style boutique on the nintendo DSI
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  Quote Thess Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2013 at 22:26
DSI are 'Dancesport International' and they make (most of) the frocks for Strictly. The other supplier is Chrisanne.
Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.
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  Quote thengp12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2013 at 00:41
Ahh Thanks i am a complete muggle so this Vicki Gill works for the DSI then and as Aida isn't on this series who is vermin when she talks about tess's dresses
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  Quote salsa-addict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2013 at 07:46
"Vermin" is Tess's husband - Vernon Kay. Don't know who Vicki Gill workd for.
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