The fashion of ''Dancing with the Stars'' -- EW delves into the effect of clothing on ballroom dancing Page Headline: Dance Fever

Welcome to the world of teeth and tans,” cracks Tom Bergeron, host of ABC’s hit Dancing With the Stars, where glitziness is next to godliness. ”We certainly embrace the retro camp quality. Where else can you Vienna waltz to a Sonny and Cher song?” Dancing partners celebrities (like General Hospital‘s Kelly Monaco) with professional ballroom dancers, all of whom compete to out-tango each other in flashy numbers not seen since the Solid Gold Dancers. How much do clothes count with judges? Bergeron won’t confirm or deny but does note that Monaco’s June 22 costume malfunction paid off. ”Not one but two straps popped during her samba. Kelly went into high poise mode, emerging with the night’s highest score.” About the turquoise sequined spray-on mini, Bergeron recalls fondly, ”It was so skimpy we couldn’t get a microphone on her.” (Fox, take note; the net’s American Idol spin-off So You Think You Can Dance debuts July 20.)

Ballroom style is getting a major workout this year: on the big screen (in the documentary Mad Hot Ballroom and J. Lo’s Shall We Dance?) and the red carpet (designers Chanel, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, Gaultier, and Zac Posen featured twirl-ready shapes and rumba ruffles in their spring shows). Naomi Watts wore Calvin Klein’s ice blue flamenco-inspired gown to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Chanel gala back in May, and Eve took a cha-cha-worthy Cavalli for a spin at the Grammys in February. If the look tends to be more Vegas than Vogue, former top model Rachel Hunter (bumped in round 4 of Dancing) doesn’t mind: ”I kept asking the costume designer to add more feathers and fringe.” Somewhere, Ginger Rogers is smiling.

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