Monday, December 31, 2012

Toreador Fab, Plunging Chic, Kimono Gorgeous...and the Kookiest Figure Skating Costumes of 2012


Best Pairs Costumes:

Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov: Russia--This powerful--and very HOT--Pairs couple from Russia had TWO winning costumes worthy enough of making it on to my Best Of List 2012. Both their Short Program and Free Skate ensembles were superb, and for different reasons. For their Short Program, they skated to "Love Theme from The Godfather" (above), they looked modern, clean and current. In this program, Tatiana was the (costume) star: I adored her multi-layered "necklace" in her fishtail hem dress. I also thought it was so modern to have such a sexy plunging back and not use the illusion to pretend that it was "nude".

For their Season 2012-2013 Free Skate, they skated to  "Violin Muse, Partita for Violin No. 2 and Chaconne". Here, the costumes were ethereal and had more classic costume elements (than their Short Program ones) but still remained fresh and exploratory. I thought that for the Free Skate, Maxim was the star, costume-wise. His floating chiffon top with tie-dye ombre coloring and color blocking was especially interesting. It was also ultra feminine; only Maxim could make wearing ombre-dyed chiffon look SO BUTCH.
Qing Pang and Jian Tong: China--Pang and Tong of China performed their Short Program to "Scott and Fran's Paso Doble" in some of the most intricately divine costumes of the season--and yes, good enough to make my list here. The costumes were as intense and fiery as the music. His Toreador costume is sexy, strong, expensive-looking and perfectly theatrical. It was also very traditional in its styling which contrasted her costume. While he went traditional, her Señorita was more abstract, directional with its asymmetrical detailing and mix of fabrications and sequin applique. 
Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov: Russia--For their Free Skate to "February", Kavaguti and Smirnov went a bit "old school" with their Pairs Costumes--his stretch body suit and her bedazzled look both seem to vibe costumes I would have seen many Winter Olympics years ago. Yet somehow they still made them look modern. This is why they are on this "Best" list. I especially liked her costume. The high neck combined with the open back and long sleeves was elegant and chic.

Best Ice Dance Costumes:

Madison Chock and Evan Bates: USA-- For their "Polka/Waltz" Short Dance during this 2012 Grand Prix Season, these two cuties from the US skated to Selections from Quidam by Cirque du Soleil. Madison designed the costumes and I liked them--especially hers. Here, she was the Costume Star. The colors in her dress were impacting, vibrant and perfect for the dance and if anyone couldn't get the "Cirque" reference, they were probably asleep! One of my faves of 2012 for Ice Dance.

Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri: Italy--For their Season 2012-2013 Free Dance to "Summer" and "Winter" from The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi, Guignard and Fabbri went the semi-contemporary route with their costumes and hers, especially, was one of my Top Picks of the year. I like the sequined multicolored butterfly motif in her dress. It looks like a pretty DVF dress but still seems costume-y enough for a dance like this.

Alex and Maia Shibutani USA--This brother-and-sister Ice Dance Team skated their Free Dance to John Williams' "Memoirs of a Geisha" for this year's Grand Prix season. I thought the costumes were perfect. Alex looked sublimely chic in his grey side draped waist-coat/vest, black pants and white dress shirt. Maia was a vision of pretty in her rose-pink and steel-gray Kimono-and-Obi costume.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir: Canada--One word: WOW. They skated their Long Program to "Carmen" by Rodion Shchedrin and their performances were FLAWLESS. Every time I saw it, I had the urge to give them a standing ovation...from my sofa! Their costumes were also FLAWLESS; chic, directional, modern and Fashion Week-fab. I. LOVED. THEM. These modern styled costumes enhanced their fiery and intense performance, especially her plunging neck, backless multi-layered dress. Tessa could have gone all red rose-behind-her-ear and red-and-black Spanish Mantilla costume, but she didn't. And yet, it still had the same fiery passionate effect. I really think that this is the future of Ice Dance costumes. Bravo Virtue and Moir.

And finally, it would not be a Figure Skating Costume List without adding some of  my Favorite "Most 'Kooky' Costumes of 2012":

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ggM4pgk-tgU/ULpVjpZfNSI/AAAAAAAAiqk/VOJv3zZHtRU/s1600/Orford_Williams_SD+(2).jpg
Nicole Orford and Thomas Williams: Canada--For their Short Dance to "Sold" by John Michael Montgomery and "Tennessee Waltz" by Anne Murray during this Grand Prix season, this Canadian Ice Dance pair wore these fabulously kooky costumes.  One look at them and I wanted to jump onto the ice and do the two-step and eat some hot & spicy chicken wings...at the same time! I mean, seriously, look at those red "Cowboy Boot" skate covers! Quirky, fun, and very costume entertaining.

