Photos: David M. Russell, Rachael Ray


Television chef Rachael Ray ate her words today, busting a move on her syndicated talk show in a flirty, Swarvoski-crystal embellished red-fringe dress designed by Randall Christensen, costume designer for ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."

The sexy Latin ballroom dress was Christensen's custom-made execution of a dare he made with Ray to wear one of his frocks, after he confronted the host about repeatedly saying she would never compete on the ABC reality show because of the costumes.

Randall Christensen with Rachael Ray. Photo: David M. Russell, Rachael Ray

"Do you have any idea how hard it is to sit and hear you talk about my work that way," Christensen wrote in a letter Ray shared on the air Jan. 25.

Ray apologized for offending Christensen, saying she loved his Emmy-winning costumes, but had too many insecurities about her body to imagine wearing something so revealing.

Christensen talked exclusively to to StyleList today, shortly after Ray slipped on the dress that was inspired by her sassy personality. He was in Ray's New York City audience for the reveal.

The asymmetrical cut dress was made of Swarvoski-encrusted Lycra jersey with a spiral of silver jewels and beads swirling diagonally along her body for an effect that was elongating on Ray's petite frame.

Christensen told us the staff at his Phoenix ballroom design studio sewed and bedazzled the dress, but he added more sparkle when he arrived in New York City for the show's taping. "You can never have too much sparkle and it only enhances Rachael's own sparkle."

He chose red for the dress because "of the fun lady that Rachael is." "She's constantly moving on her show, dancing and having fun. I thought the red would reflect her personality and the fringe would just add more va-va-voom to the dress."

Ray added high-heeled strappy sandals to complete the look.

So did Christensen persuade Ray to try to compete for "DWTS's" tacky, but coveted mirror ball trophy someday? Stay tuned!

"I would love, love, love to work with Rachael someday," says Christensen, noting her personality reflects the get-out-of-your comfort-zone spirit of the ballroom dance competition. "She screams, dance, fun and embracing new and exciting things in life."

Meanwhile, take a peek at Christensen's all-time favorite "DWTS" finale looks.

And read about his plans for a new clothing line.