Jasmine Asada: Silver Medalist Mao Asada of Japan in her "Scheherazade" costume, NHK Trophy 2011 Sapporo JapanThe Ladies gave their costume BEST at this weekend's Grand Prix of Japan/NHK Trophy 20111-2012 and I was watching--on TV--from my big ol' couch here in LA. I was happy to see a lot of COLOR, creativity in design and expensive-looking Swarovski jeweled crystals (not the cheap kind thank you very much!) Who were my faves?
The Top Three: (Left to right) Silver went to Japan's Mao Asada, Gold Medalist Akiko Suzuki of Japan, and Bronze, Russia's Alena LeonovaAkiko Suzuki of Japan: Akiko won the Gold, at home and I've discussed her costumes here on my blog in my Skate Canada Fashion posting. I loved both her Free Skate (top photo with the other medalists) and her Short Program (above photo) costumes. My favorite of the two is this gunmetal grey SP one. She wears this while skating to Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody" and well, she looks like some Contessa who should have a fabulous Castle to come home to! The black leaf design encircled by crystals is original and elegant. Imagine extending this costume into a floor-length gown! Gorgeous. Mao Asada of Japan: She got 2nd place in Sapporo. I also give her my "Fashion Silver" Award when it comes to her Grand Prix of Japan fashion. For her Free Dance to Liszt's (a popular choice this season!) "Liebestraume", she looks all things pretty in this lilac-colored ensemble. The delicate crystal flowers detail at the torso could go the route of "Toddlers & Tiaras" in a HOT Triple Lutz Minute, but it didn't. It looked restrained yet still theatrical at the same time and VERY expensive! Not sure about that pretzel-twist knotted waistband (looks a bit odd and jarring there), but the beautiful top makes up for it. Now, what I just LOVED was... Asada's Scheherazade costume. It's so OUT there, it's GOOOOD!!! She looks like a cross between Princess Jasmine of "Aladdin" and an extra in those old "Bob Hope Goes To (fill in the blank)" movies. It's not every day one sees an "I Dream of Jeannie"-like harem pant costume, so as a Fashion Designer, Mao made me smile with "Fashion Glee" when she stepped on the ice. Kiira Korpi of Finland: The "Supermodel On Ice" Kiira, looked radiant in her canary yellow costume, which she wore to her "Over The Rainbow" Short Program. At first, I thought "what does her costume have to do with that?" but then I remembered the YELLOW BRICK road!!! Hello!!! This was the Lycra and silk chiffon with an encrusted crystal Costume ROAD! The entire design was beautiful and made her look like she should be on the cover of a fashion magazine. And then, for her Free Skate to Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm", she wore another red carpet mini stunner, with a black costume featuring "swirled" silver-grey crystal detail and original armhole-and-shoulder crystal accents. I also loved her 1930's-looking finger wave hairstyle that went fabulously with her music and costume. She looked like one of those Hollywood Starlets in a Busby Berkeley musical movie! Ashley Wagner of the USA: But to me, one of the best Fashion Ladies on the NHK Trophy Ice Title goes to Ashley Wagner of the USA. She missed the Medal podium by a little over 5 points but to me, she got the Fashion Gold. I've discussed her "Black Swan" costume here and in case you missed it: this was one of my FAVORITE costumes in YEARS!!! Stunning, gorgeous, dramatic and SO "Swan Lake" Ballerina. But I didn't discuss her red halter-necklined Short Program costume which she performs to "Pollock". This looks like a more mature version of Maia Shibutani's red "Big Band" costume. The heavy crystal beading detail looks expensive as opposed to tacky and the silhouette works for her. It also makes a sweet-and-pretty contrast to what she then wears for her "Black Swan" Free Skate. Good Job Ashley! You make my "Best Costumed" Nick List!