Saturday, February 15, 2014
 Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Men's Figure Skating Competition--Iceberg Skating Palace, Sochi Russia

These last few days were the Men's Figure Skating competitions at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia. The MEN competed in Short and Long (Free Skate) Programs to see who would eventually get the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Normally there is a lot of DRAMA associated with figure skating and particularly the LADIES (Hello Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan!) but this time, all the DRAMA was on the MEN. And I'm not even talking about some of the KRAZEE costumes...
Case in point:
 Misha Ge of Uzbekistan: LOVE HIM!!!

 Of course I'll talk about those as well. First, congratulations to the Top Three medalists:
 Top Three: (left to right) Silver medalist Patrick Chan of Canada, gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan and bronze medalist Denis Ten of Kazakhstan--Iceberg Skating Palace Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi Russia

Now, the DRAMA:
Ummm, It's Not Happening: Three-time World Champion, 2006 Olympic gold medalist, 2002 and 2010 Olympic silver medalist, 2014 Olympic team gold medalist, and so on and so forth...a Figure Skating DIVA...injured his back and right before skating his Short Program to Moulin Rouge "Tango de Roxanne" and a Ukrainian song "Taka yak ti", he skated to the judges and bowed out of the competition. He was going to be THE STAR of these Olympics (or at least one of them) and a huge sense of pride for "Mother Russia". It was a big DRAMATIC moment and a huge shock. Half the stadium emptied out. The mostly Russian audience in attendance weren't there to see any one else and now that he wasn't skating, it was time to get some pirozhki's and shots of vodka, and call it a day I guess.

Evgeni Plushenko of Russia: This above is what he wore for his never-skated Short Program. I liked this costume, it's not over-the-top per se (wait for those below!) and still packs a good dramatic and sparkle punch. I love how the red crystals are concentrated by his heart and the asymmetrical line of his front panel illusion. And I also appreciate that it's a complete costume as opposed to just a top with a pair of pants and a mismatched "Ross Dress-For-Less" belt (keep scrolling below for those darlings!).
Costume Score: 8.5/10

More Drama:
Ouch: Soon after Evgeni Plushenko shocked all of Russia--and the world--by pulling out of the Men's Short Program and the Olympics altogether, Jeremy Abbott of the U.S. began his skate and crashed into the padded wall. It was INCREDIBLE to watch and to hear the gasps from the half-empty stadium...How do say "What the Hailllllll?????" in Russian? It looked utterly painful and I am sure it was. But Abbott--like a Phoenix Rising From The (Ice) Ashes, recovered and with the crowd's support competed his skate beautifully. Now, onto his costumes:

Jeremy Abbott of the U.S., Short Program to "Lilies of the Valley" from the Pina sountrack by Jun Miyake--I love this music and besides the fact that after such a devastating fall, he continued on to do a triumphant skate, this Elise Fife-designed costume--which consisted of a plum-colored shirt and black pants was subtle, quietly elegant and right for the music and skate. Normally I am not a fan of the black pants-and-shirt look on male figure skaters (it's like, can you try a little harder!!??) but I think this costume was right for this program. Abbott is not known for his flashy costumes or flashy skating for that matter so I know that this above, plus what he wore below, reflect just the kind of guy he is, in terms of his taste and fashion.
Costume Score: 7/10

Jeremy Abbott of the U.S., Free Skate to "Exogenesis Symphony Part III (Redemption)" by Muse--Abbott wore an all black (with gold metallic accents) costume for his Free Skate, also designed by Elise Fife, which reflected the music quite well. I like the metallic fabric "blocking" on the top and the pleather waistband. At least he didn't just throw on a "Ross Dress-For-Less belt, thank you very much!
Costume Score: 7.5/10

Abzal Rakimgaliev of Kazakhstan, Short Program to Swing Medley by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: Oh Abzal--he is loving his suspenders as you can see from the pics above. I don't remember the last time a male figure skater used his suspenders as a "prop" of sorts for their skating program...and Abzal of Kazakhstan did, continuously. The suspenders began criss-crossed and then went all over the place with his skate. If there's one thing I can say is that at least it distracted me from having to look at that eye-scorching Pepto-Bismol colored shirt.
Costume Score: 4.5/10

Michael Christian Maritinez of the Philippines, Short Program to Romeo and Juliet by Nino Rota--Philipinne's only competitior at Sochi, Michael Christian struggled to get funding and in fact his parents had mortgaged the family home to pay for his skating. When asked why he fell in love with figure skating in a land where there is no winter, Martinez explains, “I got fascinated by Tonya Harding". How much do I love this boy! Tonya Harding! Anyhow...His costume: for his Short Program, Michael Christian wore a sequined and gold braided black and white outfit donated by Tania Bass, a well-known figure skating designer in New York who saw his Facebook plea for proper Olympic attire. The costume was beautiful, bold and just right for "Romeo and Juliet". I really love how most--if not all--the interest is kept up top. Well done!
Costume Score: 9/10

