Wednesday, February 17, 2010
This morning I was a guest on Public Radio International's "The Takeaway" and had a wonderful time discussing, what else: Figure Skating Costumes!!!! This is the topic Du Jour for me these days and I love it! Well kiddies, don't fret, I haven't forgotten about you. Click above for the interview and at the end, Celeste Headlee mentions that they will have my list of Best and Worst Costumes of all time. Unfortunately they were unable to post it so instead I have added all the juicy commentary and photos here. Enjoy! Best Figure Skating Costumes: Michelle Kwan: 2003 World Championships Michelle won the Gold Medal skating to Concierto de Aranjuez. I absolutely LOVED this design. The turquoise blue stretch and chiffon costume (with gold embroidery) was so impacting---that even the people in the nose-bleed seats couldn't miss it! It was exotic, a bit on the Christian Lacroix vibe and fit Michelle's GORGEOUS performance. Nancy Kerrigan: 1994 Lillehammer Olympics Wearing a custom Vera Wang. Illusion sleeves with hundreds of Swarovski Crystals. Subtle, not-over-the-top elegance defined. This is directional and modern--at least for the Figure Skating world. Vera Wang AND Nancy Kerrigan were YEARS AHEAD with this simple elegant and very high-fashion design. Carolina Kostner: 2006 Torino Olympics I think Carolina's costume--which was designed by Roberto Cavalli-- was actually very fabulous. It looked well-made and expensive, the Star sequined crystal embroidery was beautiful and the Ombre light gray-to-almost-black effect was sublime. One of my favorites. The Worst Figure Skating Costumes:Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin: 2010 European Championships (will keep the same music but are expected to change their costumes for the Olympic Games). Skating to an Aboriginal Dance for their Original Program. To start with: Get rid of the "Spray Tan"/way-too bronzed bodysuit, then why did all those plants ATTACK the culturally-insensitive too-dark bodysuits? How do you say "Not Cute" in Russian? Tonya Harding: 1994 Lillehammer Olympics. Where do I start? The sequined Mandarin collar, those gathered "petal" sleeves, the "happy Hands at Home" (Thanks Tim Gunn) embroidered torso beading. Polyester chiffon and the BEDAZZLER never looked sooooo bad! Debbie Thomas: 1988 Calgary Olympics This was the year Debbie Thomas faced off against Katarina Witt in the "Battle of the Carmen's". Both ladies skated there Long Programs to Carmen (Witt coming out on top and winning her 2nd Gold Medal). Here, Debbie shocked the world by wearing a beaded unitard for her short program. RuPaul's Drag Race Season 3 here she comes! Oksana Baiul: 1994 Lillehammer Olympics Although Oksana won the gold by beating Nancy Kerrigan, she certainly lost the Fashion Olympics, at least in my eyes. This outfit is better suited for one of the young girls from TLC's Toddlers and Tiaras as opposed to a Gold Medalist! There is such a thing as one too many cheap sequins from Jo-Ann's Arts and Craft Stores! Is there a Russian version of Jo-Ann's? If there is, Oksana must have been there! Ilia Kulik: 1998 Nagano Olympics Ilia won the Gold Medal in THIS! He looks like the Spokesperson for The Parking Spot Airport Parking/Shuttle service. Most Iconic Figure Skating Costumes: Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean: 1984 Sarajevo Olympics Torvill and Dean became the highest scoring Figure Skaters of all time receiving 12 perfect 6's with their unforgettable performance to Maurice Ravel's Boléro. The Ombre-shaded blouson tops (him and her), the Grecian-draped cowl (her), those exaggerated Bishop sleeves (him)...26 years later and the same Ombre effect is being used by Olympic Gold Paris Medalists Shen and Zhao. Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov: 1994 Lillehammer Olympics Classic in it's simplicity. Gordeeva and Grinkov were clearly on trend with the simple design echoed throughout the early 90's. Ekaterina looked like a young Audrey Heburn in Hubert de Givenchy in this simple yet elegant costume. Timeless. Johnny Weir: 2006 Torino Olympics The inspiration for Blades of Glory. In his Swan-inspired costume, Johnny skated to "The Swan" and called his red glove "Camille" after the composer of the song he skated to. The red glove was a bit "Skating Muppet Show" of him but I LOVED IT!!!! Kudos to Johnny and his Costume Designer. Dorothy Hamill: 1976 Innsbruck Olympics Who can forget Dorothy Hamill skating to Olympic Gold wearing the simple red costume with that iconic wedge haircut. It is probably the worlds most copied hairstyle! The skating costume was simple yet elegant--and very 70's! It is so iconic that if you wanted to make a Figure Skating Doll, this is probably the model! I loved how her white skating boots matched the white of her neckline sequins. Katarina Witt: 1988 Calgary Olympics: In a historic back to back Olympic Gold Medal performance Katarina skated to Bizet's Carmen and brought a sexiness to Figure Skating never before seen! Much more of a woman than at the the previous Olympics, Katarina Witt brought a fire to the ice that was reflected in her plunging Spanish-inspired Costume. Very Hola Magazine meets the Goya Infantas!