Sunday, November 04, 2012

Time for the Ladies!

Mao Asada of Japan at ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2012/2013 Lexus Cup of China

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2012 Cup of China is ending today but that doesn't mean my Costume "Two Cents" has to--there's still a couple more disciplines I need to discuss--Ladies and Ice Dance, of course...So, let's see what the pretty LADIES featured in Shanghai China this past weekend:

Joshi Helgesson of Sweden:  Sometimes when I am recapping these Figure Skating Costumes and giving my "Nick Two Cents", I say (as a not-so-positive critique) "Oh that costume looks like she's an extra from Cirque du Soleil". Well kids, this costume above looks TOTALLY like it's from Cirque du Soleil, and guess what? It's because that's the music she skated to! So, here IT WORKS! Yes, the lovely Helgesson skated to "Mystere" and "Taiko" from Cirque du Soleil and the costume perfectly reflected this, working seamlessly with the music.

I loved the bright colors, the multi-colored shredded "skirt" section, and how she carried the look even to her eye makeup. Now, some may argue that it's too much--even for a Cirque du Soleil-themed skate but I am not one of those people; whoever made this costume gets lots of "Nick Costume Points"!

Amelie Lacoste of Canada: Amelie skated her Short Program to "The Feeling Begins" by Peter Gabriel. The song is from "Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ". Her lipstick red costume was very "Near Eastern Princess Meets Pageant Girl", featuring crystal trim and side "cut-out''s". I like her forehead crystal "crown" but I think she didn't need the armband. It just looks as if she had extra trim and said "Oh, don't throw it away...I can use it on my arm!". Next time, keep it in the trim bin darling.

Li Zijun of China: The dainty (she's all of 5'0"!) and doll-like Li Zijun of China skated her Free Skate to Music from Sleeping Beauty by Tchaikovsky. She wore this dusty rose colored costume with intricate yet beautifully-placed sequin detail on the neckline and throughout her torso. 

 Elie Saab Spring/Summer 2011 Haute Couture

The design looked expensive and reminded me of a "Mini-me" of an Elie Saab Haute Couture gown with its delicate details.

Kiira Korpi of Finland: Kiira skated her Short Program to "The Girl with the Flaxen Hair" by Claude Debussy. I thought this was a very pretty costume. I loved the caviar beaded arm and top yoke section, which to me, was very "Old School Vera Wang" and the tone-on-tone coloring on the rest of the costume gave it dimension and interest. I'm just a little concerned with a possible "wardrobe malfunction" moment with the side above-the-chest "cut-out's" being so near and dear to her "sisters". I'm sure that's a faux cut-out and covered with illusion but still, I think design-wise, it's a bit too "cut-out".

For her Free Skate Kirra skated to Music from the Once Upon a Time in America soundtrack by by Ennio Morricone--in which she earned the Third Place Bronze Medal at the Cup of China 2012. The model gorgeous Kiira Korpi wore a mauve-colored costume with a shirred and draped torso, asymmetrical shoulder details and mini sequins strewn throughout it. I liked this costume, especially the draping and heavy-to-light crystal effect. Kiira is so pretty that I have a feeling she could put a (pink) Hefty Bag on and still look Barbie Pretty!


Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia: Julia was very, very good this weekend at Cup of China 2012, so good, she got the Silver Medal. PS: The American girls really need to STEP IT UP! If Julia is this good now, I can't imagine how FABULOUS she will be at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. I would not be surprised if she does great there and ends up on the Medal Podium. Oh, and did I mention she's ONLY FOURTEEN!

Now, in terms of her costumes, let's begin with this one above which she wore for her Short Program to "Sabre Dance" (modern arrangement) by Khachaturian. The music evokes a whirling war dance in an Armenian dance where the dancers display their skills with sabres. I always stand at attention (in my couch, of course), whenever I see a ladies figure skater wearing a body suit. Let's just say, it's not the norm by any means and at the same time, I have to be honest in that I am not such a fan. Take a look at Carolina Kostner's sequined-encrusted bodysuit with that Camel-toe! With that said, I think that her costume/bodysuit worked with the music and her super skating, even though, to me it had nothing to do with Sabres, Armenia or War Dancing.

Her costume looked more like a semi-Halloween costume for someone trying to be Josephine Baker (above). But, like I said, somehow it still worked. Is it the most attractive skating costume? No, but it was impacting. It did what it needed to do.

For her Free Skate, little Julia skated to the "Pas de Deux" from The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky . I hesitate in being too critical in my opininon because she's only FOURTEEN! But... it looks like a cheap lace lingerie. It was white with Lycra and stretch lace and has beading throughout. I am alarmed by the sheerness of the lace on a FOURTEEN year old and I think that this costume--especially on a Russian skating to a Russian composer's famed "Pas de Deux" should have been more Dame Margot Fonteyn and less Victoria's Secret.

Mirai Nagasu of USA: Mirai was the only US female skatinr competing in the Ladies discipline at Cup of China 2012. For her Short Program to "Downhill Special" by Benny Goodman, she wore this fuchsia-colored costume with diamante trim and a fringe "skirt" section. The trim led up to a halter/choker neckline. This whole "fringe" or "car wash" effect on the skirts of ladies' costumes seems to be a trend of sorts in figure skating. I guess, the costume designers are trying to find new ways of doing the skirts and showing movement. I like the bright color but overall, she is verging on a Miss Teen Pageant Girl gown.

For her Free Skate to "Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78" by Camille Saint-Saens, this royal blue costume was more elegant and seemed at least to upgrade her from a "Miss Teen" to an actual "Miss USA". I liked the asymmetrical design on the front of her torso as well as how it continued onto the halter neckline straps. Nice (costume) job Mirai!


Mao Asada of Japan: In the past, Mao Sada has been a bit hit-or-miss in terms of  her costume choices. This season, she got it RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT! For both her Short Program and Free Skate, she was a "Hit" on my Costume list! For her Short Program to "I Got Rhythm" variations by George Gershwin, Asada wore this coral and silver criss-cross draped and shirred costume that looked chic, sexy and like a...

Rodarte-meets-Marchesa dress. Above is a Rodarte dress from their Fall 2008 collection.

I LOVED the open back (seen above). Notice that only her upper back is covered by skin-colored illusion and the rest, completely bare. I think this is so modern and right-on! I know that there are rules in terms of how much skin can even be showing. Now, I put this question up to my readers here: do you think these rules are too "old-school" and "Figure Skating Prehistoric"? My take on this subject is a resounding YES!

For her Long Program to Music from Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky, Mao wore this gorgeous ivory, gray and silver costume which I also loved. The details on it were very Haute and I even liked the "shredded" skirt. My favorite part, however, were the wrist details. The entire look was so...

 Natalie Portman in Black Swan

Congratulations to the Top Three Ladies at Cup of China 2012: (left to right) Kiira Korpi (Bronze), Mao Asada (Gold) and Julia Lipnitskaia (Silver)--and yes kids: WATCH out for that little Julia! She may have semi-tacky costumes, but...her skating is SUPERB and could be the one to watch!

*** Next: The Ice Dance Costumes at Cup of China 2012 

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