Ice Style

ICE STYLE.....2011 ISU Grand Prix Final: Pairs, Ice Dance Costumes

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Strap Malfunctions, A new Hairdo and some 80's Flashbacks...
Strap On, Strap (almost) Off: China's Zhang and Zhang during their Free Skate, ISU Grand Prix Final Quebec City Quebec Canada
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final ended this past weekend in Quebec City, Quebec Canada. In the previous postings here in my blog, I've discussed the Ladies, the Men, THAT Disco Jumpsuit, so now, I'm "wrapping up" my Costume Review with the couples: the Pairs and Ice Dancers. Throughout this Grand Prix season, I've pretty much covered/discussed most of the Pairs and Ice Dancing costumes. But this weekend we saw some "surprises", including an (almost) new Pairs costume and hairstyle, an (almost) Wardrobe Malfunction and a TIGHTER Charlie White. Let's begin... Savchenko and Szolkowy of Germany: Aliona Savhenko and Robin Szolkowy won the Gold this past weekend--barely--by .18 points (!) over their Russian counterparts, Volosozhar and Trankov (PS: He's such a Hottie!). Now, in terms of costumes, I thought I noticed something "different" during their Hans Zimmer "Angels and Demons" Short Program: a white with silver-gray sleeve and hem accented dress with torso crystal detailing. I had remembered Aliona's "Angel" costume being this ivory almost-sheer jumpsuit with a crystal beaded top and flirty attached mini "over-skirt", and to be honest, it wasn't a favorite of mine--it looked two minutes away from a tacky Eurovision Contest! So, naturally, my heart began beating a bit faster with the thought of "Did she do a Costume Change?". But alas, she did not. After about one minute's worth of web research (and my brain working, finally!)... Chignon Angel: I realized that no, she had already worn this "new" dress-costume to the Rostelecon Cup/Cup of Russia last month, where she "unveiled" it (as seen in the photo above from that Grand Prix). But what she did do different was the way she wore her hair. Usually, during practices, she wears her hair down but ALWAYS in competition, she would pull it back into an elegant chignon. Shag Ice Queen: But for this last Grand Prix Final in Quebec City, she decided to "show the world" her Dorothy Hamill-esque hairstyle in all its shaggy glory. I think she looked great--she looked like one of the singers from ABBA! Hopefully, we will see more of her this way in competition. What do guys think of Aliona's hair? Down and loose, or slicked-back in a chignon? Let me know in your comments at the end of this post! Now...An (Almost) Wardrobe Malfunction: Zhang and Zhang of China: This great Pairs team skated their "Transylvanian Lullaby" Short Program wearing the same costumes they had been wearing throughout the season. I discussed these great costumes back in my Cup of China blog posting HERE and needless to say, I thought hers was a "Red Carpet" stunner--the colors, the Empire silhouette, the contrasting straps. Speaking of straps: as they began skating their Short Program at this Grand Prix Final, something unusual began happening: Zhang Dan's red sequined strap began slipping off! Now, this is a minute detail but things like this DO NOT happen in figure skating, especially in a world-class competition. These costumes have been tested many, many times, before they ever see the "spotlight" of a Grand Prix event. For Zhang, it proved to be a bit of a problem and distraction since well, it kept slipping (even as her partner would try to pull it back up during their skate). At one point, as she was horizontally in the air during their Throw Triple Twist: Oh Dear: You could really see the strap slipping off. Luckily, nothing else slipped off but in Figure Skating terms, I guess this would come under a minor "Wardrobe Malfunction" but of course not on the Janet Jackson scale! The strap-slippage did not really affect their skating, but I am sure someone will be shortening that strap! Hopefully the Costume Designer won't be chastised too much! Now, Grand Prix Final Ice Dancing Costume Minute: Loose or Tight Charlie? Davis and White of the USA: Now, I've already discussed their J.Lo Cha-Cha Fabuloso costumes in my Rostelecom Cup/Cup of Russia Ice Dancing Costume Review HERE I absolutely LOVE her electric orange fringed-skirt ensemble with the multicolored beading and that modern