Thursday, January 29, 2015
Pairs Style: Pairs Costumes Highlights--2015 Prudential US Figure Skating Championships

Ice Dance Cha Cha: Ice Dance Costume Highlights--2015 Prudential US Figure Skating Championships

In my last post HERE, I discussed my personal Costumes Highlights: LADIES and MEN from last week's 2015 U.S. Nationals of Figure Skating which were held in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Both the Pairs and Ice Dance did not disappoint in terms of costumes and things to talk about so, let's get started...

First up, PAIRS:
Tarah Kayne and Danny O'Shea: I want to start with what was probably one my FAVORITE costumes I saw while watching the 2015 Prudential US Figure Skating Championships on TV--they were from the Free Skate to "Spartacus" by Aram Khatchaturian done by Tarah Kayne and Danny O'Shea. To start I loved how easily identifiable these were in terms of the music that they were skating to. When they first stepped out I said "They have got to be skating ton 'Spartacus'!" And yes, I was right. I also liked how HE was the Costume Star. Normally, it's the female pairs partner but here Danny is the Diva--or Divo--here. His armbands, chest plate-looking top (it's seriously a ONE SHOULDER TOP...ON A MAN!), the red sash plus the's all great. He did overshadow Tarah (which could be a negative in some skating circles), but I did like how beautiful, delicate and serene her costume was; a perfect counterbalance to his.

Short Program to "Your Song" (from "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack) by Elton John, Bernie Taupin--For their Short Program, I thought these were cute renditions of what one could recognize as being costume interpretations from the musical/film "Moulin Rouge". I loved his red and black jacquard vest and the unbuttoned wingtip tuxedo shirt. I also appreciated the "little details" such as the black buttons on the shirt. Tarah's costume was delicate and pretty. I liked how the sequins were placed on the bodice section to give the look of a corset. Once again (like in their Free Skate), I think Danny was the Costume Star.

Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim: Gold medal winning pairs Scimeca and Knierim skated their Free Skate to "An American in Paris" by George GershwinI loved his costume--it was very Gene Kelly. Seriously, look at the movie's poster: same costume!  I thought her costume was very sparkly; it almost looked like Swarovski crystal fireworks that one would see over the Eiffel Tower during New Year's. If there was any critique, it just looked very Figure Skating 101, but obviously on a bigger budget! 

Short Program to "El Tango de Roxanne" by Craig Armstrong (from "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack)--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

Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier: Free Skate 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!

Madeline Aaron Max Settlage: Aaron and Settlage skated their Short Program to "Coppelia" by Leon Delibes. The famous ballet, "Coppelia", revolves around a lifelike dancing doll invented by Dr. Coppelius. I think these costumes on them worked with the tradition of the ballet, especially hers. I liked the pointed "corset"-like imagery created from the bodice's sequin work; and the light blue color was pretty and delicate. His costume, especially with that silver "whickety-wack" trim, however, seemed straight out of a mom's arts-and-crafts sewing room; it looked a little "happy hands at home".

Free Skate to "The King and I" by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein--For their Free Skate, their costumes were very similar--in style and construction--to what they had worn for their Short Program. While I get the hints of the costumes used in "The King and I", they seemed--how do I say this politely?--a bit cheap and junior-like. Someone please give these kids a higher costume budget. Pronto!

Gretchen Donlan and Nathan Bartholomay: Newly-formed pairs Donlan and Bartholomay (they've been together only since last July) skated their Short Program to "Dear Father" by Neil Diamond in these blue costumes above. I thought they looked perfectly fit--costume-wise--as a pair. I liked the bold electric/royal blue color and I especially appreciated the asymmetrically draped panels that were not only on her costume but also on his top. High Costume score for these two!

Free Skate to "Clair de Lune" by Claude Debussy, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra--Skating to the very famous tune of "Clair du Lune" in these costumes, Donlan and Bartholomay looked like a picture from an Ice Skating brochure; nothing wrong with the costumes yet there was also nothing extraordinary--style wise. Since "Clair du Lune" means "moonlight" in French--I expected possibly darker more "monnlight"-esque colors so the mint green and pale blue seemed more 2pm than 7pm. But, I get why possibly they went with the lighter colors since for their Short Program, their costumes were of the darker hues.

