Friday, November 13, 2015
I know I am a couple of weeks late on this but I've been in Europe for work (and play) and now I'm back...and I've missed some FIGURE SKATING! So...better late than never: I want to talk about one of my favorite topics here on my blog: Figure Skating Costumes. The Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2015-2016 season is well under way and I want to start with the costumes at Skate Canada International 2015 which occurred a couple of weekends ago...

Let's get started...

The Men:
Patrick Chan: For his Free Skate, Canadian Patrick Chan skated to Revolutionary Étude, Prelude, Op. 28, No. 4, Scherzo No. 1 by Frédéric Chopin in the costume above. It included a silver-gray lace printed and lightly sequined stretch top and black "tuxedo" pants. I liked this ensemble for Chan. It was elegant, appropriate for the beautiful music and looked great on him. I especially liked the small details including the stand-up neck and faux leather outseam band and back yoke. And congrats to Patrick for his gold medal-winning skate. He was PERFECTION!

Yuzuru Hanyu: 2014 Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu skated his Free Skate to Seimei (from Onmyoji) by Shigeru Umebayashi in this costume. He is known for somewhat cray-cray costumes--or at least a little on the eccentric side. This wasn't as koo-koo as we are used to from him, but it was still lacking a bit of taste. I love Yuzuru as a skater but there's always something a little tacky and rather cheap-looking from his costumes. This top, for example could look expensive, luxe but it's just the opposite; he should look like the main actor of a Japanese period film but instead he looks like a background player.

Daisuke Murakami: Japanese skater Daisuke Murakami skated his Free Skate to Anniversary by Yoshiki in this costume. It featured a stretch velvet cropped jacket, copper colored sequined vest and black velvet pants. I liked the details--cuffs, notched collar, draped white top, the different colored sequins. This was a nice mix of traditional and enough "bling" to stand out on a Grand Prix stage.

Adam Rippon: I LOVE me some Adam Rippon. Not only is he just SOOOO cute, but THAT wavy curly hair...and now it's Kelly Osbourne purple-silver! He skated his Free Skate to The Beatles Medley. I was a bit distracted with both the color of his hair (which I love!) and the almost too garish colors of his costume top. At first--knowing that he was skating to a Beatles Medley, I didn't really get what his costume had to do with the iconic British band...until his music got to the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" part. Even with that, it still was a bit distracting and a little too much like an employee at a Super Gay McDonald's.

Nam Nguyen: Canadian Nam Nguyen skated his Free Skate to Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor by Johann Sebastian Bach. I liked this costume, especially his shirt. It was a very pretty shirt, featuring sequined lace applique and crystal detailed collar. It reminded me of those gorgeous Filipino Barong formal dress shirts.

Timothy Dolensky: American skater Timothy Dolensky skated his Free Skate to Orchestral Variations on Themes of Chopin by Anže Rozman in this beautiful black costume. I thought this was a hot "Tuxedo" look for Timothy; the plunging neckline, snug pants and very fitted sequined shirt. He looked like a fab orchestra conductor-meets-sexy-licious Prom Date!

Michal Brezina: Oh Michal! I do expect a little over-the-top (in terms of costumes) from you...and you truly delivered this season! The Czech skater did his Free Skate to Le Corsaire by Adolphe Adam. While I appreciate the bright colors and vibrancy of the costume, instead of a Principal Ballet Dancer doing Le Corsaire, he reminded me of a waiter at at a Disneyland Italian restaurant!

Keegan Messing: Canadian Keegan Messing skated his Free Skate to Theme form Pink Panther by Henry Mancini in this costume, which included a plum/purple shirt, bubblegum pink trimmed sequined vest, pink tie and black pants. I appreciated the "Pink Panther" homage in the color of the tie and vest piping, the whole look was a bit dated and too "A Chorus Line".
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The Ladies:
Ashley Wagner: American skater--and Skate Canada International 2015 gold medalist Ashley Wagner skated her Free Skate to Diamonds (from "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack), One Day I'll Fly Away (from "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack), The Show Must Go On (from "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack--the same music and program from her last season's Free Skate. She didn't change her music but did change her costume. I really liked this white with gold sequin applique design. I especially adore the "necklace". The costume was more "Bollywood" Diva and less "Nicole Kidman Moulin Rouge" and I loved that.


Yuka Nagai: Japanese Yuka Nagai skated her Free Skate to August's Rhapsody (from August Rush) by Mark Mancina in this costume. The dress featured an ombre dyed ocean blue-to-indigo blue mock turtleneck, long sleeved sequined costume. This was pretty and safe. Nothing too-fashion-y. If I were to Costume-Score this, I'd give her a very safe 7.5 (out of 10).

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Russian Tuktamysheva skated her Free Skate to Dance of the Sabres by Volker Barber, Peer Gynt: Solveig's Song, In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg. This red and black costume is just OK. It's not as a good as what she wore last season (I really miss those chiffon blouson sleeves) but oh well. This one is slightly more "Elvira" and less FAB and the skirt is too long for my taste.

Polina Edmunds: American figure skater Polina Edmunds skated her Free Skate to Gone With The Wind by Max Steiner. First off, I'm glad her costume designer didn't go all "Scarlett O'Hara/Bob Macke/Carol Burnett" with this. I don't think there was any way one could (how do you translate a big ol' 19th Century gown for figure skating??!!). The costume silhouette was VERY Polina Edmunds; reminding me of all her other costumes. But I did like the subtle hunter green "Gone With The Wind"/Scarlett O'Hara color in the bow detail in her front neckline. Overall, however, it was a 1/3 cheesy, 1/3 too sweet and 1/3 too safe.

Kaetlyn Osmond: Canadian Kaetluyn Osmond skated her Free Skate to Ástor Piazzolla Tango Medley: Danzarin, Oblivion, Tanguera. This black lace with silver crystals costume was very Tango-licious. I did like the asymmetry of the one sleeve/glove detail. The red lips and red hair rose detail was nice, even if it was predictable.

Joshi Helgesson: Sweden's Joshi Helgesson went the Latina route with her Free Skate to Once Upon a Time in Mexico by Robert Rodriguez and Las Bandidas by Éric Serra. I am usually a fan of her costumes (most of the time), but this one seemed a bit cheap and straight-out-of-a-figure-skating-costume-bag for me. Please step it up Joshi! I want to see Latina Couture Diva not This-Costs-$39.99!

Alena Leonova: I love me some Alena, she always "brings it" when it comes to costumes. This above is what she wore for her Free Skate to Summertime performed by Carmen McRae, Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley, In Other Words performed by April Stevens Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) by Benny Goodman performed by The Andrews Sisters. Combing all those different songs --and especially different singers, is a lot. And trying to come up with a costume that marries it all, can be also difficult. I liked the plaid of the costume, I just didn't like the rest. The bust section was way too wide. The overall costume looked cheap and it was a little too "amateur hour" when it came to the design.

Congrats to the Top Three Ladies at Skate Canada International 2015 (L to R): Russia's Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (Silver), U.S.A.'s Ashley Wagner (Gold) and Japan's Yuka Nagai (Bronze).

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