Monday, March 31, 2014
Diamonds and Pink Panther: USA's Ashley Wagner (Ladies) and Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy (Pairs) at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2014, Saitama Japan

Last week--and weekend (beginning on March 24 and ending yesterday) was the final big international Figure Skating competition of the season--the 2014 ISU World Figure Skating Championships. This very important event in figure skating is usually a BIG deal, were it not for the fact that, well, the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics had just occurred last month.

So, needless to say, some of the "top stars" of figure skating decided to "skip it": Including Gold and Silver Medal winning Ice Dance teams Davis and White from the U.S., and Virtue and Moir from Canada. Ladies Gold Medalist from Russia Adelina Sotnikova and Silver Medalist Patrick Chan also did not attend. But there were still a lot of A-List skaters, making it a good competition. These 2014 World Championships occurred at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan to a very fan-tastic crowd (Gotta Luv Japan!).

Costume Change--Canada's Duhamel and Radford (Pairs)

Most the costumes the skaters wore were the same costumes they have been wearing throughout the season, but there were some "Costume Changes" including Canada's Pairs Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford who wore different costumes for their Short Program and Akiko Suzuki going back to a previous SP costume as well as some others...
So here's a photo recap of some of my fave Ladies and Pairs (plus some Costume Changes) from the 2014 ISU World Figure Skating Championships:

Akiko Suzuki of Japan, Short Program: Akiko wore this purple costume to her SP to "Hymme a L'Amour" by Marguerite Monnot. I've said before that it's A LOT, and maybe in need of applique editing. It's still a nice color for her. She DID NOT wear this to the Sochi Olympics for her Short Program and instead, she opted for this red costume...

Akiko at Sochi 2014 Short Program Costume: I liked this red costume much more. The neckline sequined beading is INCREDIBLE.

Carolina Kostner of Italy, Short Program to "Ave Maria" by Franz Schubert: The sky blue colored costume featured a "plunging" neckline (in illusion) with gorgeously strewn sequins throughout. It was beautiful, classic and "Ice Princess" perfect. Her skate was almost like a religious experience; the music, the skate, the costume...she seemed Angelic.

Mao Asada of Japan, Short Program to "Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9, No. 2" by Frederic Chopin: I liked this lavender costume from Asada; the front bust gathered drape was original and the sweetheart neckline caviar beading looked expensive. I also appreciated the ombre dying effect in her costume.

Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia Short Program to "You Don't Give Up on Love" by Mark Minkov: I thought this was a very nice costume for Julia and this program. I loved the deep violet blue and baby blue combination and the torso/bodice sequin work looked beautiful. My favorite detail of this costume were the back straps that were beautiful.

Gracie Gold of the U.S., Short Program 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. The off-the-shoulder look seems very "Moulin Rouge"-like as well.

Ashley Wagner of the U.S, , Short Program to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" by Pink Floyd: The costume featured black stretch chiffon, double-layer "skirt" and panels with silver crystal trimmed details. I really liked this costume because it really reflected the theme of her music. I especially loved the various sizes of the jeweled crystals and how the neck detail looked like a built-in diamond necklace.

Juulia Turkkila of Finland, Short Program to "Firebird" by Igor Stravinski: I don't think I've ever commented on this costume for Juulia. So, here it goes: I think it's kinda fabulous! The colors are great and "Firebird" appropriate. Is it a bit "Cirque du Soleil"? Yes, and reminiscent of something I've seen at the Olympics Synchronized Swimming? Yep, that too. But I like it.

Joshi Helgesson of Sweden, Short Program to  "Mystere" and "Taiko" from Cirque du Soleil: Joshi wore a different costume than what she wore to this program back in the 2012-2013 Season (photo on the right at Trophee Eric Bompard 2012). I liked the change! It was subtle but good. The colors are vibrant and effective and instead of the "sweetheart" neckline,m she went for a one-shoulder silhouette. She did keep the "petal" skirt but changed the hem slightly.

Netta Schreiber of Israel, Short Program to "Take Five" by Dave Brubeck: I have never discussed Netta and so I thought it was fitting to talk about her and this jumpsuit. First off: it's rare to see a jumpsuit/bodysuit. Netta wore a stretch black one with deep lilac strap accents with silver crystals. This is interesting but more fitting for a "warm up". Just saying.

Pairs Costumes Highlights:
Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany, Short Program to Henry Manicini's soundtrack to "The Pink Panther". Aliona's costume featured a blindingly bright pink color and a silver crystal stripe down the top portion. Her boots were even covered in the same Lycra pink fabrication. I've discussed these costume many, many times and I just think they are fun, colorful and very, very effective. They have now become ICONIC. Seriously. 

Savchenko and Szolkowy, Free Skate to "The Nutcracker" by Petr I. Tchaikovsky: Their costumes were visions of the "Sugar Plum Fairy" and the Nutcracker prince. They were a bit "Costume 101" in terms of their designs and execution. I would have loved something more refined and Couture-worthy. But it's hard to critique the 5 time World Champions!

Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov of Russia, Free Skate to Music from The Addams Family soundtrack by Marc Shaiman: While I appreciated the bold choices, I thought this was a confusing Pairs Costume look. Fedor looked very Gomez Adams "kooky" in his costume yet Ksenia looked as if she was skating to "Carmen". Her costume was so sleek and simple, as compared to his. For once, the MAN stood out more than the female and yet, it didn't work. And to add: there is NOTHING of Morticia Adams in her look. I did like how elegant and clean her costume looked, but it was for a different skate. 

Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay of the USA--Short Program and Free Dance: Between these two costumes, I liked the Free Dance to Music from Les Miserables by Claude-Michel Schonberg (right). The costumes designed by Dawn Imperatore and James Peterson. These costumes were very "Les Miserables" and unless you were in a COMA you would obviously recognize that. Their Short Program costumes to "Carousel Waltz" to Rodgers and Hammerstein (left) was "Ehhh". Zhang's pink "heart" applique costume looked too "Todlers & Tiaras" and his looked like what a guy would have worn in 1998 at a dance club.

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada, Short Program to "Tribute" by Eric Radford. Eric wrote this music and in terms of their costumes, they changed (Thanksss Godsss!) In past competitions, they had worn the ones on the right; to begin, Eric's was a bit of a yawn but on a plus side, it fit him very snugly showing off his very athletic build. Meagan, on the other hand (and Thank Goodness) wore a softly draped cowl front, fluttery skirt and sequined torso with a very unfortunate hairstyle. All this changed for what they wore for last week's 2014 ISU World Figure Skating Championships. She wore a silver costume that showed off her very toned arms and his was an all-black look. Which one do you guys liked best?

Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres, Short Program to Minnie the Moocher by Cab Calloway, Jumpin' Jack by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: These costumes were a Costume Change from what they had worn at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Above is the "new" costumes. James wore a red with black trim halter costume and Cipres donned a silver and black sequined plunging neckline long sleeve shirt with black pants. These costumes were a Costume Change from what they had worn at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: 

Purple Queen and "Jazzy Vest" King...Which ones do you guys like the best?  I am definitely a fan of the new costumes worn at Worlds. Red for Vanessa and plunging for Morgan...a hard combination to beat!

**Next Up: The 2014 ISU World Figure Skating Costumes--The MEN and ICE DANCE!


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