DeeDee Leng and Simon Shnapir: For their Free Skate to "Miss Saigon" by Claude-Michel Schoenberg, performed by Sean Alderking, I really liked these costumes. They were cute, appropriate and right for the musical and theme and red color in any of the costumes?? Kudos for stepping a little bit outside the "Miss Saigon" costume box and not going the typical route.
Now, time for the ICE DANCE:
Madison Chock and Evan Bates:  For their Free Dance to "An American in Paris" Gold medal Ice Dance pair Chock and Bates wore these FAB costumes above. 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. 

Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the USA, Short Dance to "Paso Doble"--I really liked these costumes as well. 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 y Muy Sexy.

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. There were so many details on both costumes, they were great "eye candy" for a fashionista like myself.

New Costumes seen at last week's 2015 U.S. Nationals (top photo) and previous ones (bottom photo) from the ISI Grand Prix of Figure Skating Championships in Barcelona.

Free Dance to "Rosen aus dem Süden" and "The Blue Danube" by Johann Strauss--These were a change in costumes from what they had worn last month at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Barcelona Spain in December 2014. I'll be honest here: I liked the previous ones much better. The "old ones" projected elegance, refinement, and something one can see in a dance pair gliding to "the Blue Danube". The "new" costumes seemed better suited for a rehearsal as opposed to the actual competition.

Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton: Aldridge and Eaton skated their Paso Doble Short Dance to "Carmen Overture" and "Toreador March" from Carmen by Georges Bizet (of course they did!). I really liked these. I loved his strong and bold Toreador ensemble, the sequined tasseled details and the shoulders and front torso. The skinny black tie was muy chic too. And for Alexandra, my favorite detail was the fringed Mantilla-like lace overskirt--especially when they were doing their twizzles (photo above).

Free Skate to "Tara's Theme", "Atlanta Bazaar",  "Fleeing of Atlanta", and "Tara's Theme" from "Gone With the Wind" soundtrack by Max Steiner--Aldridge and Eaton skated their Free Skate wearing the costume looks in the top photo. Obviously, there's a reference to what Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh wore in the iconic film. I see the vest and cravat (in his) and hers I guess, refers to the famous Walter Plunkett-designed burgundy ball gown Scarlett wore to attend Ashley's birthday party. Alexandra and Daniel's costumes are OK but lack a bit of sophistication. I also thought his waistcoat made him looked boxy and thick; I think it was too long and possibly needed a tad more cinching (even the boys need cinching sometimes!).

Madison Hubell and Zachary Donohue: Hubbell and Donohue skated their Free Dance to selections from "The Great Gatsby" soundtrack including  "Young and Beautiful" by Lana del Rey, "Back to Black" by Beyonce & Andre 3000, "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody" by Fergie, "Gatsby Believed in the Green Light" by Tobey Maguire. I loved that these were modern and sooo UN_Gatsby-esque. They--and their costume designer--took it to another level and that, I appreciated. There were "hints" of 1920s Art Deco details (in her bandeau top) but everything else was unique and so not referential. 

Danielle and Alexander Gamelin: Twins Danielle and Alexander skated their Short Dance to "Malagueña" by 101 Strings. I thought these costumes were nice and quite effective for their Paso Doble/Flamenco Short Dance. There were details in both his and her's which sparked my interest including the red in her skirt ruffles' hem as well as the red flower applique, and I liked his red (almost matching her red embellishment) cropped bolero/vest. If there was any critique, I felt he looked more "Gypsy King" and less Toreador.

Free Dance to "The Nights of Cabiria" by Nino Rota--The music is, of course, from the Federico Fellini film of the same name. The movie is about a prostitute (yep, you got that right!) in Rome searching for love in vain--and it won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film back in 1957.

Not sure what these kooky costumes worn by the Gamelin's have to do with the film or the prostitute in Rome (there is a scene in the movie involving a magic show and a magician and maybe these are "Magic Show"-like costumes)--who knows, and frankly, who cares!! I think these are fun, bold and made me smile! 


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