You might wonder where the inspiration comes from for some of the more outrageous get-ups on Dancing With the Stars. As for the flouncy purple-and-orange tango dress Kendra Wilkinson wore Monday night, the inspiration came from Barbie.
That's right, the famous doll. Wilkinson's pro partner, Louis Van Amstel, saw a tiny picture in a magazine and let his imagination take flight. "It was literally a small picture of Barbie in a black dress," says Van Amstel. "And tango is normally black, but this was black and boring."
What may surprise some fans is that the pros aren't just in charge of choreography they're also responsible for working with the show's costume designers every week. The process starts on Tuesday night immediately after the results show. When the curtain falls, the remaining couples get their new dance assignment for the next week and head up to wardrobe, where the pros confer with the show's designers on their vision for outfits that will best fit that particular dance's music and style. For the paso doble, for example, it usually involves some variation on dramatic black and red.
So when Van Amstel heard they were going to tango, he amped up the colors on the Barbie dress — and of course the rhinestone count on the bodice — to make it a better fit for Wilkinson's less-than-subtle personality. "I thought, it's going to be stunning on her," he says. "Because she is wild."
How wild? Tell Wilkinson after the show that former contestant Lisa Rinna said competing on DWTS was great for her sex life (Rinna is married to another former contestant, Harry Hamlin), and she immediately agrees. "It's definitely great," she says, going into rather shocking detail. "If you come to my trailer after [we're done on the press line], you'll see the trailer moving back and forth."
Van Amstel laughs. "Right after we were done dancing, we walked over to [Wilkinson's husband] Hank [Baskett] and he said, 'Honey, I didn't know you could do the splits.' So that will come in rather handy."
Wilkinson nods. "I'll definitely bring the splits into the bedroom tonight." Along with her wild Barbie tango dress.