On a wet and windy Wednesday afternoon, I am in a bleak industrial estate in Croydon, South London.
Not the most glamorous of venues, I'll admit, but in stark contrast to the setting I am almost drowning in a sea of what are surely the most glittery, gaudy, gorgeous dresses I have ever seen, in a studio gripped by last-minute panic.
Because this is where the costumes for Strictly Come Dancing are made, and there are only two days before the next live show.
Never mind the celebrities and the professional dancers, the real stars of the hit TV series - the reason me and my girlfriends are wedded to our sofas every Saturday and Sunday night - are the wonderful, jewel-coloured dresses that have brought a blast of fun and colour to a frankly drab, grey season of normal party clothes.
I run my hands down that fulllength, silver-encrusted ballgown worn by dancer Erin Boag early on in the series. The white and gold, obscenely short cha-cha dress worn by pop singer Alesha Dixon is hanging on a rail, as is the fluorescent lime playsuit she wore for the jive.
As well as making clothes for the BBC show, this is the headquarters of Dance Sport International, which exports dresses for the dance world all over the globe, as well as for pop acts including Girls Aloud.
All 11 designers are busy making final touches to sketches, the pattern cutters are hard at work, the seamstresses are lifting huge bolts of coloured cloth from shelves, and one man is bent over, painstakingly sticking, one by one, thousands of tiny crystals to the bodice of the dress dancer Camilla Dallerup will be wearing on Saturday night.
Overseeing the whole production line is 41-year-old BBC costume designer Su Judd.
She tells me that back in August, before the show went on air, all the women came in to go through their ideas of what they wanted to wear, bringing tear sheets from magazinesfavourite frocks and swatches of colour.
Kelly Brook brought along catwalk photos of Valentino designs, and numerous pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Christina Aguilera. Alesha brought along pictures of designs by Gucci, Roberto Cavalli and Dolce & Gabbana.
Su and her team then set about making all 14 dresses each female contestant would need, just in case they made it to the final.
No dress is ever worn twice, and I wonder if it isn't all rather extravagant, given that each outfit takes so many hours to make, and costs upwards of £1,400, but it turns out no sooner has a dress been seen on screen, than it is snapped up by a viewer. Want one yourself? Call 020 8664 8188.
"The most remarkable thing about dressing the celebrities is how much more confident they become about their bodies as the programme progresses," Su says.
As I watch Erin being fitted in an emerald ballgown, watching herself dispassionately in the full-length mirror in the way only professional dancers can, I wonder at the bravery of the celebrities who have subjected themselves to such public scrutiny of their bodies.
Only Kelly Brook, whom Su describes as having "the most perfect body I have ever dressed", was completely at ease with her own shape.
Alesha, who has the longest legs I have ever seen, "absolutely hates her feet", says Su.
But apparently no dancer, even the professionals on the show, wants to draw attention to her feet, so the shoes are as unshowy as possible.
There are so many rules about what you can and cannot wear.
"Dresses for the ballroom numbers have to be full-length, and they have to be romantic and elegant, usually in pale colours, with plenty of swish in the skirt," says Su.
'The only Latin dress that is allowed to be long is for the paso doble.
Otherwise, a Latin dress must be very, very short, and have a lot of swing and bounce to it. The dress for the tango needs to be heavier, to move in a more staccato fashion, so it is usually made from satin.
"All of the dresses are made using a leotard as a template, which gives the dancers that wonderful smooth line, and the fabrics need to have stretch, and be able to withstand whatever the dancer is going to do in them."
As well as sticking to the rules, though, Su hopes that she and her team are "leading the dance world, helping it to move on by making the costumes much more modern and wearable and catwalk-led".
I think, too, she is showing women everywhere that there is no shame in wearing something sexy and colourful. I for one am about to purchase a gold, fringed mini I saw on the Strictly rails for a Christmas party next week.
If only I could learn to put one foot in front of the other.