Randall Christensen, Emmy award-winning costume designer of the celebrity television program 'Dancing With The Stars,' is responsible for the flamboyant frocks and sequined suits worn by the contestants on the show. Actor J.R. Martinez (r.) and his partner Karina Smirnoff perform on 'Dancing With The Stars' on Oct. 10 in Los Angeles. Adam Taylor/ABC/AP/File
Mr. Christensen has been the head costume designer of 'Dancing With The Stars' since Season 2. He now has the designing and building of costumes down to a science, although there is always crunch time for last-minute changes after fittings. Actress and television personality Ricki Lake (l.) and Derek Hough perform on Nov. 14. Adam Taylor/ABC/AP/File
With only 15 minutes to design a costume after contestants have been assigned music and a dance style for the next round, Christensen is under a lot of pressure. His years of experience and expert eye come into play for making the program's show-stopping designs quickly. Television personality Rob Kardashian (r.) and Cheryl Burke perform on Nov. 14. Adam Taylor/ABC/AP/File
Christensen says he has more fun costuming athletes than actors or actresses because they are not used to playing dress-up. Soccer player Hope Solo (r.) and Maksim Chmerkovskiy perform on Oct. 17. Adam Taylor/ABC/AP/File
Christensen says he enjoys dressing women with curvy figures, as a change from the rail-thin dancer types he traditionally has costumed for. Television commentator Nancy Grace (l.) and her partner Tristan MacManus perform on Oct. 17. Adam Taylor/ABC/AP/File
Flaunting your best assets is the key to an effective costume, Christensen says. Actor David Arquette (l.) and Kym Johnson perform on Oct. 31. Adam Taylor/ABC/AP/File
Christensen stresses the importance of dancers "owning" their look, because confidence is what helps win competitions. Activist Chaz Bono (r.) and Lacey Schwimmer perform on Oct. 17. Adam Taylor/ABC/AP/File
Show after show, season after season, Christensen has the attention to detail to keep major wardrobe malfunctions from happening. He stands at the ready during rehearsals to make last minute costume adjustments. Television personality Carson Kressley (r.) and Anna Trebunskaya perform on Oct. 10. Adam Taylor/ABC/AP/File
Both celebrities and dancers give input into the colors and styles of their costumes. Christensen leads a crack team of costume builders and stitchers. Beading, which gives the costumes that extra flair, can take up to 40 hours per costume. Chynna Phillips (l.) and Tony Dovolani perform on Sept. 26. Adam Taylor/ABC/AP/File
Mr. Christensen asks the female celebrities to bring their own dresses to help him understand what they are comfortable wearing before he designs their costumes. Kristin Cavallari (l.) and Mark Ballas perform on Sept. 26. Adam Taylor/ABC/AP/File
The importance of foundation garments cannot be overstated, Christensen says. These smooth out the lines under a costume, making it fit better and look more attractive. Elisabetta Canalis (r.) and Val Chmerkovskiy perform on Sept. 26. Adam Taylor/ABC/AP/File
Christensen is not afraid to push the envelope – or his dancers' comfort zone. Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Ron Artest (r.) performs with Peta Murgatroyd on Sept. 19. Adam Taylor/ABC/AP/File
'Dancing With the Stars' annually is among the top-rated U.S. TV shows with a formula that pairs B-list celebrities, sports stars and singers with professional dancers performing sambas, cha-cha-chas and waltzes across a ballroom floor.
February 28, 2012
Television ballroom contest "Dancing With the Stars" took a step back from controversy with its new cast unveiled on Tuesday, including tennis champ Martina Navratilova, several TV actors, an opera singer and Gladys Knight without her "Pips."