Ice Style

ICE STYLE.....2017 US Figure Skating Championships Costumes: Ladies and Men

Split Queen: Karen Chen doing her split jump during her Free Skate at US Figure Skating Championships 

The 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships were held this past week and weekend in Kansas City Missouri. The results are part of the U.S. selection criteria for who gets to go to the 2017 Four Continents and 2017 World Championships, as well as Junior World Championships. Now that we got that out of the way, it's time to discuss one of my favorite subjects here on my blog: Figure Skating Costumes!

This first post involves some Costumes Picks from the Ladies and Mens Event at the US Figure Skating Championships, and will be followed up with my recap of Pairs and Ice Dance costumes. Lots of the costumes I have already discussed before in my recaps of last year's Skate America, Cup of China, NHK Trophy, and Grand Prix Finals to name a few but there were in some instances, costumes changes and/or skaters I have not commented on previously. So let's begin with the...
Ashley Wagner Short Program to Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These) by Annie Lennox: I've said this before and I'll say it again: I LOVE THIS! It's chic, superfab and so right for the Annie Lennox music. Ashley wore this blue asymmetrical design which featured great sequin details on the shoulders, neckline and throughout the costume's torso. I also loved the slight royal blue color "peek-a-boo". Oh and to finish everything off, her smoky eyes and red lipstick were 90's New Wave on-point. I also like her almost-black hair color (which is new). 

Ashley Wagner Free Skate to Exogenesis Symphony Part 3 by Muse: for her Free Skate, Ashley did a costume change. Previously, during the 2016-2017 Season, she wore the silver and violet/gray ombre shaded sparkly costume in the lower photo above. I loved that costume and thought it looked very expensive and well done. Her new costume is the burgundy one in the top photo. This one featured a halter neckline and elongated diamond-shaped clusters of crystals. I liked the first violet/gray costume a little better to be honest; it just looks more refined, Haute and fashion thoughtful. What do you guys think?

Gracie Gold Short Program: Gracie skated her Short Program to Assassin's Tango (from "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" soundtrack) by John Powell wearing this very modern black costume and 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. It was a very close copy of this (let's just say that it was "inspired"--wink, wink):

Atelier Versace Autumn/Winter 2016

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 for this season. This nude colored design was still quite fabulous and expertly done. The golden sequins were exceptional and I especially loved the hair accessory. It was Grace Kelly On Ice.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention...
Broken Up: Figure skating coaching legend Frank Carroll announced on that he no longer would be coaching Gracie Gold the day after Gracie finished 6th at the 2017 US Figure Skating Championships and missed the Worlds Championships Team. Gold, on her end, said that she was "surprised that Frank announced his decision before informing me". I wish Gracie Gold and Frank Carroll the best. I'm guessing this rupture was bound to happen. No surprise there.

Karen Chen Short Program On Golden Pond by Dave Grusin: OK, when I first saw Karen in this, I thought that she was skating to "Swan Lake", "Black Swan" or "Nutcracker" get the picture. But no kids: She skated to "On Golden Pond"--in this! And I LOVE it. It was pretty, well made and exquisitely sequined, down to her fingertips. Gorgeous! Now, for those savvy costume followers...she debuted this costume at the 2016 NHK Trophy in late November.  Before then, for this Short Program, she had worn this...

Blue Swan: At Cup of China as well as International Figure Skating Classic in Utah

Karen Chen Free Skate to Tango Jalousie by Jacob Gade: Tango anyone? Well, for Karen, it was "Si!". Another very good costume for Karen Chen. The silver and red crystals were beautiful and the scroll-like torso detail was very pretty. For such a young lady (she's only 17), this costume was very mature, and in a super chic way!

Livvy Shilling Short Program to L.O.V.E. by Natalie Cole: I liked this red costume worn by Livvy for her Short program. It was fun and vibrant. I especially enjoyed the heavily jeweled neckline and wrists...and the extra-long sleeves added a bit of unusual costume interest.

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 of the entire 2016-2017 season. It had all the costume "razzle dazzle" of something accompanying "All That Jazz" but yet, not coming off too cheesy. I 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 in its silhouette and detail, and I loved it! The high-neck style, the see-through sleeves, the sequin crystal work were all very nice. As a fashion designer, I was intrigued at why the costume designer chose to use princess seams on the torso portion, especially when they are not necessarily needed when using this kind of stretch fabrication. Normally, there is no point to put seams there. It didn't take away from the costume but it did make me ask why?

Mirai Nagasu USA Short Program to Nocturne No. 20 in C Sharp Minor by Frederic Chopin: Mirai wore this purple costume for her SP and I liked it very much! Mirai always wears costumes that I appreciate and admire. This design was especially Haute and very luxurious looking with the intricate silver sequin scroll-like detail. I especially admired the "statement necklace"-looking embellishment.

Vincent Zhou Short Program to Writing's on the Wall by Sam Smith, Jimmy Napes: Little Vincent was fabulous at the 2017 US Nationals, in terms of his skating. For his Short Program to the James Bond 007 title song, he wore this burgundy and gray ensemble. I cannot lie and say that I loved it; it bored me to (costume) tears. I get the whole "I'm just going to wear a dress shirt and pants" and kind of mimic James Bond Lite and look contemporary but...this was "MEH" for sure. It makes think that the creative team just isn't doing their job at 110%.

