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ICE STYLE....2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships COSTUMES RECAP: MEN


Sequin Star: Adam Rippon skating his Free Skate at the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships, SAP Center San Jose California
Photo by David Paul

Continuing with my 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships Costumes Recap, in my last post HERE, I discussed some of the LADIES COSTUMES and now it's time to talk about THE MEN! There was a lot of exciting news--and DRAMA--with the men (it's not just always about the ladies!)
including the naming of Adam Rippon--whom placed 4th--to the Olympic Team thereby becoming the FIRST OPENLY GAY US MAN to qualify for the Winter Olympics.

Sleek Costumed Boys: (L to R) Nathan Chen, Adam Rippon and Jason Brown--2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships, SAP center San Jose California

There was also Costume News, in that everyone (I was!!) was eagerly awaiting "Quad King" Nathan Chen's new Vera Wang-designed costumes, especially since what he had worn during the season was, well...NOT GOOD. So, without any more delay...let's get to THE MEN:

Let's start with the aforementioned Nathan Chen...First this is what he wore before:
 A Waiter in San Jose?

Sweaty Armpits Nathan

Back last year after a Grand Prix Event, I commented on my blog here how I was SOOOO dissapointed (and annoyed!) at the (lack of) costumes Nathan Chen was wearing (photos above) fact this was my quote: "I really, really...REALLY hope that his real costumes are STILL NOT READY and we will see SOMETHING for the Grand Prix Finals because these are...The "Ross Dress For Less"/Server-at-a-Restaurant Nathan Chen Costumes Edition" Well, I had to wait until the 2018 U. S. Nationals last week to get my costume wish (plus he got a haircut!)...

Nathan Chen Short Program to Nemesis by Benjamin Clementine--Above is the new costume Chen wore for his Short program, designed by Vera Wang and her team. Wang is not a stranger to figure skating costumes since, as we all know, she famously designed the costume for 1994 Olympic Silver medalist Nancy Kerrigan, Michelle Kwan (on many occasions), as well as 2010 Olympic Champion Evan Lysacek (who now works for Wang). Nathan's new costume was MUCH BETTER than his "I'm a waiter in San Jose" old one. This costume featured a sleek Lycra black long sleeve mock-neck shirt with bold white stripes down the center front and sides of the sleeves. There were beautifully-fitting pants that went with the ensemble. It was a very linear look; modern, un-fussy and on-trend with the Vera Wang-esque "Athleisure Couture" style. I especially liked the way the bold white stripes looked as he did his amazing quads but I just wasn't a fan of the short sleeve-over-the-long sleeve detail.

Lower Photos by David Paul

Free Skate to Mao's Last Dancer (soundtrack) by Christopher Gordon--For his Free Skate, Nathan also debuted a new costume--also by Vera Wang--which was much-improved from his sweaty armpits, blousy shirt-and-pants look of before.  Once again this was a sleek, modern costume that highlighted Nathan's lean looks and spectacular jumps. While it looks as if he wore the same black pants as in his Short Program, the top was different, featuring a textured mesh-like fabrication, with gray and black shading, extra long sleeves and a standout center back silver zipper. Overall, both looks were a definite improvement from what he wore earlier this season. I get that anyone expecting some fabulous, colored, sequined Skating Couture Costumes might have still been disappointed, but those people also obviously didn't know that Vera Wang would NEVER EVER DO brightly colored sequined designs (just take a look at the designer's own style). 

Adam Rippon Short Program to Let Me Think About It (Eddie Thoneick Remix) performed by Ida Carr feat. Fedde Le Grand--I LOVED this costume--designed by Braden Overett and Veretto Sport--worn by Adam for his fab dance music Short Program. Adam has been on a costume roll wearing SUPER TIGHT sexy tops with plunging necklines and see-through fabrications, and I am a big fan for several reasons: A) Adam is like FAT FREE and lean as a toothpick so...he can do it...and B) It's refreshing to see something that is fun, flashy and NOT an all black boring look straight out of a department store. I really like the faux leather panels and the rhinestones accenting the top. Throw in that center front zipper and sheer stretch chiffon and Adam is ready to hit the dance floor! I just want to know if I can join him!?

