Saturday, November 03, 2012

Ross Dress For Less Looks, a Slick Haircut, Japanese Men "Queening Out" and Much More:

Gold Medalist Tatsuki Machida of Japan, 2012/2013 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Lexus Cup of China, Shanghai China

The third of six events of the 2012/2013 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating--the Lexus Cup of China--occurred this weekend in Shanghai China. As you know, I love writing about the fabulous (and some, not so fabulous) figure skating costumes here on my blog--so, here we go: time for Cup of China 2012!

Let's begin my Costume Recap with the MEN:

Brian Joubert of France: 2007 World Champion Brian Joubert performed his Short Program to "Genesis" by Justice and "Aerodynamic" by Daft Punk. His soundtrack was very electronica/French House and so it was appropriate for his costume to be less "Costume Period" and more contemporary. The top section featured black illusion and faux leather trimmed in gold. I call his look "Manly Flashy". And I like it! Unfortunately, Joubert had to withdraw from the event because of abdominal pain and fever prior to skating his Free Skate.

Tatsuki Machida of Japan: For his Short Program to "F.U.Y.A.", he wears this "costume" above. If you're a regular reader of my blog here---you may know that I am NOT A FAN of the I-just-got a shirt, belt and pants from 'Ross Dress For Less' look for the Men. In general, it looks so 1996 and shows a lack of creativity in part of the design team. But on a good note for the look above: the shirt is at the very least, slightly interesting with its bold print. Now on the complete opposite end...

THIS is one of MY FAVORITE COSTUMES so far this season! Machida wears this costume to his "The Firebird" Long Program" (which he debuted earlier this year at Skate America). It's GORGEOUS, music-appropriate, theatrical and really highlights how important it is to have a great costume to go along with your program. Oh yes, and he took the Gold for his skate.

Adam Rippon of the US: Cutie Adam Rippon is the only American competing in  the Men's portion of 2012 Cup of China. He skated his Short Program to Puccini's "Nessun Dorma", an aria from the famous opera "Turandot". The story of the opera is taken from a collection of Persian and Central Asian stories and fairy tales.

Usually, this opera is a celebration of fantastic and very extravagant Mongol/Persian/Central Asian costumes. So, I was surprised that Adam's look was so NOT THAT; he wore a black jumpsuit that suggested an extra in a "Star Trek" movie, and not really a Persian Prince.

For his Long Program to "The Incredibles", he wore this gray pant and black shirt "costume" above. So boring Adam. He's doing that "Ross Dress For Less" thing I dislike--the whole pants-and-belt look...

I'm not expecting a red lycra body suit with a big yellow, black and orange "i" on it but give me SOMETHING!

On a Nice Note:

Before (left) and After (right): Loving the new haircut! So dapper Adam! I do miss those wonderful curls of yours but, I get it, it was time to become a more "mature and slick" Adam. Now, if we can just improve on your costumes, you'd be PERFECT! I'm suspecting that with the new haircut and costumes, they are trying to make Adam less ethereal and give him more strength. Personally, if this is the new approach, I disagree with it. I think Adam is a beautiful and artistic skater and that is his strength. I always feel you should stick with what you do best and improve on that.

Daisuke Takahashi of Japan: To his Short Program to "Roll 'n' Roll Medley", "The Stroll", "Rudy's Rock", Takahashi went "Tokyo Elvis" with his get-up and I LOVED it! It was exuberant, music-appropriate and a big hit with all his little girl fans (they were all there at the Cup of China!)...

Now, you might notice that in his costume, Takahashi is also doing the "Adam Rippon" belt-and-pant thing, but (a BIG BUT!), he really "brought it"--costume-wise--with that red-and-black custom jacket, the beaded top underneath and even did his hair a la "Rock 'n' Roll". The difference is that his look doesn't seem as if he went to a department store, bought it and an hour later, performed in it.

At this weekend's 2012 Cup of China, Takahashi skated his Long Program to "Pagliacci". I also liked this costume here. It had overt references to the famous operatic clown but yet ragged, de-constructed. This was a very thought-out look and costume. Kudos to this modern, yet still Figure Skating theatrical-perfect "Pagliacci" costume. I've said this before, but it bears repeating, I really love how these Japanese MALE figure skaters embrace the whole costume part of their performance and think "outside the box" and are not afraid to "Go For It". I say Doumo arigatou gozaimasu to the Male Japanese skaters for "Queening Out"! Note to US Male Figure Skaters (except you Johnny Weir!), just because you're actually thinking of the costume part of your performance and skating doesn't mean your buddies back at home are going to think you've gone "pansy fancy" on them! Who cares what they think and well, follow the Japanese guys and Go For It!

Next Up-- Lexus Cup of China 2012: The Pairs!


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