Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Strictly the Best Job in World for Designer

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Strictly the Best Job in World for Designer

Article excerpt

Byline: Eleanor Steafel Reporter

Karen Hauer and |Mark Wright and Iveta Lukosiute and Thom Evans Vicky Gill FOR three months every winter, Strictly Come Dancing takes over our living rooms, with the show becoming compulsive viewing for millions around the country.

Ten million viewers give up their Saturday nights to a world of old Hollywood glamour, fake tan and sequins.

And for head costume designer Vicky Gill, it is the sequinned dresses that are at the root of the show's success.

Vicky, from Stanley, County Durham, oversees every single dress made by the small, dedicated team over 13 weeks of live shows.

She said: "To give the show life and longevity, the costumes were always going to be really important, so as one show ends we're already thinking about the next one.

"Whether you're having a bit of a giggle with a costume and trying to create a character, or whether you're making something really beautiful and elegant that's going to make that celeb feel amazing, you're always trying to give them confidence and make them feel able to step out of their comfort zone and dance live on telly."

Vicky, 42, who now lives in London with her three young children, said her role is to make the celebrities on the show feel comfortable and confident in their costumes - not always an easy task.

She said: "Women especially always have lots of hang ups about their bodies - maybe they don't want to get their back out, or maybe they want to keep their arms covered.

"So the female celebs have a lot of input in their costumes - far more than the guys. It's a very strange process for them because they are often so out of their comfort zone, so we try to work together with them and make sure they feel good.

"But it's very rare that we'll have to do an overnight remake on the Friday night - probably only once every few weeks, which is pretty good going I think."

Vicky, who has worked on the show since series two, said it's important that she builds trust with the celebrities early on.

She said: "I meet them in August and spend a couple of hours getting to know them. I try to give them as much information about the show as possible and prepare them for the madness. …

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