Photos by David Paul

Free Skate to Arrival of the Birds ("Crimson Wing" soundtrack) by The Cinematic Orchestra
O by Coldplay--This is the same program music from last season but Thank Goodness, it was a different costume. Not that I didn't like last season's costume but THIS WAS GORGEOUS! The look--also designed/created by Braden Overett--included blue skin tight pants and a second-skin sequined top. That top was OUTSTANDING: This, ladies and gentlemen IS Figure Skating Haute Couture! There were hints of the sky and bird's wings (to go along with the music) in the sequined designs of the top which I really loved, and against the crisp white ice, the colors and crystals stood out like a fabulous and glorious peacock! In person, the crystals lit up the entire arena! Bravo Adam and Bravo Braden!

Lower Photo by David Paul

Vincent Zhou Short Program to Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol--He wore this lilac-hued shirt and dark lilac/gray skin-tight pants designed by Lisa McKinnon who also designed/created Ashley Wagner and Starr Andrews' costumes, among others. The shirt featured beautiful crystals throughout but it was the white tank/shirt underneath that made it slightly too "Casual Fridays" for my taste; I'm just not a fan of the under t-shirt showing, so I would have preferred no undershirt. 

Free Skate to Moulin Rouge (soundtrack): Zhou wore this red-and-black costume for his "Moulin Rouge" Free Skate. This was a new costume from what he had worn previously. I think this costume, which was designed by Ladu Design, was better than before especially for its bold bright "lipstick red" coloring and sleek look. His previous costume featured...

Vincent Zhou Free Skate Costume at Grand Prix Cup of China 2017--A more a muted-red colored vest and off-white shirt, which made him look like one of the waiters in the "Moulin Rouge" Like A Virgin dance number, which in one aspect, seems appropriate because of the music but, overall, I like the new costume a little better.

Ross Miner Short Program to Cosmic Superhero by Bart van Wissen, Magic Cure by Inkmash, and Downtown by Macklemore, Ryan Lewis feat. Eric Nally--Ross Miner skated his Short Program in this all black costume. The look featured a faux leather-like shiny shirt with studded shoulders, matte black pants, metallic belt. I liked all of it, especially the great studded shoulder detail (smart to have detail up there since the cameras would be focusing a lot on the upper torso). I also was happy that he didn't wear a "Ross Dress For Less" 90's belt and instead, wore something that almost looked as if it was actually DESIGNED (what a novel idea!) for the costume! Thank you Ross. 

Free Skate to Somebody to Love, Love of my Life and Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen--Oh Ross, I liked your Short Program costume but my favorite. First off, I get the "Queen"/Freddie Mercury style references (Mercury was a big fan of the color red!), but this just didn't have the gloriousness and refinement to give Queen a figure skating homage. The top just looked a bit off-the-rack and THAT BELT! If you guys have been reading my blog for a while YOU KNOW my special disdain and distaste for these Ross Dress For Less-like belts; it's so 1996 guy going for an interview. While I LOVED his skate, I just wasn't a fan of this costume. Well, at least, he didn't go ALL OUT Freddie Mercury:

Or...maybe he should have!

Max Aaron Short Program to Bring Him Home and One More Day (from "Les Miserables") by Claude-Michel Schoenberg--This look was very Max Aaron in it's gray/black colors and sleek costume look. I liked the cowl draped neckline and asymmetrical hem especially which added a little bit of interest to his costume. This was a modern chic take on a Period Musical number. The costume was designed/created by Ladu Design, who also did Vincent Zhou's new Free Skate costume.

Photo by David Paul

Free Skate to The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber: For his Free Skate, he went typical Max Aaron gray-and-black (of course) with this look, also designed by Ladu Design. This was a nice departure from what we usually see from skaters doing "The Phantom of the Opera" and I appreciated that. I love how Max's costumes are always sleek, modern and certainly highlight his very muscular upper torso.

Jason Brown Short Program to The Room Where It Happens (from "Hamilton") by Lin Manuel Miranda--We know that Jason Brown has probably never met a fabulous costume he did not like and from the moment he stepped onto the ice, you KNEW he was skating to "Hamilton": I loved this costume, designed by Ladu Design. The sleeveless jacket color, the sharp black buttoned lapels, white ruffled blouse, grey vest, pants...all reflected the era and look of Aaron Burr in "Hamilton" and overall, it was an EXCELLENT costume.

