Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Color FAB Ladies...

Ladie's Medal Podium at 2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America: (Left to Right) Christina Gao (Silver Medal), Ashley Wagner (Gold Medal) and Adelina Sotnikova (Bronze Medal)

This past weekend was the 2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America, the first of six events of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating senior-level invitational competitions. As you may know, I LOVE me some Figure Skating and yes, especially the costumes. On my last post, I did my recap of the Pairs and Men's Costumes and what I thought of them--some very good, some a little bit lackluster (I 'm talking to you my beloved Jeremy Abbott!). So now, it seems fitting to discuss THE LADIES:
Ashley Wagner skated to "Red Violin" for her Short Program--Ashley got the First Place score for this Short Program. Now, let's discuss her maroon costume. This was a perfect situation of needing to view the costume in motion and in the context of the routine. In the still photo above, the swirl crystal effect on the bodice was nice but looked a bit "I Can Find It at a Local Figure Skating Shop" look to it--the evenly spread-out sequins on the "skirt" portion also looked a little  bit ''Jr. Skater". But, when you watch the video of the short program, you understand her more simplistic approach to the costume. It had a modern, balletic appeal and I loved the back straps which looked like violin strings.

Well, Kids, for the Free Skate, Ashley gave me my "I Want More!" wish: Wagner skated to "Samson and Delilah" for her Free Skate--From the moment she stepped on the ice, I was like "Oh Ashley!". This was FIGURE SKATING COUTURE. The bright sunburst yellow with ombré dyeing; the expertly applied sequins, the torso and neckline detail...It was very "Samson and Delilah" for sure and at the same time suggested the works of some of the better-known Lebanese Couturiers like Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad:

Sofia Vergara in Zuhair Murad at the Emmys 2012 and model in Zuhair Murad Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2010

Some might argue that it may have been a bit too much but I disagree, it was just right; I LOVED it. Oh, and did you guys notice the subliminal "Gold Medal" in her neckline design? Yeah, I did. And guess what, it worked: she won the Gold. This costume is a WINNER in my Costume Book Ashley--do not change a thing!

Christina Gao skated to "Close Without Touch" for her Short Program--This was a nice costume for the 18-year old Gao. I liked the asymmetrical neckline, the deep violet color was luxe and so was the flower beaded applique. Between this and her Long Program costumes, I liked this one better. Now, speaking of her Long Program costume:

Christina skated to "Libertango" for her Free Skate--Overall, Christina got the Silver Medal at Skate America 2012, which is great, especially since Ashley Wagner got the Gold so it was a Top Two Win for the USA. My thoughts on her costume: it was OK. The color was perfect for the theme but it was odd to see such restrained elegance in her Short Program Costume and then this for her Long. The too-heavy beading on the bust section was disconcerting and well, looked cheap (sorry). I'm also not a fan of the choker detail on these costumes. It's so 1992.

16-year old Adelina Sotnikova skated to "Capriccio Espagnol" for her Short Program--Three words: Muy Bueno Señorita. I liked this costume. It was capricious (as the title of this classical piece suggests) in its applique detail and shaped motif. I liked that the crystals highlighted the edges of the torso, bodice and neckline and yes, I always love a red flower on the hair--especially if we're dealing with an España theme.  

Adelina's Free Skate to "Tough Lover" from the "Burlesque" Soundtrack sung by Christina Aguilera was a bit risque for a 16 year old, but I couldn't help but be entranced by her costume. It was very "Dancing With The Stars", but the quality and proportions were fantastic. I loved the layered nude under cobalt blue illusion top and the fun feathered skirt; and it also had a FANTASTIC back:

Adelina Sotnikova "giving you back": 2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America 
Rachael Flatt skated to "East of Eden" for her Short Program--This costume on Rachael exudes glamour, elegance and restrained Hollywood Red Carpet. The deep-V neckline is great, the heavy-to-light sequin effect at the side looks expensive and the color is especially effective against her porcelain skin color.

Rachael skated to "Firebird" for her Free Skate--I really like this costume on Rachael. If this was a Russian skater, this costume would have been "Carnival Cruise Kra-Kra-Krazee" but this was a more subdued "Firebird"--especially after what she wore at Rostelecom/Cup of Russia last year:

 Rachael Flatt's "Firebird" Costume at Rostelecom Cup/Cup of Russia 2011

But by the time she reached the National Championships earlier this year, she had switched to the more subdued costume (she is doing a repeat and skating to the same program as last year).  I love it. I think it is elegant, impacting and is a perfect reflection of the music. Rachael is one of those skater's that has an innate sense of style and although she doesn't always get it right (Hello: Cup of Russia!) she figures it out and adjusts to make it right. Now let's just hope she can do the same with her skating.

Viktoria Helgesson of Sweden skated to "My Funny Valentine" for her Short Program--I had "mixed" feelings with this costume. I appreciated the nicely-done sequined jeweled detail at the bust as well as the silhouette. I also liked that it was an homage (either overt or not-really-knowing) to Gianni Versace and his 1991-1992 Collection:

Gianni Versace Fall/Winter 1991-1992

But I think what perplexed me where the "car wash" flaps on the "skirt" section of Viktoria's costume. The designer should have stayed more in line with the the actual Versace sample in the above photos.

Alena Leonova skated to "Jai Ho!" for her Short Program--Alena always knows how to bring the drama and some Cra-Cra to her costumes. It was colorful, hinted at the Bollywood theme and certainly makes you take notice of her. Alena is known as a Costume Diva--lest we forget her...

 "Pirates of the Caribbean" get-up from the ISU 2012 World Championships and...

"Polka (Circus)" from the 2010/2011 Short Program

For this Skate America 2012 Short Program, the contrast of the deep purple with the golden yellow gathered and crystal'ed sash was fabulous in only a way that Alena can pull off. I love all the details--down to the Henna-like tattoos and faux diamond statement making necklace. She was a Miss India and Bollywood Actress...on Ice Skates. Over the top? Yes! But, I don't expect anything less from her. Keep it up Alena!

** Next Up: My "Skate America 2012" Ice Dancers Costume Recap!


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