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Dancing with the Survivors: Shawn and Claire Buitendorp of Shock and Awww

Hi everybody! We are Shawn and Claire Buitendorp, the co-creators and co-designers behind the brand Shock and Awww. As Shock and Awww, we normally create what we like to call stagewear, which in essence include garments that are intended to be worn on stage. They are outlandish, sparkly and over-the-top. Thus, you can image that we were thrilled to be asked to work on this project.

We were paired with the lovely Cindy, who definitely shared our aesthetic and love of color. To our delight, Cindy told us that she would be performing a rumba with her dance partner Sergio, and was open to suggestions with regard to silhouette, style and color, as long as there was a prominent slit on the right side for plenty of leg extension (a trait of the rumba).

After deciding on a rich purple color, and acknowledging that sequins were a must, we got to work. The design process was actually a little difficult as Cindy was very kind and gave us so much freedom with the design. We ended up selecting a nude, form-fitting bodice, that would be both alluring and modest as it would be made out of a nude, illusion fabric and covered in beautiful purple appliques. The skirt was originally a sarong style, with a drape to one side. At our second fitting, Cindy mentioned that she would prefer more coverage, which we were happy to provide. Thus, the lower portion of the garment is still under construction, but we are eager to see what it looks like when it is finished. We are truly honored to be collaborating with Cindy and know that she will be absolutely dazzling on October 2, mostly because of her fierce courage and vivacious personality….and with a little help from a sparkly purple dress.