Monday, October 27, 2014
Top Three Pairs: (L to R): Brandon Frazier, Haven Denney of the USA (Silver), Yuko Kavaguti, Alexander Smirnov of Russia (Gold), Cheng Peng and Hao Zhang of China (Bronze), 2014 Hilton HHonors Skate America medals podium, Sears Centre Arena

Finishing my Costumes Recap for this weekend's first Grand Prix of Figure Skating--2014 Hilton HHonors Skate America--it's now time to discuss the PAIRS and ICE DANCE costume highlights. Let's begin with...

PAIRS:
Madeline Aaron and Max Settlage of the USA, Short Program to Music from Coppelia by Léo Delibes--The famous ballet, "Coppelia" (some photos of the ballet's costumes above) revolves around a lifelike dancing doll invented by Dr. Coppelius. I think these costumes on Aaron and Settlage worked with the tradition of the ballet, especially hers. I liked the pointed "corset"-like imageery created from the bodice's sequin work; and the light blue color was pretty and delicate. His costume, however, seemed straight out of a "mom's arts-and-crafts sewing room"; it looked a little "happy hands at home". Poor guys, why do they always get the bad end of the costume deal!

Annabelle Prölß and Ruben Blommaert of Germany, Short Program to "O Mi Babbino Caro" by Giacomo Puccini--I thought these costumes were OK, but just that. There was nothing extraordinary about them. I liked the heavy-to-light sequin work in the bodice of hers and how his shirt matched hers but it all seemed rather dated and "Figure Skating Costume 101".

Haven Denny and Brandon Frazier of the USA, Short Program to "Speak Softly My Love" by Andy Williams--Denny and Frazier used this "vocal" soundtrack of Andy Williams' song, which is the Love Theme from The Godfather. It makes sense that Frazier looks semi-mafia like in his dark costume and iridescent taffeta vest while Denny is the fiery love conquest. She seemed maybe a tad bit too "Carmen" for me but I think both costumes worked for this music.

Long Program to "Pride Rock" by Hans Zimmer--The music, of course, is from "The Lion King" and therefore the costumes--especially his, reflected a more African tribal vibe with the tunic shape and neckline bead work. I actually loved these costumes. Her neckline beading is stunning! The costumes were designed by Elena Pollack and Kudos for a fabulous job!


Cheng Peng and Hao Zhang of China, Short Program to "The Nutcracker" Danse Arabe  by Peter I. Tchaikovsky--Ranked sixth in the World, Peng and Zhang skated  to the "Arabian Dance" from Tchaikovsky's iconic "The Nutcracker". I liked the color separation created by his and her costumes (his, royal blue, hers, lipstick red). I also enjoyed her snake-like sequin applique detail on the one shoulder costume. These were Near East-like costumes that at the very least, shined onstage and helped their performance in my eyes.

Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim of the USA, Short Program to "El Tango de Roxanne" by Craig Armstrong--I thought these all black costumes on both Scimeca and Knierim were very good. The crystals strewn throughout hers and his made them look more like a pair and I liked that there was a definite "Tango" element in the styling; while she looked perfectly feminine, he looked MUY sexy.

Miriam Ziegler and Severin Kiefer of Austria, Short Program to "C'est Pas L'amour Zydeko"--While I was excited by the kooki-ness of these red, white and black striped costumes, I was expecting a "Cirque du Soleil" soundtrack to go with them. But alas, it was not. I thought they were a bit Ice Dance quirky as opposed to Pairs fab. Speaking of ICE DANCE...

And now, my thoughts on the ICE DANCE costumes:

Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the USA, Short Dance to "Paso Doble"--I really liked these costumes. Madison's featured a plunging neckline and full black with red lining skirt. She was fiery, sexy and very caliente. Evan's costume was also very good with it's band collar and plunging neckline (mimicking hers!) and light sequin work. Muy bien.

Free Dance to "An American in Paris"--I normally would complain about the male being "left out" of the costume parade but here, I didn't care; Madison Chock's black and white costume was ALL THAT! I loved the asymmetrical neckline with "cut out" and the side sequin work and side slit asymmetrical skirt. Seriously, I almost forgot about Evan (I did like his boat neck jersey top though!).

Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy, Free Dance to "Lord of the Dance" and "Reel Around The Sun"--Guignard and Fabbri--the only skaters from Italy to skate at 2014 Skate America--skated their Free Dance to "Riverdance" music. I thought they looked very Irish "Riverdance-ish" in their costumes but at the same time, they struck me as a bit "Hollywood Toys and Costumes"-in a bag. I expect more Alta Moda, especially from an Italian Ice Dance team.

Maia and Alex Shibutani of the USA, Short Dance to Flamenco and Paso Doble--One word: WOW! I thought these costumes were outstanding! Alex went full-on toreador and Maia was sultry "Miss Spain". The intricacy of the applique and sequin work matched the style quotient.

Free Dance to "Rosen aus dem Süden" and "The Blue Danube" by Johann Strauss--Alex in tuxedo tails and Maia in deep violet sequined dress: YES! Elegant, appropriate for the music and looking very, very elegant.

Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin of Russia, Short Dance to Paso Doble: Fiery, Spanish looks from these Russian Ice Dancers. While I liked his white with black sequined applique bolero jacket and pants combo with the red accents, I liked Alex Shibutani's full-on toreador costume more. Alexandra's dress was pretty and I liked the nude insets on the torso as well as "hint" of red underskirt.

Federica Testa and Lukas Csolley of Slovakia, Short Dance to Flamenco, Paso Doble, Flamenco--These Slovakian Ice Dancers gave their costume interpretation of "Spain" here. And I liked it. Her costume was very well done with its intricate torso sequin applique and multi-tiered ruffled skirt. I also admired the fact that Lukas' costume didn't go the toreador route but looked more like a serious flamenco dancer with his vest and ruffled shirt and yes, that slicked back hair.

That's it for now until next week's Skate Canada! And in case you missed my other 2014 Skate America Costume posts, click HERE for the MEN and HERE for the LADIES!

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