So You Think You Can Dance’s costume designer, Soyon An, won a Juried Primetime Emmy® Award for her work on So You Think You Can Dance Season 4. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the Primetime Emmy Award winners in Outstanding Costumes For A Variety/Music Program Or Special on August 24. The award was granted for Episode #415/416A of So You Think You Can Dance. The award will be presented at the 2009 Creative Arts Awards on September 12 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. We caught up with Emmy® winner Soyon to find out more about some of her most memorable designs.
We asked Soyon which costume from the winning episode was her favorite, and what was the inspiration behind the look. Soyon told us, “It was the black and white Cirque costumes for Mia Michaels’ group piece. My inspiration for it was my childhood. I stepped into a swirl of shapes and patterns. If you look at the patterns I used, it was crossword puzzles, hypnotic swirls, stars, and your circles and stripes from clowns.”
During Season 5, Soyon showed her ingenuity through a wide variety of creations. When asked which costume she was most proud of, Soyon said, “I was particularly proud of designing the cha cha outfit for Karla in the beginning of the season. She danced to Lady Gaga and I only had 2 days to make the dress from scratch as well as the other 37 outfits. Rhinestoning that puppy was not easy.”
Karla’s dress wasn’t the only difficult costume Soyon whipped up. “The most difficult to make was for Mia Michaels’ Top 2 girls routine where [Kayla and Jeanine] shed layers. Mia and I came up with [the idea] together and the inspiration for that was my pin cushion. The layers on the skirts were ripping when the girls were tearing away the layers. The velcro was not strong enough, then too strong, so there were multiple trials and errors (without much time) and on top of it, I had to be careful that they didn’t look too naked at the end of the dance when everything was torn away.”
For each episode of So You Think You Can Dance, Soyon has to design for all different styles of dance, from Bollywood to Russian folk to Latin ballroom. We asked her if certain dance styles are harder to design for than others, and Soyon said, “Yes and no. All the styles of dance have their moments. Sometimes it’s ballroom, sometimes it’s Broadway. It really depends on the story and the movement. I cross my fingers that all the styles of dance don’t have something challenging for me at once.”
With Season 6 just around the corner, does Soyon already have ideas for costumes? “Not for a specific piece or dance style, but I can tell you, I have a few exciting ideas up my sleeve,” Soyon admitted. “We’ll see if those ideas will work once the choreographers start coming to me with the story for their pieces.”