Cathy Reed and Chris Reed: Japan--Michigan, US-born half-Japanese brother-and-sister Ice Dance team of Reed and Reed skated their Short Dance to "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" wearing these costumes above. The bright pink and shiny fabric of her dress was a bit much. Both look like performers at Disneyland putting on a show for ten year olds. Kooky enough to make it on this list, for sure.

Reed and Reed AGAIN--These two get the prize for "Two-for-Two Kooky Costumes" since they also made this list here for what they wore for their Free Dance. They skated to Selections from "The Beatles", and they went pop-art 60's Mod (well, she did!). I liked these looks for use of bold color and can't-take-my-eyes-off-of-them costume bravura. Yet...they are just a little on the side of tacky-licious. And also, it seems that because of Cathy's outlandish dress, Chris got the short end of the (costume) stick, and just got a white dress shirt, black pants and a tie. She's a Kooky TEN, him...a 5.5. 

Ekaterina Pushkash and Jonathan Guerreiro: Russia:  These two Ice Dance pair skated their Short Dance to Cirque du Soleil's Quidam "Marelle" and "Zydeko" (naturally!) and they wore some of the quirkiest and colorful get-ups of the year. They were TOTALLY reminiscent of the...

 Gloriously bedazzled swimsuits worn by the Gold Medal-winning Russian Synchronized Swimming Duet of Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina (above photo)

Maé Bérénice Méité: France--Maé Bérénice skated her Short Program in 2012 to "1001 Nights" and yes kids, this gold Cleopatra-inspired costume above is what she wore. The entire time I kept thinking she should have skated to Whitney Houston's "Queen of the Night" from "the Bodyguard" instead.
 
Julia Lipnitskaia Russia--Oh little Julia! This fourteen year old is a whippersnapper on the ice--she's like a Russian Tara Lipinski! Lipnitskaia wore the costume above for her Short Program to "Sabre Dance" (modern arrangement) by Khachaturian during this year's Grand Prix. The music evokes a whirling war dance in an Armenian dance where the dancers display their skills with sabres. Her costume evokes feelings of "Oh Dear!". I'm not a fan of the unitard for figure skating and this one looks like a bad Josephine Baker Halloween costume. It's just too kooky, for Julia and the music she skated to.

Joshi Helgesson Sweden--Take a guess what music this lovely lady from Sweden skated to. If you guessed Cirque du Soleil, you were right (there's NO WAY this was from "Swan Lake"! LOL!). Yes, the beautiful Helgesson skated to "Mystere" and "Taiko" from Cirque du Soleil and the costume perfectly reflected this, working seamlessly with the music. But, yes, it was AL THINGS Kooky. And I kinda liked it! 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--and to that I would answer "Ya Think???"

Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy: Germany--These two take the Prize for Kookiest of All Kookiest Pairs Costumes for 2012, for BOTH their Short Program and Free Skate. For their Short Dance to "Kismet" by Bond. She wore a predominantly red multicolored unitard with a swirly illusion torso and choker/mock-neck detail. He wore a darker unitard with the Gay Rainbow Flag splattered on half his torso and legs. It made NO SENSE. And I swear that in the close-up images you could see PUFFY PAINT! Yes, PUFFY PAINT. It was so wack-a-do out there, I kinda liked it!

And for their Season 2012-2013 Long Program to "Flamenco Bolero" they also went Figure Skating Wack-a-do as you can see from the two photos above. Robin wore another unitard so it's a good guess that he probably LOVES untitards--or showing off his perfect physique via a unitard. These costumes were like a Costume Tribute to Spanish Catalan artist Joan Miró-meets-Cirque du Soleil. I guess the color-splattered print in their costumes was very Miró for sure and that's about as "Spanish"--or Catalan--as it got! I give them points for MAJORLY stepping outside the costume box but...after a while all that kookiness becomes quite distracting to their performance and skate.


***Next Up: The Best Pageant Gowns of 2012!! Oh yes kids, get your Tiaras and Sashes ready!

1 comments:

Elizabeth Roberts said...

I love the colors of Savchenko/Szolkowy's original Kismet costumes but I think they could have used a little less nude illusion fabric and even more of the bright colors.

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