With the evening's Elton John song theme, the ladies costume designer for "American Idol," Soyon An, could have easily taken off with "Rocket Man" inspirations.
But she kept the mohair suits and electric boots out of her repertoire, and instead went heavy on the glitter and glam.
Such was the case with performer of the night Haley Reinhart, who wore a really keen Ema Savahl dress with a glittering, floral pattern and a plunging neckline to sing a husky-voiced, foot-stomping version of John's "Benny and the Jets." (An image of Haley was not immediately available, but you can check out her performance on YouTube here.)
"We were going to do boots," An says. "Then it didn't matter anymore what the lyrics were saying when we tried on the dress. The inspiration was Elton John's loud colors and style but worn in a sexy, modern Haley kind of way. I think Elton would have appreciated that Haley started off that song on a piano wearing a hand-painted dress."
An spoke exclusively with StyleList about the "Idol" ladies' performance looks from New York City, after she flew in to serve as guest stylist for the Baby Phat label.
Pia Toscano: Her sexy, glittering minidress with a sheer midriff came from the Mint Collection in Los Angeles. The costume designer paired it up with Christian Louboutin heels, which -- no surprise -- Toscano loved. "The shoes really made the dress, although the dress had a lot to say on its own," says An.
Lauren Alaina: Judge Steven Tyler teased the country crooner that, soon, her music career would provide enough money to buy "the rest of" her short-in-the-front, long-in-the-back Jovani dress. An picked it out (also at the Mint Collection) for her first ballad. "It was the right time for that dress," says An, who kept it young and fresh with Chinese Laundry shoes and "just enough" Martine Wester jewelery.
Thia Megia: Her hip, yet ethereal Leyendecker dress flattered the 16-year-old singer, who sang John's "Daniel," because "it's a true reflection of her style element," says An. The stylist added Rachel Roy wedge sandals, bird rings and coordinating necklace by CC Skye to polish the one-shoulder dress and its ruffle bodice.
Naima Adedapo: An's own design label, Kizmit Inc., added the reggae-themed colors of the Jamaican flag to the eclectic performer's tailored vest and pants from Bebe. The costume designer also customized her red, green and yellow shoes. (An was a little disappointed the cameras only caught the peep of red on the towering heels.) All of Adedapo's funky jewels were the custom creations of Bijou Tresor at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles.
Reinhart: An notes that fans who love her hand-painted Savahl dress can rent it from lendingluxury.com.
For more fashion dish on the "Idol" ladies, read last week's costume recap.