Exclusive Interview with Costume Designer Soyon An

Soyon An designs the costumes you see season after season and week after week on So You Think You Can Dance. Whether it’s the wardrobe for a couple’s routine or a group number, Soyon is involved with creating and designing the pieces. In addition, Soyon dresses Executive Producer and Judge Nigel Lythgoe.

We wanted to know more about Nigel’s dapper finale wardrobe. Soyon said that Canali dressed him for the Season 7 finale. “We went with a classic look instead of a more casual and edgy look like Nigel had at last year’s finale. Canali was the perfect choice, and Nigel also wore Harry Winston cuff links and a diamond watch which pulled the whole look together.” Soyon also works with designers and companies like Richard Skinny Jeans, Dena Bar-El, Sue Wong, Hugo Boss, Nike, Reebok, Katrina Dancewear, and fabrics by International Silks & Woolens.

The two-time Emmy Award-winner said “there are a few creations that I’m especially proud and excited about, a lot of which are group number costumes. That’s because group numbers are when the dancers aren’t competing and we get to be extra creative and imaginative. I love the costumes from the Tabitha and Napoleon Alice in Wonderland piece as well as Mia’s Wonderland, Dave Scott’s tribal number, Sonya’s “8” piece because I hand-painted all of the costumes, and Wade and Amanda Robson’s English tea party. I also like doing the ballroom and disco costumes because we add tons of Swarovski crystals. It’s fun and challenging to have to design and create wardrobes under such a tight timeframe. It’s a total adrenaline rush. Also, it’s fun to get to be creative with Hip Hop routines such as Ashley & Dominic’s ninja number and Robert & Dominic’s clown dance. I also enjoyed designing for Tyce’s 1940s speakeasy piece. In that instance I researched the period and the wardrobe and thought about how I can make the costumes both danceable and high-fashion.”

Each week, Soyon collaborates with the choreographers and finds ways to bring their concepts to life. Soyon said, “They provide me with the story, colors, music, and I let them know what I think. It’s great when I vibe with the choreographers on the same creative level, like Mia and I did on her Wonderland piece.” She then brings the vision and designs to her team. “We don’t have much time; we really only have one shot. A great team has been established and everyone is assigned a certain position in wardrobe and we all work together as a unit.”

What does Soyon do when it’s not So You Think You Can Dance season? She dresses the female contestants on American Idol, works on the SYTYCD tour wardrobe and Carrie Underwood’s Play On Tour wardrobe, and designs outfits for photo shoots, music videos, and more. Soyon will be emceeing the “Next Generation” fashion event, she serves as an editor on a fashion magazine, and she’s designing costumes for the coming Broadway musical Dangerous Beauty.

Season 8 of So You Think You Can Dance will be here before we know it, and Soyon has already had some thoughts about next season. “I have a few ideas but we’ll have to see where the choreographers and I are then, and I’m hoping they will have ideas that will fall in line with these pieces I’ve thought up,” the designer stated.

Soyon wants you to “stay tuned to the next seasons of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance as there is more fashion to be seen.” Check out Soyon’s creations on the So You Think You Can Dance 2010 Tour which kicks off Sunday, September 19th in New Orleans, LA.

Watch Soyon go behind the look of the costumes you’ve seen on SYTYCD.


1 comment on “Exclusive Interview with Costume Designer Soyon An“

  1. Shirley Mallett - wrote:

    Hi Ms. An, my family has been loyal watchers of SYTYCD all 9 seasons and LOVE your costumes!!! My daughter, Michaella, is a high school senior who dances and is majoring in costume design and would love to get advice, direction, do’s and don’ts from you. She has been trying to shadow or intern with a designer but to no avail thus far. She loves K-Pop and we have made some connections with them. Would love for you to respond to my email. Thank you in advance!!! Shirley Mallett – Very Proud Mom!!!!

    2/13/2013 9:13 AM UTC

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