Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Nebraska Gets Men-Dazzled:

The Top Four: (Left to right) Silver Medalist Ross Miner, Gold Medalist Max Aaron, Bronze Medalist Jeremy Abbott and Pewter Medalist Joshua Farris pose on the winner's stand after the Men's Free Skate competition during the 2013 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the CenturyLink Center on January 27, 2013 in Omaha, Nebraska

Last week and weekend (from January 19-January 27th), were the 2013 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships--or US Nationals of Figure Skating for short. They occurred at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Medals were awarded in the disciplines of Men's singles, Ladies singles, Pairs skating, and Ice Dancing at the senior, junior and novice levels. For the first time, the event was expanded to include juvenile and intermediate level competitions, previously held at a separate event.


The results are part of the criteria used for the 2013 World Junior Championships, 2013 Four Continents Championships and 2013 World Championships. In other words, these US Championships were like the "Miss USA" pageant selecting who gets to go to "Miss Universe". Leave it to me to find a away to put Figure Skating AND Beauty pageants in one BLOG posting!

Chroreographer Lori Nichol and three-time U.S. Champion Figure Skater Rudy Galindo get inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame Class of 2013--2013 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships, CenturyLink Center Omaha, Nebraska.
Now, let's get to the Good Stuff: The Costumes! As you know, I love discussing all things Figure Skating Costumes--and from the page views/visits I get here on NICKVERREOS.COM, I guess someone else likes reading it...so let's begin with the Men of the U.S. Nationals 2013--Now, I have  already discussed several of these costumes throughout  the season last year when these skaters competed in various competitions so I'm sure if you Google my name and the skaters names and the word "Costumes", you'll find something I've said about them and their ensembles. For sure. With that...Here are my Costume High-lights (and some low): 

Adam Rippon--I just wanted to highlight Adam Rippon's look for his Short Program to Giacomo Puccini's "Nessum Dorma". I think last year when he debuted this, I wasn't a 100 % fan. And I'm still not. I would say, I'm about 60% there. I like the ombre coloring effect on the shirt and the delicate sprinkles of crystals at the collar, shoulders and below the elbow at the sleeves. But I just wished he would have made the costume look more "complete" rather than just slapping a pair of black pants on to go with it. A suggestion would be to maybe add a stripe of color matching the shirt at the side-seams of the pants--with crystals of course. SOMETHING. On a good note, the haircut is sooo cute and becoming on him (he used to be a "curly/moppy" top of a fellow!).

Jason Brown-- For his Short program at the U.S. Nationals 2013, he skated to "The Question of U" by Prince. You cannot skate to Prince and not wear something that has A) Ruffles, B) Asymmetry and C) Look slightly "Kooky Baroque". And Jason hit all of these points, so for that I give him my "Nick Costume Credit". Now, if I can just find some hair-cutting scissors...

Jeremy Abbott--I have discussed Jeremy's Short Program costume to "Spy" extensively HERE back on my Skate America 2012 post. I LOVE this--he looks like a super hipster secret spy in this--Love the shoulder holster and fingerless gloves. He looks HOT.

For Jeremy's Long Program costume to "Bring Him Home" from "Les Miserables", I was bored beyond belief. In my Skate America 2012 post, I said this: "I am bored of seeing so many black/brown pants...the costume is still a very integral part of one's performance and while I get that this one is depressing and serious, the costume doesn't have to be depressing also; a beige shirt and brown pants? Jeremy, please, I want to see just a little bit more". Yep, I said that. I do like that the pants are super-tight and accentuate his super-muscled legs. Yes, I also said that.

Joshua Farris--Joshua got the Pewter Medal (they give out Pewters at the U.S. Nationals, kids). For his Long Program to "Piano Concerto no. 2 in C Minor, op. 18: Allegro Scherzando" by Van Cliburn. His costume was designed by Figure Skating Costume extraordinaire, Pat Pearsall (she also designed some of my favorite costumes worn by figure skater Agnes Zawadzki). I absolutely LOVED this. The top is magical, to say the least. It keeps the interest up top with the blaze of bright blue color and the silver crystal detail. It almost seemed like a Bird of Paradise was on his shoulders and neck--helping him with his skate.

Ross Miner--For his Short Program, Ross skated to "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" by Sergei Rachmaninoff wearing this royal blue and black costume. This was a Costume Change (Mon Diue!) from what he wore back in November of last year at the NHK Trophy 2012 when he wore this:

Back then I commented that it was a bit "Captain Kirk of Star Trek" but I liked the color blocking--a big 2012-2013 Fashion Trend. I do like the change however. The color blocking is still there but the color has been punched up and I really admire the black sequined cuff and neckline band detail. A definite change for the better.

I also liked the costume Ross wore to his Long Program to "Captain Blood" by Erich Korngold. I reviewed it HERE. I'm usually NOT a fan of the "Ross Dress For Less" belts a lot of these male skaters wear to cinch their pants, but here this is not just any belt, it looks "Costume-y" and something that goes with the theme and music. Both his costumes, by the way, were designed by Chase Tyler, The Work Room Productions.

Max Aaron--Gold Medal winner Max Aaron, skated his Short Program to "Tron: Legacy" by Daft Punk. I liked his costume because it completely reflected the film and the costumes seen in it. He still looked modern and had enough Figure Skating Costume" stage presence. 

For his Free Skate/Long Program to Music from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, in which he landed TWO quads and won his first US Figure Skating Championships title, he wore this above. At first glance I thought, "boy this is sooo uninteresting", and wondered if this was his "practice outfit" . But then, I quickly realized that Max went the traditional musical theater route and wore almost an exact copy of the look worn by George Chakiris who played "Bernardo" in the 1961 Movie Musical "West Side Story":

So, I get what he was going for but still think it is a bit of a miss. For a skating costume it would have been almost impossible to directly translate the "period" aspect of the film character to the ice and make it look interesting. Hence, the practice outfit aspect to the entire look. In these situations I think he should have abandoned the need to be so literal in translation and been a bit more original in his approach.

 Max Aaron realizing he just won the Gold. Congrats!

**Up Next: The Ladies Costume Recap of the U.S. Championships of Figure Skating!

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