Strictly round-up!

28th November 2019

It’s been an incredibly busy few weeks for the wardrobe team on Strictly, with the competition hotting up and two of the best loved editions – Remembrance and Blackpool – under our belt now. We’ve said our sad farewells to Mike Bushell, Michelle Visage and Saffron Barker, celebrated Anton Du Beke’s very first 10s on the show, enjoyed a moving Remembrance pro dance, a Strictly wedding and some stonking performances, but, as always, the big question is: what were they wearing?

“It has been a super-busy few weeks on Strictly Come Dancing,” recalls costume designer Vicky Gill. “I liken it to the really fast bit of a rollercoaster with lots of adrenaline pumping and screams along the way!” she laughs.

“Week 9 was Remembrance, which is always a favourite of mine. While I’m running around feeling the pressure of time, it inevitably forces pause for thought and a few tears are always shed during the dress run. 

“This year, on the frock front, Saffron’s floral dress was particularly apt. I actually designed it for a campaign a few years ago. It was an undecorated piece that had been waiting patiently in the wings to have its moment. It wasn’t originally intended for this number; however, it worked perfectly for the week, set and dance. Some things are just meant to be.”

Saffron’s eight-panel panel asymmetrical dress was made from Flesh tulle. “It flared slightly from under the bust,” says Vicky, “with Burgundy floral ribbon embellishments all over. A Hawaiian pink underskirt was layered beneath this with a hem that had a flat section of three-inch crinoline sewn up into it, as well as gathered three and six-inch crinoline on all the layers. Saffron did so well to manage this level of volume, which would normally be produced for the more experienced dancer. A simple scattering of Honey stones was used on the upper body.”

Next up, with barely a pause for breath, was Blackpool Week! “We very quickly moved onto Blackpool before the show was down,” laughs Vicky. “Emma’s dress worked a treat in the Tower Ballroom. It actually started off life as a Flamenco crepe base – the sort of thing we cut through the summer months in preparation. 

“I developed this blank canvas to suit the needs of the number, adding a feathered sleeve and mixing Hyacinth and Hyacinth AB beading as well as introducing a feathered hem into ombre godets. It was tricky bringing all the elements together – and I wasn’t sure it was going to work – but it looked fab on the floor. Emma is such a beautiful lady – she really made it,” she concludes. And Emma’s dress clearly worked its magic for Anton too, who achieved his very first Strictly 10s with the dance. “Well done, Anton!!” 

 Finally, another audience favourite was Saffron’s samba dress in her final week on the show. “It was a treat,” says Vicky. “So much fun on the dance floor both in colour and feather-o-graphy. It comprised a Mellow Yellow bodice with embellished lace on a tulle base with Rose Pink, Citrine and Sun AB crystals. A Sunrise mesh circle skirt was covered in small sections of boa with Tropic Lime, Rose Pink and Tangerine feathers. It started off as a full skirt then ended up with the two bands of Tropic Lime and Rose Pink at the front, with us adding a third layer of Tangerine at the back.”

Don’t forget, if you’d like a closer look at the dresses and costumes you see on Strictly Come Dancing, DSI London’s exclusive Behind the Seams tours are booking until March 2020.