Michael Christian Maritinez of the Philippines, Free Skate to Malaguena by Ernesto Lecuona--This costume, also created (and donated) by Tania Bass featured black top and pants with silver, red and lilac-colored crystals. I liked the heavily beaded waistband and matching sleeve hems. This didn't have the "Period Costume" effect of his Short Program, but it didn't need to since it would not be appropriate with the music.
Costume Score: 7.5/10

Alexander Majorov of Sweden, Short Program to Khorobushko by Bond: H&M created his costume above for Russian-born Majorov. The music has Russian elements and therefore his wine-red colored costume reflects this. I like the intricacy and detail in the torso and neckline trim and appreciate, yet again, that it's a head-to-toe look/jumpsuit.

Florent Amodio of France, Short Program to La Cumparsita arranged by Sebastien Damiani, F. Larage--Two words: Plunging neckline. I'm surprised that this wasn't designed by American Apparel (famous for their deep plunging v-necklines). I love a plunging neckline but I think this is even too plunging. I do like the scroll-like applique trim around the neckline and the bright color. 
Costume Score: 6.8/10

This was a change in color from what he wore...
...for the Figure Skating Team Competition Short Program the previous week. Same costume, different color.

Florent Amnodio of France, Free Skate to Under The Moon by Sebastien Damiani, F. Larage
Happy by C2C, La vie en rose by Louis Armstrong, Quand je vois tes yeux by Dany Brillant--
I liked this complete look of a costume from Amodio. It was fun, quirky and sharp. He obviously likes TIGHT (as we can see from the fit of his shirt), and the red pop of color in his bow tie and suspenders is great! Thank goodness he didn't play with the suspenders like you-know-who from Kazakhstan.

Costume Score: 8/10

And by the way, the bow tie-and-suspenders costume was a change (also in color way) from what we saw him wear at the 2014 ISU European Championships in January in Budapest Hungary. His shirt was a neon blue and suspenders were sequined and a deep plum/purple.

Kevin Reynolds of Canada, Free Skate to Excelsius (soundtrack) by Larry Groupe--The music is from a docudrama about a missionary. The music is epic and breathtaking. The costume, is from Disney show of "I, Claudius". I like the bright colors and gold accents but I just think it looks a bit like a cheap costume one would buy from a Hollywood Blvd Halloween shop.
Costume Score: 4/10

Peter Liebers of Germany, Free Skate to Who Wants to Live Forever performed by David Garrett, Smells Like Teen Spirit performed by David Garrett: Speaking of Disney, Peter looks like a waiter at a Disneyland restaurant. That's all I have to say. Not a fan of this. At all.
Costume Score: 3.5/10

Viktor Romanenkov of Estonia, Free Skate to Carmen by Georges Bizet: Of course this costume above is what he wore to skate to "Carmen". It is very referential to that iconic opera. Even though skaters have skated to this A MILLION TIMES and worn A MILLION variations on the costume to wear for that skate, I still liked this; it was an elegant and chic Toreador. I especially want to highlight the gorgeous gold embroidered shoulder accents and red cummerbund. I also appreciate the little details such as his black sleeves with red and silver accents.

Brian Joubert of France, Short Program to Mutation (from "Amaluna") by Cirque du Soleil: I cannot STAND this. It is a MUTATION for sure in terms of a costume. I am so not a fan of a very sparkled costume-y top that which is then worn with black pants and a "Ross Dress-For-Less"-like belt. It is unfinished. Why didn't the costume designer just create a complete look/jumpsuit. Maybe because Brian did not want one. Well, then tough luck buddy! This is a half-done costume in my book. 
Costume Score: 4.8/10

Denis Ten of Kazakhstan, Free Skate to The Young Lady and the Hooligan by Dmitri Shostakovich: I thought this was a very nice costume for Denis and his program--which garnered him the bronze. I liked this one better than what he worn for his Short Program and therefore this is why I am mentioning it. The white with gold trim shirt, black high-waisted pants and red loose tie look is polished, fits well and complete. And FYI, if he were ever to change his music to "Les Misérables", this costume could totally work for that too!
Costume Score: 9/10

