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Carrie Ann Inaba's 'DWTS' Blog: An Emotionally-Charged Outfit for an Emotional Episode

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Adam Taylor/ABC

Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba joins us again to blog about her style — and all the backstage scoop — on the show’s 16th season. This week, she discusses why the latest episode left many, including her, in tears — and shares the special story behind one of the pieces of jewelry she wore.

Normally, I jump right into the fashion, but last night was such a special experience (there were tears, even from Tom Bergeron!), that I first want to touch on a few non-style moments.

The contestants and their pros really produced some fantastic work, and you could tell the studio was feeling uplifted. Then Andy Dick and Sharna came out and performed, leaving the audience in tears. Even Tom Bergeron came up to me during the commercial break after they danced and teared up. And I really lost it too when they performed. I have never cried that hard on the show before.

(Of course, emotions were already high for me. For those who follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I went home to Hawaii this week and spread my father’s ashes in the ocean in front of the house I grew up in.)

And now onto my outfit, which as you’ll learn, actually has a big emotional component too. I was really excited about last night’s look. The gown is by Anaikka, a brand created by a designer from India who, like myself, is inspired by architectural and industrial shapes. I loved the bodice which had gold and bronze embellishments, giving it a very bold vibe. Brown is one of my favorite colors ( yes, really!) so clearly I loved it! I wore my favorite Michael Antonio shoes, which are vegan.

But my favorite part of the whole look? My bracelets, especially the one with the black rhinestones, which are from a Hawaiian designer Tiffany Chou. Wearing jewelry from my home felt good and connected me again with my roots and more importantly, my father.

And onto my rings! I wore three: the gold sun-motif ring by Viento, a gold one with blue stones by Danielle Stevens and a leaf ring by Supreme Jewelry.

This last ring has a lot of meaning to me. I met the designer, Cyndi, via Twitter when she reached out to me during a tough time, following the death of her mother. After we became friends, she sent me this leaf ring and said that when she is troubled, she finds a leaf then she blows it away, letting it (and her problem) go. So now, leaves hold a special place in my heart thanks to Cyndi.

And yesterday, while I was prepping for the show, I came across the feather ring in my jewelry tray. It reminds me that those we lose in life are never far. They are close by, sending us reminders of their love for us.