Ice Style


 Satine on Ice: Ashley Wagner and her new costume for her "Moulin Rouge" Free Skate--2017 Skate America, Lake Placid NY 

This past weekend was the 2017 Skate America, the sixth and last ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating event/competition leading up to the Grand Prix Finals which take place December 7-10th in Nagoya Japan. I have already discussed many of the costumes from past Grand Prix this season, including Skate Canada International, Rostelecom Cup of Russia, Cup of China, NHK Trophy and the Internationaux de France Grand Prix of France. You can also search my blogs here under "Ice Style"...

Bridgestone Skate America 2017, Lake Placid NY

But for now, it's about Skate America starting with the LADIES. Let's discuss the NEW COSTUMES, Changed Programs & Switch-a-Roo Costumes and a lovely skater whose costumes I haven't discussed: Bradie Tennell. First, let's discuss Miss "I'll Just Keep Everyone Guessing What My Short and Free Skate Programs Are" Karen Chen...

Karen Chen of USA: Karen loves to keep people guessing to what her Short and Free Skates are for this season and in fact, she's changed them over the course of this year's Grand Prix. For 2017 Skate America, she's gone back to the same programs/music (and costumes) from last season. First, (Left photo) her (old is new again) Short Program to On Golden Pond (soundtrack) by Dave Grusin, she wore this same costume from last season. Back then when I first saw Karen in this, I thought that she was skating to "Swan Lake", "Black Swan" or "Nutcracker". But no kids: She skated to "On Golden Pond"--in this! And I LOVED it. It was pretty, well made and exquisitely sequined, down to her fingertips. Gorgeous!
For her (Right photo) Free Skate to Jalousie "Tango Tzigane" by Jacob Gade, I also loved it then and still holds up now. This was another very good costume for her. The silver and red crystals were beautiful and the scroll-like torso detail was very pretty. The entire costume package was up to international competition levels so I guess why not keep wearing it. But...I just wished she would have NEW costumes. I don't mind the same old/same old programs, I just want to see some semblance of NEW!

These costumes above are what she last wore for her Short Program to El Tango de Rozanne (from "Moulin Rouge!") (I know it's THE SAME costume as her current Free Skate to Tango Jalousie by Jacob Gade). And the blue on on the right was from her "old" Free Skate to Slow Dancing in the Big City (soundtrack) by Bill Conti.

Kaori Sakamoto of Japan: Kaori skated her Short Program to Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven and wore this blue ombre-dyed costume on the left. The design featured a gathered one shoulder-like design plus lots of silver sequins throughout the garment. It was pretty and expensive-looking.
Free Skate to Amelie (soundtrack) by Yann Tiersen: For her Free Skate to "Amelie" she wore this olive-colored design on the right photo. It was drab as drab can be. I get the connection to "Amelie" with the color and mini "Peter Pan" collar but this just didn't have enough of that figure skating costume "razzle dazzle" needed to make an impact. And I don't think I need to remind anyone that this is one of the most unflattering colors one could possibly choose. It was SAD; she looked like she was playing a refugee from a war-torn land. Well, at least she looked like a very cute refugee.

Satoko Miyahara of Japan: Japan's Satoko Miyahara wore this pink costume for her Short Program to Memoirs of a Geisha (soundtrack) by John Williams seen on the left photo. It was quite delicate, subdued and pretty. There weren't any overt hints of a Geisha or Kimono. What we did see was a powder pink costume with beautiful petal-like silver rhinestones and dégradé pink skirt.
For her Free Skate to Madame Butterfly Act 3, Goro's Entrance (Madame Butterfly Act 2)  and Butterfly Bids Her Child Farewell (Madame Butterfly Act 2) by Giacomo Puccini--Satoko continued with her Japan-centric music for her programs, wearing this blue design for her "Madame Butterfly" Free Skate (right photo). Once again, this wasn't in the "Alena Leonova" in-your-face/obvious in terms of an "ethnic" costume look; instead it was a figure skating costume "interpretation". This blue costume featured solid stretch Lycra jersey as well as nude illusion, beautifully sequined, giving a hint of a delicate Kimono-like robe. Overall, both were very pretty. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be the Short program one.

Bradie Tennell of USA: Bradie skated her Short Program to Taeguki by Lee Dong-Jun. The music comes from  the movie of the same name, which is about two brothers who are forcibly drafted into the South Korean army at the outbreak of the Korean War. Her costume has hints of the Korean Hanbok...

With the delicate crystal embellishment and folded overbust/neckline detail. I also thought the nude illusion back with the gorgeous sequined applique was pretty:

For her Free Skate...
To Cinderella Medley by Patrick Doyle--Bradie wore this very pretty aqua blue costume worthy of an Ice Queen Cinderella! The costume tried to give the look of a strapless ball gown with the sequined applique that stopped right at the overbust, but then had nude illusion covering the shoulders and upper torso. I also liked the delicate sprinkling of rhinestones on her arms. But my favorite part was the almost-miss-it-if-you-blink crown. 

Ashley Wagner of USA: Short Program to Hip Hip Chin Chin performed by Club des Belugas. For Ashley's Short Program, she finally debuted her new costume for this same old/same old program! Now, I know that it takes a lot of time to make a custom figure skating costume but I'm still a bit perplexed at how it wasn't until now that it was revealed. Well, better late than never--or "Better late than until US Nationals next month!". Anyhow...this new costume for this program was FABULOUS! I loved the red/purple/gold colors, the asymmetrical hemline and especially the unique sequin applique on the upper torso. It was chic, stage-impacting and wise to highlight Ashley's AMAZING shoulders and arms with the halter neckline. This drab thing is what she wore last time:

And Thank the Figure Skating Costume Gods...that it was just a "temporary" look. 

Free Skate to Diamonds, One Day I'll Fly Away, and The Show Must Go On (from "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack)--Ashley also debuted this new costume for her "Moulin Rouge" program at this past weekend's 2017 Skate America, and my Costume Verdict is....I LOVE IT!!! THIS is the Satine I wanted: Gorgeous, chic, costume fab! This golden/blush design pays homage to Nicole Kidman's corseted costume in the film but has enough original touches to make it distinctive and figure skating costume effective. The "necklace" rhinestones are gorgeous but I especially LOVE the gold-and-silver encrusted crystals highlighting the bodice and strap detail. So HAPPY that there is a new costume because I was a bit costume-skeptical of this last design she wore:

While it was nice and pretty, it lacked the Skating Couture design fabulousness Ashley deserves. Let's just hope she feels better and is up to speed for January's U.S. Nationals. Especially since I will be there to watch LIVE!

**NEXT UP: The MEN of 2017 Skate America!!! 

And don't forget about my NEW "The Pageant Coloring Book"! Where you can create your very own Evening Gown Competition with 25 of my hand-drawn Pageant Queen illustrations. Click HERE to purchase NOW on


Gail Johnson said...

Thank you for your review of Braidie Tennell's costumes at Skate America 2017. My name is Gail Johnson of Illuminescent Design and I made her costumes this year. It is always a thrill to be reviewed by you. The last review you gave me was Gracie Gold at skate Canada and now it its Braidie's turn.