Daisuke Takahashi of Japan, Free Skate to Yesterday by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Come Together by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Friends and Lovers by George Martin, In My Life by by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Presto (The Long and Winding Road) by John Lennon, Paul McCartney: This costume above is simply stunning; one of the loveliest ones at the Olympics. Daisuke wears a violet colored draped chiffon top with beautiful crystal work that radiates from one shoulders and then spreads throughout. I especially love the "peek-a-boo" under-top that is heavily silver sequined at the shoulder, exposing some fabulousness.
Costume Score: 9.5/10

Javier Fernandez of Spain, Short Program to Satan Takes a Holiday by Larry Clinton: Javier wore this bold and very printed costume for his Short Program. I've discussed this costume before HERE. In terms of the music and his program, I think it works albeit it is "out there". I like the way the colors of the flag of Spain were incorporated into the collar and sleeve button placket (a suggestion of his coach Brian Orser); it's all about the details.
Costume Score: 7.8/10

Speaking of details...
The sides were changed in the costume--above is what we saw for his Short Program at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and below... what it was before--Side panels of oversized houndstooth costume worn at the 2013 ISU Rostelecom Cup/Cup of Russia in November 2013. I like the change. It's more subtle and less "Graphic-licious".

Tatsuki Machida of Japan, Free Skate to Firebird by Igor Stravinski: I give Tatsuki points for being bold and very costume-y with his skating fashion; this is what grabs my (good) costume attention. The Japanese skaters tend to "bring it" when it comes to costumes, thank goodness. This look for "Firebird", however is not my favorite for Machida. I would have been happier if he had worn the costume he wore for the Figure Skating Team Competition last week for his Free Skate:

Much Better...Taksuki Machida of Japan preforming his Free Skate during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Team Competition Men's Free Skate--this costume is more refined and I love the feather accents

Misha Ge of Uzbekistan, Short Program to Still Got Blues, Still Got Rock by Gary Moore: This pumpkin orange and black costume is a HOT "Blades of Glory" mess...and I LOVE it! The blindly-bright color and graphic contrast of the black and silver sequins can, admittedly, even make someone like Johnny Weir blush, but I am happy that a skater is "bringing it" and not boring me with their costumes. It's tacky-licious but Thank Goodness; it's a total look and no detail is missing--the studded gloves, the red hair...this boy is not a costume wallflower.
Costume Score: 8.8/10

Misha Ge, Free Skate to World Dance Collection: Neo Tango (Tango by Gotan Project), Rhumba d'Amour, Libella Swing by Parov Stelar, Tutti Frutti (Rock'n'Roll): Misha did not disspaoint with what he wore for his Free Skate. This was like Evgeni Plushenko's costume ON (sequin) CRACK! It's very Cirque du Soleil Wrong and still I have to smile that this boy is going for it. I would have probably taken it down a couple notches but I have a feeling that Misha's costume theme is "More Is More".
Costume Score: 7.5/10

Paul Bonifacio Parkinson of Italy, Short Program to Wolfgang's 5th Symphony by Wolfgang Gartner: I thought this was a very impacting costume for Paul but did he really think it was necessary to add those gold applique to the side of his pants? Let me answer that: No. I liked the emerald green and black netting over-layer top and that's where he should have left it at--in terms of this costume.
Costume Score: 7/10

Jason Brown of the U.S., Free Skate to Reel Around the Sun by Bill Whelan: Jason skated his "River Dance"-themed Free Skate which has now garnered like MILLIONS of YouTube views wearing this emerald green and black costume designed and created by Elena Pollack. It's A LOT. But, it works perfectly for this performance, skate and music. He's a sequined Leprechaun On Ice!
Costume Score: 7.5/10

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, Free Skate to Romeo and Juliet by Nino Rota--Yuzuru Hanyu, who won the gold medal at last night's Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, wore this ensemble above. It was designed by Johnny Weir--yes, THE Johnny Weir. I love me some Johnny but this is a little bit of a mess. When I first saw this costume--several competitions ago--I kind of liked it. But now, with closer "Olympic" inspection, I have to rethink my costume critique. There's little rhyme or reason to the white and black ombre and then the multicolored crystals and it has little to do with "Romeo and Juliet". I liked Michael Christian Martinez of the Philippines' costume much better for this same music. I do like the fact that there are asymmetrical lines in the design which keeps the look (at the very least) interesting, but it just seems a bit all over the place. In the end, that didn't matter since he got the gold...
Costume Score: 6.5/10

Congratulations Yuzuru!

**Next Up on Ice Style: The Ladies!!!


rebchen2013 said...

hi! i was looking up more information about yuzuru's costume because i actually heard that the color of the sequins on his costume have some significance. he's supposedly a little superstitious (hence the small ritual he always performs before he skates to give him balance) but i think he heard that the colors emerald and red were supposed to bring him good luck. just wanted to let you know!

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