2011 U.S. Figure Skating Championships--"The US Nationals"-- in Greensboro North Carolina began last Saturday and ended today. This is the "Miss USA" (of course, I had to give a "Beauty Pageant" analogy!) of Figure Skating. The top winners (usually the top 2 or 3) go on to represent the USA at The World Figure Skating Championships--"The Worlds"-- in Tokyo Japan this March. So, of course, you all know what that means: Time to Rate the Costumes... Here are my "Nick Verreos Highlights" from the pairs, dance and ladies competition:
Evora and Ladwig's costumes. The bright violet colors were eye-catching and stunning. the Swarovski crystals were nothing short of spectacular. I loved how there were heavier stones on the asymmetrical neckline of her costumes and it was genius to use same-color-as-the-top stones for him. I also liked his old-school "retro" costume and the use of the Blouson top with the black pants. Whoever they are consulting in the creations of these costumes, keep doing it! They get an A+ in my book!
Yankowskas and Coughlin earned their first ever Pairs Title mesmerizing the sold-out crowd with a powerful "Ave Maria" program. I thought their costumes were perfect: Angelic, sublime and just right to correspond with the music. They looked as if they were skating on clouds with "Figure Skating" angels guiding them through. I especially liked Caitlin's mock-neck ivory beaded costume with illusion shoulders and sleeves. Along with her severe yet elegant blond hair, she almost reminded me of a Russian Ladies Figure Skating Doll!
Davis and White won their third straight ice dance title easily. Their program--a Tango Medley--was strong, filled with emotion and scissor sharp! In terms of costumes, Meryl Davis switched hers from the costume she wore previously to this program. Before, it was an asymmetrical deep wine colored beaded dress and now, she went for BOLD, FIRE Red and intense! I think it was a good choice to switch. Their costumes needed a bit of a costume "pop" for such a fiery Tango program and this new costume certainly delivered. I do think, however, that it looked a bit "overdone" in terms of the diamante trim and the embroidered lace beading. It look a bit "cheap prom dress"--just a teeny bit. Overall though, I was happy for the change.
Rachael Flatt also changed her costume and WOW! What a smart little cookie she is: That color is just EXACTLY what she needed to give life, emotion and WAKE everyone up to her beautiful skating and performance. I am IN LOVE with this neon canary yellow. In Love. Personally, I don't think she need the long sleeves and maybe should have opted for a variation of short sleeve style or just sleeveless. But on the whole: Ten Points Miss Rachael!
Ashley Wagner decided to go very elegant and "Red Carpet Safe" with this black all-over sequined costume. What I though was unusual about it was the fact that there was no mesh-illusion on it (a staple of most figure skating costumes). The strong black color made a great contrast against her porcelain skin, making her look like a John Singer Sargent Painting...on the ice!
I was a big fan of Alissa's asymmetrical ruffled dress late last year when she debuted it on the Grand Prix Finals, where she took the top prize. And I still like it now. The watercolor Degrade shadings, the cascade ruffle detail; it's modern, directional and stands out in a sea of traditional looking sequin-and-illusion costumes. The costume worked at the Grand Prix Finals and it worked now because she--again--took the top prize.Go on Alissa!