50% Cha Cha: Gorshkova and Butikov of Russia --Does her costume cover 50% of her top body?? (Photo Courtesy of Liz Chastney Ice-Dance.com)This weekend was Trophee Eric Bompard, the Grand Prix of France 2011-2012 --I gave my "Figure Skating Costumes Two Cents" on The Men in my previous post so now, we're onto one of my favorites: The Ice Dancers! For this 2011-2012 season, the ISU/International Skating Union specified a Latin theme for the Short Dance and therefore all the Ice Dancing Competitors had to do a Short Dance that had some Cha-Cha, Mambo, Merengue, Salsa, and maybe some Gloria Estefan here and there.
Trophee Eric Bompard Grand Prix of FranceIn terms of costumes, beginning this season (maybe because of the HOT HOT HOT Latin music??) the USFA/US Figure Skating Association states in it's "Handbook for Officials" that "the dress of the ladies must not give the effect of excessive nudity" Oh Dear!), and "the majority of the body must be covered". It goes on to state that the "surface" of the body (front, back, sides) must be covered at least 50%. Basically, the costumes have been getting a bit "racy" as of late and well, the officials are trying to "tone 'em down", make them a little less "Rated R" and more "PG" (Awwwww!!! I liked those "Rated R" ones from the good ol "Torino Italy Olympics" days!). Anyhow, we'll get to some of the Ice Dancer's costumes that might be inching very close to that 50% rule later, let's first discuss the Classy ones: Virtue and Moir of Canada: These two took the Gold (again!) and did it with such class and elegance. I reviewed their costumes HERE when they were at Skate Canada. I wasn't such a fan of their Free Dance ensembles; I just felt they needed a little more "punch". They were fine but not "Wow!". But I did like their Short Dance costumes--hers especially. In the above two photos, they are wearing their Short Dance "Latin" costumes at this weekend's Trophee Eric Bompard. Her electric blue and silver crystal beaded and fringed dress was OUTSTANDING. The jeweled neckline is gorgeous, the color can stop traffic and the movement of the fringe is perfect for the performance. I just wish he didn't look like he just showed up for 2 pm rehearsals in his Deep V American Apparel long sleeve tee, since Tessa looks like she's ready to BRING IT for the "8pm Dinner-and-Drinks Salsa Extravaganza Show at the Riviera"! But, it seems that, especially with Ice Dancing and the Male, that yes, the woman is the "Peacock" while the man, a costume "afterthought". Huang and Zheng of China: These two don very "LOCO" Costumes for their Latin-inspired Short Dance (bright yellow ones that would make one of my FAB Drag Queen Diva friends BLUSH!), but for their Free Dance to "Libertango" by Astor Piazzolla, they wisely decided to well, tone it down (photos above and below). I think she looks exquisite and very Fiery Hot Latina, but still elegant and chic, in a black full circle skirt, nude mesh, black and red sequined applique ensemble. She's like a Buenos Aires-born Diva, who happens to be of Chinese descent. His striped shirt, suspenders and black pants looks is appropriate for this Tango-influenced number. Now, let's discuss the Sexy, Hot and "My Eyes Hurt" Costumes:
Photo Courtesy of Liz Chastney Ice-Dance.comGorshkova and Butikov of Russia: For their "Rhumba and Cha Cha" Short Dance, they seriously look like background dancers from a Barry Manilow "At the Copa, Copacabana" dance number in a Princess Carnival Cruise Ship Show. These green, orange and yellow stretch velvet, mesh, sequins and feathered costumes are OUT of CONTROL: they're like an entire "Miss Universe National Costume Parade of Nations" all rolled up into two costumes! Her costume, by the way, is borderline covering the "50% Rule". And so is his, for that matter. For their Free Dance, they covered up a little bit, but in terms of the KRAZEE colors, nope, not so much. They actually skated to a "Tango Selection", but by the looks of their costumes, it should have been an ABBA or Elton John Tribute Soundtrack! Purple, bubblegum pink, multi-colored printed bustier top and fringed skirt and asymmetrical "half-jacket"(her). Meanwhile, Vitali looked like a Casino Blackjack Dealer at Circus Circus Las Vegas . Here's the deal, as a fashion designer, I LOVE seeing color, inspired costumes, SOMETHING! But that something shouldn't be tacky, and yes, be able to enhance the program not necessarily distract from it. And while these costumes fit the "lots of color" and "Inspired" categories, they didn't fulfill the other ones: just too much stuff for a Tango performance. Even for me.
Photo Courtesy of Liz Chastney Ice-Dance.comIlinykh and Katsalapov of Russia: I think these two are one of the sexiest couples/ice dancers on the ice. Especially in their Latin-inspired Short Dance. If there were points for "Sexy", they'd get LOTS! They skated to "Samba, Rhumba, Samba" and let's just say, her costume in particular really PUSHED the 50% coverage rule. I think it was more 39% but that's just me (you can't see it in the photo above but her back is completely in nude mesh, in other words: backless). Irregardless, Elena looked HOT HOT HOT! Loved her turquoise one-shoulder jeweled crystal and fringe costume. It was part "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" and part "Dancing With The Stars". She's my new "Figure Skating Fashion Sexy Muse"! Costume "Change: The French... Pechalat and Bourzat of France: I have already talked about these two and their "Curse of the Mummy Couture" costumes which they wear for their Free Dance to their "Mummy and Pharaoh" program. While I watched this weekend's Trophee Eric Bompard Free Dance Competition, I noticed something in terms of costumes, was a bit "off". Then, I looked back at what they wore less than a month ago at Skate America:
Skate America French Pharaoh and MummyYES, I was right!! He changed his top and pants! The "King Tut" mesh and gold hieroglyphics top he wore at Skate America had two styles of sleeves--a short one and a beyond-the-elbow one. But, at this weekend's Trophee Eric Bompard, they were both the same: short. And also there was a minor change in the golden sleeve hem width accent detail (see photos). More importantly, the pants were completely changed. For some unknown reason, the "powers that be" decided that his pants should be washed indigo denim-like blue as opposed to how they were at Skate America. Maybe they felt that they needed some color. Who knows. The team gets feedback from the judges and "other folks" that maybe led to this change. I have to admit that I liked the Skate America grey ones more. Oh well, what do I know!