Vincent Zhou Free Skate to Johnny Staccato by Elmer Bernstein: His Free Skate look was a little more creative and interesting, thank goodness. Vincent wore this tuxedo-like look, involving a crystal studded shirt, vest and velvet tuxedo pants. It's cute and a bit "Junior Skater" but, at least it was Costume Interesting.

Jason Brown USA Short Program to Writing's on the Wall (James Bond - Spectre) by Sam Smith: Jason wore the white dress shirt/black pants look (lower photo above) in his performances/skates during the season last year at Skate America and NHK Trophy and I wasn't a fan (the "costume" was a yawn) but...for this 2017 US Figure Skating Championships, he changed his costume to something more substantial and interesting. The look featured a double breasted gray jacket with faux leather shoulder yokes, sleeve bands and welt pockets. This was a definite improvement from the "I'm-a-waiter-about-to-be-relieved-of-my-duties look".
Jason Brown Free Skate to The Scent of Love (from "The Piano") by Michael Nyman: For his Free Skate, he went with an all-black shirt and pants look. You probably guessed correctly that I am not a fan of this. I get the simple "classic" look in regards to his accompanying music, but I hoped, wished...for something more. Maybe this is a "cleansing" from his "Leprechaun" look of the Sochi Olympics...but I still don't approve of it.

Ross Miner Short Program to New York State of Mind by Billy Joel: OK, I know that Ross is skating to Billy Joel and "New York State of Mind" and therefore, there's not much of a costume that can accompany that. But...this was THE DEFINITION of my dreaded "Ross Dress For Less" costume; the bland dress shirt, black pants, off-the-rack department store belt...I am so bored with his costume that I don't even want to visit New York, if this is what that city represents, fashion-wise. He looks like a bartender at a really low-level club in New Jersey. But, come to think of it, maybe that was the point!

Ross Miner Free Skate to Somebody to Love, Love of my Life and Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen: For his FS, he slightly redeemed himself--costume-wise. I liked the ombre-shaded red-and-black printed top with the gold sequined neckline. This was Ross Miner really stepping out of his costume zone and I applaud him for it. But, I still think this could have been better; it is QUEEN after all!

Tomoki Hiwatashi Short Program Some Things and Big and Bad by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: Little Tomoki wore this colorful costume to his Short program. While it was slightly "kooky" and "Halloween Costume"-like, I am giving him and his costume designer points for making me notice! And in a good way: I liked this! It was fun, right for the music and had lots of neat details (loved the blue t-shirt look under the epaulet-detailed shirt!).

Max Aaron Short Program to Nessun dorma by Giacomo Puccini: Max is not known for being "Costume effusive" in terms of what he wears, and frankly, it can be a little (sometimes a lot!) disappointing in my fashion designer eyes. But, for the 2017 US Nationals and his SP, he BROUGHT IT!! I almost fell off my couch and dropped my glass of red wine while watching it: Max was actually wearing a Stylish Fashionable...COSTUME! As opposed to a tight white shirty and tighter black pants! I liked the gold embroidered bolero, royal blue shirt and Toreador-like pant. Listen, at least it was an improvement from this:

Yawn...Max Aaron'c Short Program costume worn at the 2016 Prudential US Figure Skating Championships, and 2016 World Championships Boston in March

Jordan Moeller Free Skate to Selections from William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet Film Soundtrack by Craig Armstrong: Jordan skated to Rome + Juliet and I realized that right away.  Obviously the music was a hint, but his costume had subtle giveaways. And I appreciated that. It wasn't an obvious ensemble from the time period of the famous Shakespeare play (14th Century) but had slight nods--such as the gold chains, and sequined hearts (on his sleeves of course!). I also appreciated the armor-like metallic fabrication and  blouson shape of the top.

Nathan Chen Short Program Le Corsaire by Adolphe Adam: Amazing Nathan (FIVE QUADS!!!) wore this black lace top and black pants costume for his Short Program. I liked the simplicity and  elegance of it, especially since, let's just be honest, NO ONE was really paying attention to his costume and instead, watching how many QUADS this young man would do! I'm sure you might have noticed that he had a slight "wardrobe malfunction" when one of his center front "buttons" snapped open while he was doing one of his TWENTY quads (yes, I am exaggerating, but still!) but other than that, everything else was OK. I liked the great fit and look of a mini cropped bolero jacket.

Nathan Chen USA Free Skate to Polovtsian Dances (from "Prince Igor") by Alexander Borodin: I really liked this late 19th century Russian Royal look. I liked the bright red and gold top/jacket and the intricacy of the trim and sequin applique. I know this may be such a small detail but I especially liked the emerald green brooch at the center front torso. The entire look was regal and elegant and perfectly suited for the newly crowned "King of Figure Skating"!!!

Five Quad Phenom: Happy Boy--and Coach--Nathan Chen and (rarely smiling or happy) coach Rafael Arutyunyan (R)

**UP NEXT: US Figure Skating Championships Costumes Recap: PAIRS and ICE DANCE!

1 Response to "ICE STYLE.....2017 US Figure Skating Championships Costumes: Ladies and Men "

Lyse110 said...

I didn't like Karen Chen's Short program costume because I felt it was too overly embellished, and that cloth wing takes away from the costume, and was distracting when it fluttered as she was skating. It would have looked better without it , and with fewer crystals