Hellooooo Figure Skating Costume Fans! It's time for a new season and time for my "Ice Style" blogs! Progressive Skate America 2016 occurred this past weekend--the first of six ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating senior level invitational competitions--at the Sears Centre Arena in Chicago, Illinois USA.
Ladies: The Fab Costumes----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Assassin's Tango (from "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" soundtrack) by John Powell wearing this very modern black costume. I loved it! It was fresh, directional and fashion forward, especially when it comes to figure skating costumes. I loved the bias binding "spider web-like" detail and the subtle silver crystal embellishment. For some reason I kept thinking that I had seen this look somewhere before...and yep! I was right!:
Atelier Versace Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2016: Ummm...First off: I have waaaay too much of a fashion runway photographic memory! Secondly: Gracie's costume was a very well done knock-off and I loved the obvious inspiration from actual Hi-Fashion runway shows; that I TOTALLY appreciate.
Gracie Gold USA Free Skate to Daphnis and Chloe by Maurice Ravel: While Gracie's SP costume was more modern, she went back to her "Ice Queen" look with her Free Skate costume. This nude colored design was still quite fabulous and expertly done. The golden sequins were exceptional and I especially loved the hair accessory. Overall: Quite gorgeous.
Ashley Wagner Free Skate to Exogenesis Symphony Part 3 by Muse: Gorgeous, refined and expensive-looking. This lilac and violet gray sequined costume was a work of Figure Skating Couture. I liked the multi-paneled skirt and heavy-to-light crystal work. In case anyone still wonders what a $5,000-looking figure skating costume looks like...well, see photo above kids! (and it's worth every penny!).
Mao Asada Japan Short Program to Danza Ritual del fuego (from "El amor brujo") by M. de Falla: I loved this "Black Swan"-like costume worn by Mao Asada. The nude illusion-and-black applique embellished costume with godet-paneled skirt was stunning, impacting and belongs in a figure skating costume museum.
Mao Asada Free Skate to En la cueva - La noche (from "El amor brujo"), Pantomime (from "El amor brujo"), El aparecido (from "El amor brujo") by M. de Falla: For her Free Skate, her music was basically the same as her Short Program. But while her SP was more "mysterious" and dark, her FS went into the "fiery" zone. This costume featured red sequin applique, nude illusion and chiffon. The look was very "Carmen", but refined, not campy, and I liked it. I especially loved the draped chiffon skirt.
Mariah Bell Short Program to Roxy Heart (Chicago soundtrack) performed by Renee Zellweger All That Jazz (Chicago soundtrack): This was certainly one of my favorite costumes at Skate America 2016. It had all the costume "razzle dazzle" of something accompanying "All That Jazz" but yet, not coming off too cheap "Halloween" costume version. Loved the delicate lilac coloring and jeweled sequin work.
Mariah Bell Free Skate East of Eden by Lee Holdridge: This costume was very old-school Vera Wang/Nancy Kerrigan. And I loved it! The high-neck style, the see-through sleeves, the sequin crystal work...yes, it was very "Figure Skating Costume 101" but, it was done well and worked for the lovely Mariah.
So Youn Park South Korea Free Skate Aranjuez Mon Amour performed by Nana Mouskouri: While I did like the clean silhouette of this costume, I felt it was lacking in some directional design qualities. The point d'esprit sleeves and back were a nice contrast to the all-black and I liked the red and silver crystals but (I cannot believe I am saying this), maybe it needed more crystals?! What do you guys think?
Mai Mihara Japan Free Skate Cinderella by Patrick Doyle: Mai is all but 17 years old and now she's joined the Senior's rank, but yet, her costume (and, let's be honest, her music choice too!) was a tad bit on the Junior's side. Yes, her costume was very "Cinderella" but there was something about that jewel teal color, sequin work, and off-the-shoulder silhouette that screamed "young".
The Men: The Good------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Adam Rippon Short Program to Let Me Think About It (Ida Corr vs. Fedde Le Grand): When Adam came out onto the ice in this--and then the music started, I swear I was at the Tropicana Beach Club in Mykonos! His barely-there costume of a sleeveless faux leather-and-illusion sequined muscle top (try to say that four times!) and skin-tight black pants went perfectly with the high-energy dance music soundtrack. I loved the royal blue and silver sequin detail at the side and how that illusion back continued past the side seam and onto part of the front asymmetrically. Sexy and right for the skate. Go On Adam!
