Saturday, January 11, 2014
 Gracie Gold at the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships, TD Garden Boston Massachusetts

This week and through the weekend are the all-important U.S. Nationals of Figure Skating--or more formally--the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships. I've been happy to have attended two of them in the last few years. The 2014 Championships decides who will get to go to the World Championships and so on...but it is especially important this year since it will also serve as the selection criteria for who goes to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

This year's United States Figure Skating Championships is taking place at TD Garden in Boston Massachusetts and from looking at the YouTube and TV feeds...it seems like it is an (almost) sold out event (Thank goodness--at least for the sponsors and venue organizers!). Now, let's get to the important stuff (at least for me) and that's the FASHION and Costumes.


First up, I want to discuss the LADIES and PAIRS Short Program Costumes:

Ashley Wagner, Short Program: I love Ashley's costume to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd". It is a black and silver sequined look with a halter neckline with black sheer panels at the neckline and sides. It looks expensive and well-made--as it should be since she is one of the top female figure skaters for the US. I especially love the sprinkle of crystals at the neck that mimic a diamond necklace.

Agnes Zawadzki, Short Program: For her SP, Agnes skated to Selections from the Sex and the City 2 soundtrack by Aaron Zigman. Her costume is designed by Pat Pearsall. If we remember, the film "sex and the City 2" is all about the girls going to Abu Dhabi and the shenanigans that ensure while they are there. It is no surprise, therefore, that this costume has an overt Near East influence with its deep lilac color, the sequin work and silhouette as well--she's like "Scheherazade of Figure Skating".

Rachael Flatt, Short Program: Rachael skated her SP to "Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber. While I really appreciate the deep ombre gray/lilac color and Art Deco-like sequin work of this costume, I think it might be just a tad too short.

Hannah Miller Short Program: When I first saw Hannah and this costume, I said to myself "I hope she's skating to Firebird" and yep, she did--Music from The Firebird by Igor Stavinsky, to be more specific. The costume, which was designed by Elena Pollack, is very impacting and colorful but I do think it might be two seconds from looking a bit garish with the bright tomato red and shocking canary yellow. I think there are other ways of creating a Firebird costume but not making it look so harsh and gaudy. Take a look at Japanese figure skater Tatsuki Machida for inspiration. It might just be about toning the colors down one notch.

Gracie Gold, Short Program: Gracie Gold skated her SP to "Piano Concerto" by Edvard Grieg. The costume was designed by Gale Johnson and Denise Gold and I LOVE it! It's elegant, classic but with a sexy "red carpet' edge and also works really well with her music and program; it's like a "mini-me" gown one could see at a late 19th Century/early 20th Century Ball in Europe. I also realized that this is a COSTUME CHANGE for Gracie and her entire Short Program...

Gracie Costume Change: This snazzy "Liza Minelli on Ice" costume above is what she last wore for her previous Short Program at the NHK Trophy 2013 in Japan back in November.Many speculated that when she switched coaches and went to Frank Carroll, he would change her entire short program. And he did! Plus the costume! Obviously, since she is in 1st Place after the Short, it was a good decision all around.

Polina Edmunds, Short Program: On her debut in the Senior level, Polina skated her SP to "Pink Cherries Cha-Cha-Cha," "Besame Mucho" and "Another Cha-Cha" by Ballroom Orchestra. The costume is designed by Lilya Dukler and I think it's pretty fabulous! I love the light lemon yellow color, the "shredded" skirt and emphasis on the neckline and all those panels in the torso. I especially like how no "costume stone was left unturned" in that it is a complete look; the hairstyle, details in the hair...it is all in synch with the rest of the costume. Very nice!

Pairs Short Program Costumes:
Marissa Castelli and Simon Schnapir Short Program: Castelli and Schnapir skated their SP to "Black Magic Woman" and "Smooth" by Carlos Santana. The costumes were designed by Yumi Nakamura and Paul Ginandes. I think these are nice and well-thought out in their execution and small details, such as her "corseting" sequins, the sheer panels highlighting her torso/midriff. And the back of her costume is Fab-u-lous! I also like that the same sequin detail that is on her costume was used in Simon's costume (in his shirt's neckline). I always like it when the pair look as if they belong together--costume-wise.

Alexa Scimeca and Christopher Knierim Short Program: For their SP to "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" by Michel Legrand (a very popular music choice this season for EVERYONE it seems!), Scimeca and Knierim wore these ombre--almost tie dye lilac costumes designed by Elena Pollack. As I said in my previous commentary on Castelli and Schnapir, I LOVE when the pairs are in synch, costume-wise and here they definitely are! I also appreciate the asymmetrical lines that are used in Alexa's costume...notice how the costume designer subtly added a similar asymmetrical line to Christopher's top.

DeeDee Leng and Timothy LeDuc Short Program: Leng and LeDuc skated their SP to "The Last Temptation of Christ" by Peter Gabriel. While these two may not have the costume budget of some of the so-called top pairs skaters, I still think their costumes were quite effective. Yes, when I saw her's up close on my super duper HD 60" TV screen, I could notice some wonkyness here and there but...I did like the overall silhouette and the strong geometric lines. I also thought the back of hers was quite interesting and liked the subtle inclusion of her royal blue/purple coloring in his costume (on his back, above photo).

Caydee Denney and John Coughlin Short Program: Denney and Coughlin skated their SP to "Tosca" by Giacomo Puccini. Her red and muted orange one-shoulder costume is a bit "showgirl"/Miss USA contestant in its design. But I do think it is one of the better costumes Caydee has worn over the years and the color is fantastic on her. I also like that John's costume included subtle sequin coloring highlights that let you know he belonged with her.

Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier Short Program: I really liked these costumes Denney and Frazier wore for their SP to "Malagueña" by Ernesto Lecuona. The costumes are fiery, hot, sexy and hint at the Latin history of the music.  I'm especially happy just to see the guy be so "out there" in terms of his costume (trust me kids, this is "out there" when you see what the guys usually like to wear--a white dress shirt, black pants and a "Ross Dress For less" belt).

Gretchen Donlon and Andrew Speroff Short Program: For their SP to "Meditation" from Thais by Jules Massenet, Donlon and Speroff wore these costumes, designed by Yumi Barnett-Nakamura. It's not every day one sees a bodysuit/jumpsuit on a woman in figure skating and normally it's not well-received. I like the fact that they look different from everyone else. The sequin applique work looks interesting on her costume and I appreciate that he also has the same type of sequin work on his costume, at the V-neck.

***NEXT UP: The MEN and ICE DANCE Short Program Costume Highlights of the 2014 U.S. Nationals of Figure Skating.

1 comments:

sk8cynic said...

Gracie Gold's traffic-stopping red SP dress is quite reminiscent of the gorgeous red dress Julia Roberts wore to the opera in Pretty Woman. All that was missing was the diamond and heart-shaped ruby necklace Richard Gere draped around her neck.

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