As a Swarovski authorized wholesaler, we’ve been present in the dance industry for quite some time and have met many costume designers. We’ve witnessed the transformative power of Swarovski crystals to take your dance choreography to whole another level of elegance. By adding that extra element of sparkle and glamour to a dance performance they are your ticket to success. But today we want to show you what it actually takes to create a mesmerizing dance costume. We are bringing you behind the scene of those glamorous events and presenting you one successful costume designer: Meet the “CDP – Costume Design Plans” team.
M: Tell us something about yourself / your company? Who is in the Costume Design Plans team?
Sebastian: Logistics Manager and Owner
Kristina: Costume and Swarovski Consultant
Zsuzsanna: Costume Designer and Swarovski Creative Decorator
CDP: Costume Design Plans CDP Team makes the creative stage and dance costume designs and dresses, summarizing our common knowledge about performance, dressmaking, and design. All our costumes are designed and made exclusively for our costumers. We are working closely together with professional dressmakers and tailors that are bests in their profession – specialists in dance, theater and stage costumes.
Sebastian & Kristina are a worldwide known illusionist duo with their Quick Change Dance act. Their unique combination of quick-change magic and different dance styles, from Rock & Roll & Tango to Charleston & Samba, has dazzled audiences in over 50 countries all over the world. They have also worked as quick-change consultants for the Rodgers-Hammerstein’s Broadway theater show „Cinderella” in Manila (Philippines). In 2015 they founded „CDP – Costume Design Plans” in order to offer the service of stage costume designing and creating for dance and showbiz industry. Later on, Zsuzsanna Szabo-Volgyi, a former professional dancer, and fashion designer joined the team. Since then, she has helped in designing and creating hundreds of beautiful, one-of-a-kind costumes.
M: How did you start with costume making?
Sebastian: At the beginning, we were thinking just of designing costumes. But as the company started kicking on, we were getting more and more requests for production, not just for the designing. We started to work with the best dressmakers in Hungary to create perfect costumes for our customers. We decorated them solely with Swarovski crystals.
M: What are your favorite materials to use in costume making? And what about your favorite Swarovski products/colors to embellish your costumes with?
Kristina: When talking about the fabric, it is important that it stretches well and flies nicely, like chiffon and silk. We like to use custom made fabrics, specially painted or printed, and all kinds of laces. When it comes to embellishing the fabric and/or costume, we most often use Swarovski Flat Backs No Hotfix and Swarovski Sew-on crystals.
Our favorite colors are Crystal Golden Shadow, Jet, Jet Hematite, Fire Opal, and Crystal Aurore Boreale. But we also use all other kinds of Swarovski crystals and colors, depending on the design.
M: Who or what inspires your costumes?
Zsuzsanna: I am daily checking out many different fashion websites and blogs. I look for trends, images, and inspiration, in all styles and areas – from swimm suits to stage costumes. Anything related to dresses and clothing is interesting for me. I observe everything with my eyes opened for new things. A strange but interesting color combination, unusual shape or form, nature, streets, buildings … I see a design inspiration everywhere around me.
Of course, the main basis for any design is the customer’s idea about the style or colors. We always ask for pictures, video or music of the performance. This gives me an idea of the artist himself/herself, his/her style, and of the overall atmosphere of the dance performance. Something that helps us a lot in our creative process is the fact that we make costumes for all kinds of artists. From ice skaters, Latin and standard style dancers to circus artists. Thanks to that we have insights from different worlds of performances and we can transfer some style elements from one to the other. This is how we come up with new and fresh designs and ideas.
M: Can you describe your creative process?
Zsuzsanna: Our designing process starts with understanding customer’s requirements and ideas. We first come up with a basic shape and style. We try to design a dress that is comfortable and safe for the performer during the act. After that I usually look for some inspiration. I go through my existing collection, available materials and fabrics, different types of dyes, rhinestones and other decoration elements. Then I come up with the drawing of the costume, with all little details, and send it to the customer. He/she can request smaller or bigger adjustments. After we receive the feedback – the design is final.
M: How long does it take for you to design and make a costume?
CDP: The time frame of the dress-designing and -making depends on our workload, i.e. the number of costumes we are working on. Therefore, we first ask the customer if there is an exact date or deadline when he/she wants the dress. Knowing this, we can plan the design process for all our projects. If the color is unique, e.g., a special dying is needed, or if the customer requests some changes, then we need more time. Usually, the preparation time takes 3-8 weeks. It depends also on how fast the customer decides and accepts the design. Sometimes the customer wants a redesign of the drawing couple of times and we are designing until he/she is completely satisfied. After that, we make the costume exactly the same as the design that was proposed and agreed on.
M: What market segments are you designing for? (dance, gymnastics, wedding, etc.?)
CDP: Up to now we’ve been designing and making costumes for circus artists, dancers and a few figure ice skaters in Europe, USA, and Australia.
M: What would be your unique selling points? What makes you “special” or what differentiates you from other costume design companies?
CDP: Our designs are unique and exclusive. This means that we never “copy” or “duplicate” our own design, even if we get a request for the same costume. We never sell the same design twice. We also never copy other designers’ costumes. In this way, our customers can always rest assured that they get really unique and one-of-a-kind-design.
Apart from the uniqueness, our costumes also “bring luck” at all competitions! Those who wear CDP costumes are always winning! 🙂
We are very proud of the fact that we’ve created costumes for the International Circus Stars Jozsef and Merrylu Richter. They performed at the International Circus Festival Monte Carlo 2018 and won the Golden Clown. That’s the most prestige Circus Competition in the world, it’s like Oscar for actors or Olympics for athletes. Our another highlight is the costume we’ve created in 2016 for the famous circus star Rene Caselly. Wearing this costume he won the first prize at the New Generation Circus festival in Monte Carlo.
M: What would be some of your highlights or special achievements for this year?
We are very excited about the Latin dance dress that we’ve created for a professional dancer Alexandre Dane for the Blackpool Dance Festival 2018. We’ve designed this stunning dress with lace appliques and with over 10.000 Swarovski crystals. This is the first time that our costume was worn in this important dance competition.
M: Where can one see or purchase your designs?
Anybody interested in our designs can visit our website or follow and contact us via Facebook (Costume Design Plans) and Instagram (costume.design.plans).
M: Thank you for your time to do this interview with us. It was really interesting to see how all these beautiful dance costumes are being designed, and we wish you even more success in the future.
CDP: Thank you for having us, it was a great pleasure to share our story with your readers. 😃