This week, the celebrity contestants on "Dancing with the Stars" performed routines inspired by their personal histories. To accessorize these kinetic tales of tragedy and triumph, costume designer Randall Christensen stitched hearts on their sleeves as well as a few sexy, fringe-beaded skirts.
The Emmy-winning costume designer took StyleList behind the seams to explain the inspiration for the dancers' personal best looks:
For her top-scoring waltz, Christensen created a dreamy costume that featured an inventive dual-textured bra top. One side was encrusted with Aurora Borealis crystals, while the other was painstakingly hand-ruched. Layers of sheer, pale-blue chiffon gave the frock an ethereal quality. Nemcova and professional partner Dmitry Chaplin "had visions of Petra standing in the clouds so the light-blue fabric was the natural choice to signify an angel above the sky."
Nemcova is the founder of the Happy Hearts Fund, which builds schools and shelters for children impacted by cataclysmic events.
Kirstie Alley (below, right): Despite crashing on the ballroom floor with injured partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Alley's pale-gray rumba costume -- and near flawless recovery -- kept her looking good. The former "Cheers" actress worked closely with Christensen to conceive the design for her floaty dress to outfit a performance inspired by the "agony and ecstasy" of losing her mother in a drunk-driving-related car accident within days of getting her first major movie role, in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."
"The fluted jersey panels added the sense of speed to her movements while accentuating her hip action, whereas the chiffon overlay softened her every move," Christensen explains.
Meanwhile, our friends at PopEater report Alley is also nursing an injury.
Hines Ward: The NFL wide receiver scored big again with a sexy samba and, yes, the banana yellow of the trim of his black, sleeveless shirt and partner Kym Johnson's buoyant two-piece bedazzled ensemble was Ward's nod to Pittsburgh Steelers nation. "Hines not only nailed it, he showed how much fun he is having with that look and performance," says Christensen.
Kendra Wilkinson (above, left): For her "prelude to the bedroom" rumba, Christensen trimmed the red, silk-bed-sheet-inspired overlay of her bedazzled leotard after a weekend fitting to show off her phenomenal legs, back and hips. Red is a color Wilkinson rarely wears, but "there was just enough blue in it to show off her eyes."
Chelsea Kane (top, right): After their quirky jive was lampooned last week by the judges, the Disney star and partner Mark Ballas asked Christensen for a more traditional ballroom look, "just to show their commitment to winning." Tradition came in the form of a bedazzled bra top and super-short, gold-fringe mini. "Chelsea was all about a hot, flirty, beaded costume, and we just went from there," he said.
To get the latest on "DWTS" fashions, Christensen tells us he's tweeting about the design process.
For more show costume secrets, read last week's costume recap.