Adam Rippon Free Skate to Arrival of the Birds ("Crimson Wing" soundtrack) by The Cinematic Orchestra, O by Coldplay: For his Free Skate, he wore another semi-sheer top with black pants. Adam has never met a sheer/illusion shirt he didn't love! While yes, this might be a bit repetitive...A) Adam has the .000032% fat-free body to pull it off...and B) this top had sleeves, thank you very much! The music--and his skate--involved birds of sorts, and he showed this excellently in his choreography. The costume gave "hints" of the feathers, as you can see in the stitched applique work and raw-edged neckline. I liked it, but I wish there was bolder bird details because what was on his top could have been mistaken for an unfinished zebra-print motif. Adam: Continue to keep your costumes semi-sheer sexy but for this one, a little more obvious ornithological references might be needed.
Spiderman: Of course, this was "Spiderman"! Hello! I liked the obviousness of the costume in regards to the music. But, I also liked that it wasn't so cheesy "Halloween" costume and done in black and silver-white. It was modern, sleek and on-point.
La Strada by Nino Rota: I'm always interested when skaters skate to "La Strada". The Fellini film involves a clown reference (above photo) and therefore, one can go cartoony in a hot costume minute. Boyang did not. I liked the bold graphic stripes and black-and-white vest. The costume was about 90% fine, except, part of me wished he may have beaded the stripes on the shirt--in black, white and red sequins. That would have been slightly more impacting and brought the costume to a more "Couture" Jean Paul Gaultier level.
Love Me or Leave Me by Sammy Davis Jr.: I liked Nam's sky-blue and navy costume, skating to "Love Me or Leave Me". The shirt was very 1950s vintage-looking but had just the right amount of sparkle to make it "pop" for figure skating. I also liked how the blues worked together and how well both pieces fit. Listen, I'm not a fan of just a shirt and pants for Men (in International Figure Skating Competitions) but if that's what you're going to give me,...give me SOMETHING! And Nam did.
The Skin I Live In (soundtrack) by Alberto Iglesias: Sergei's costume was a black jersey long sleeve top and pants. I liked the "broken glass" sequin effect on his shirt. It was just the right amount of detail to get my "Great Costume!" attention. I wished he would have continued this detail at the side seam of the pant--using smaller subtler mirrored sequins.
Shoma Uno Japan Short Program to Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra ("Ladies in Lavender" soundtrack) by Nigel Hess: Lavender and purple are always tricky colors, especially for men in figure skating. The colors can come off too "Wedding Singer" and/or late 70's/early 80's. However, I think this costume (and the colors) worked for Shoma, especially since the music was from "Ladies in Lavender" soundtrack! I liked the feathered detail of the shirt especially. If I had one styling request: I would ask him to get rid of that necklace. I don't care what significance it has for him, it turns his costume from nice to "1987 Uh Oh!".
Shoma Uno Free Skate to Buenos Aires Hora Cero and Barada para un loco by Astor Piazzolla: Well, well, well, Shoma, you are a Costume Divo! I loved his Free Skate (Hello!!! Those quads were INCREDIBLE!) but for my blog here, I loved this costume. It was very Tango Fierce.
Writing's on the Wall (James Bond - Spectre) by Sam Smith: OK, first off, I LOVED his skate and performance; he was amazing! And because it was so great (minus a couple of mistakes), I almost excused his lack of a costume. But...I am just so not a fan of the dress shirt and pants look for men; it's a BIG Men's Figure Skating Costume Cop-out! I just wish he gave me "White Dinner Jacket Tuxedo James Bond" as opposed to what he would look like after three shaken-not-stirred Martinis, at 3 AM, getting ready to call it a night--all shirt unbuttoned and missing jacket. It was the low-rent version of Bond. I wanted to see this:
Dinner Jacket Chic: Hello James!
The Scent of Love (from "The Piano") by Michael Nyman: For his Free Skate, he went just as boring with basically, the same "costume" as he donned for his SP but this time, in black. I get the simple "classic" look in regards to his accompanying music, but...please give me more Jason! I hope that because this is just the beginning of the Grand Prix season, maybe your costumes aren't ready. I hope.
Jorik Hendrickx Belgium Short Program to Broken Vow performed by Josh Groban: I swear I HATE the just a shirt-and-pants look on men in figure skating. It's like no one is even trying. The costume designers are out to lunch and so is the creative team. While Jorik is HOT HOT HOT and could look great in anything, I still would like to see something that didn't look as if he went shopping at SEARS men's section for a world class figure skating competition, which seems appropriate since Skate America occurred at the Sears Centre Arena. #Fail
**NEXT UP: The Skate America 2016 PAIRS and ICE DANCE Costumes Recap!!