Lower Photo by David Paul

Free Skate to Inner Love by Maxime Rodriguez: Jason donned a brand new costume for his Free Skate, debuting it at the 2018 U.S. Nationals. I LOVED IT! This new costume featured a GORGEOUS red and black sequined top with black stretch velvet pants. I really admired the details and design in the sequins and shoulder-radiating pattern and I also liked the hanging straps by the arm. I'm used to seeing Jason in bright bold colors and so it was nice to see him in this more sexier black and red color combination. In case you forgot what he last wore for this Free Skate...

Hello Blue Boy! I liked this blue costume but I do like the black and red one better.

Alexander Johnson Short Program to Legends by Sacred Spirit: Alexander wore this sleek and very chic black costume for his Short Program and I was a big fan! In fact, I loved both his Short and Free Skate costumes A LOT. But back to this one: It featured a gorgeously beaded top with velvet-textured panels and the tightest second-skin-like pants which made the costume look like a complete one-piece ensemble. I absolutely loved how the silver jeweled sequins looked like broken glass strewn beautifully around his upper torso. While I still liked Nathan's Short Program Vera Wang-designed costume, part of me wished THIS above is what it looked like! #JustSaying

Photos By David Paul

Free Skate to Aranjuez performed by Jorge Muniz, Jose Luis Duval--Here is another beautiful costume from Alexander Johnson, this time for his Free Skate to Spain-themed Aranjuez. This costume was FASHION huney! I loved the mauve colored draping, the solid and see-through panels and sleeves and overall Skating Couture look. Bravo Alexander for "bringing it" when it came to your gorgeous and fabulous costumes!

Lower Photo by David Paul

Grant Hochstein Short Program to Your Song (Moulin Rouge soundtrack)--Grant wore this costume for his Short Program consisting of an ombre-dyed blue sequined top and black pants. I liked the top, especially the nice crystal detail and bright-to-dark blue shading. I just wished the shirt fit a teeny tiny tighter and sleeker...and same goes for the pants. It was all just a bit too basic Figure Skating Costume 101.

Photos by David Paul

Free Skate to Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber--For his Free Skate to Phantom of the Opera, Grant donned this all-black costume. The look consisted of a side-wrapped blouson-like top with a V-neck, sheer sleeves and crystal studded band collar and sleeve bands/cuffs. This was elegant and pretty and I loved that it didn't have any typical "Phantom-like "costume gimmicky" references (ruffled blouse, etc.). And in case any one cares, this costume was a change from what he had worn for his Free Skate at the Grand Prix Russia/Rostelecom Cup 2017 and Grand Prix/Cup of China 2017:
 Previous Free Skate Costume (above photos)--I like the new one better!

That's a COSTUME-Wrap...for the MEN!
CONGRATULATIONS on the MEN who topped the medal podium at this year's stomach-churning Men's Finals! And SUPER Congrats to the Top Three Men heading to the 2018 Winter Olympics! 

**UP NEXT: The PAIRS and ICE DANCE COSTUMES HIGHLIGHTS of the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships!!!

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

4 Responses to "ICE STYLE....2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships COSTUMES RECAP: MEN"

Stop Vera Wang said...

Both his costumes from last year better support this years programs. They aren't ugly outfits just completely ill fitted for his programs. The dress shirt and pants work totally fine for the short and something Asian that is like the music he is skating too. his long was a snooze.

Stop Vera Wang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stop Vera Wang said...

If people agree with me about Nathan Chen costumes by Vera Wang, repost this video

Lets stop making from our prince Nathan Evan Lysacek!

Unknown said...

As for Nathan's short program costume — the neck sewed wrong it stifles him. I can't find anything beautiful in it, while Nathan in it, it seems like he is uncomfortable in it or grew fat. I also can't find anything beautiful or notable in it. Besides Nathan's training clothes is way better than this costume. Also as for me, I enjoyed the shirt for this program more, it was so elegant and fitted the music.