asymmetrical neckline. I liked his gold and black look too. Together, they looked like the hottest and sexiest couple at a Rio de Janeiro Dancing competition! For this Grand Prix Final, I noticed that Charlie's gold jacquard shirt was TIGHTER! (see photo above) Well, tighter than how it was in Russia: Cup of Russia Loose: I commented in that post that I would have liked to have seen his shirt tighter/closer to his fat-free torso, and from the looks of it, I think someone was listening (or reading). It might be just that he pulled it more into his pants to smooth it and make it "look tighter" or it might be that they realized a "Sexier, Tighter" Charlie was better for this Short Dance and therefore their seamstress got to work and took in A LOT off the side seams. Who knows? Which one do you prefer: Loose-Shirt Charlie or Tighter Charlie? Let me know! Finally--1988 Calgary Winter Olympics Costume Flashbacks: The Ice Dancing and Pairs Edition! Since the Grand Prix Final was in Canada this past weekend (Quebec City, Quebec to be geographically exact), I've been looking back at some of the FAB costumes from the Calgary Winter Olympics in some of my posts (Did you see Brian Orser's??), so I thought it would be fun to do a "Costume Flashbacks" to these Ice Dancing and Pairs Costume Gems of the past: Wilson and McCall of Canada: 1988 Calgary Olympics Ice Dancing Bronze Medal winners, Tracy Wilson and Rob McCall wore this for their Free Dance at those Calgary Olympics. The costumes are so fabulous I can barely talk! The black stretch Lycra, the colored beaded trim straight out of Jo-Ann's Fabrics, Tracy Wilson's "tutu" skirt WITH Lycra LEGGINGS ensemble...and her red ribbon "Scrunchie"!!! Seriously. Amazing. And here they are in their Original Dance "Tango" costumes above, also from the 1988 Winter Olympics. So funny that we were at the END of the 80's decade yet, their costumes, hair, everything was SO 80's still. Usually, toward the end of a decade is when we only begin to see what fashion could be defined as for that decade. Rob looked so dapper and elegant in his tuxedo and Tracy's pink and black fringed skirt number pre-cursed the verging-on Tacky-licious "Toodlers & Tiaras" look of say, an Oksana Baiul. Again, check out her SCRUNCHIE!! Love her--and them! Watson and Oppegard of the USA: The American Pair skaters Jill Watson and Peter Oppegard got the Bronze at the Calgary Olympics. Here they are--above and below--in their Long Program costumes. And kids, these were Gems to say the least. Ocean blue Lycra (they loved their Lycra back then!) with swirl-shaped contrasting-colored panels with beaded outlines. Jill was quite demure and covered up wearing full sleeves and a high "Lady-like" neckline (I guess nude mesh illusion had not been "discovered" yet!). She looked very "Gymnast"-like in her costume. And Peter: Oh Peter!!! I am OBSESSED with this look! Even though they skated to classical music, for some reason, he looks as if he's about to do the National Championships of Rodeo in his gold center-front studded jumpsuit with yes, the contrasting-colored swirl-shaped crystal-encrusted panels. It's very "Blades of Glory" I must say! Peter, as you may know, is a World-class coach and is married to Karen Kwan Oppegard. I am happy to say that I know them personally but I have a feeling I might be getting a "No You Didn't!" talking-to from Peter (as Karen will probably be kissing my cheek at the same time!) the next time I see them! Nevertheless, I love this look and hope he still has this costume somewhere in the basement, attic, or his "Secret Closet"! For a Ice Dancing Video Flashback, Watch Wilson and McCall of Canada and their Free Dance, 1988 World's in Hungary:

*Next Up: Grand Prix Final Ice Dance Costume Changes--Canada's Virtue and Moir and Maia & Alex Shibutani of the USA...

2 Responses to "ICE STYLE.....2011 ISU Grand Prix Final: Pairs, Ice Dance Costumes"

Paulina said...

No comments on Tessa's costume change, Nick?? I really loved the pink dress!!

Elizabeth Roberts said...

My favorite costume from the 1988 Olympics was ice dancer gold medalist Natalia Bestemianova's "hearts" dress, which she wore for the Hernando's Hideaway tango original set pattern (with partner Andrei Bukin). It was black with red and gold hearts, off the shoulder neckline with straps and a black skirt that was short in the front but much longer in the back.