Ice Style

ICE STYLE.....2018 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Costumes RECAP: PAIRS COSTUMES

1
Golden Couple--Germany's Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot at the end of the Gold medal-winning skate at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics

Last night were the Finals of the 2018 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Pairs competition in Gangneung Ice Arena, Gangneung South Korea. It was THE BEST PAIRS FIGURE SKATING COMPETITION EVAHHH!!!! I was on the edge of my sofa watching it and hoping/wishing/praying that somehow, some way...the FABULOUS DIVA and two-time Olympic bronze medalist Aljona Savchenko would FINALLY win her Gold. And she did!!

Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany, following their gold medal-winning skate at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics

Along with her pairs partner Bruno Massot (she is originally from the Ukraine and he is from France), the team won the Gold for Germany and in the most AMAZING fashion. It was EVERYTHING and a perfect example of why I watch and LOVE figure skating. But enough of that...time to discuss the PAIRS COSTUMES!!! 

Let's begin with the US pair:
Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Christopher Knierim Short Program to Come What May (Moulin Rouge soundtrack)--Alexa and Chris skated their Short Program wearing these costumes above. Alexa wore a pretty golden/nude colored costume--designed by Skating Costume Goddess Lisa McKinnon--with gorgeous beading throughout and a lilac/violet colored belt/waistband. I thought she looked like a "Red Carpet Satine" in her look, very on-trend and very pretty. Christopher's costume (of the same color as her waistband) involved a delicately beaded shirt, with matching-color pants. When they last wore this, during the 2018 U.S. Nationals, his shirt was un-tucked and it annoyed me and I said HERE that I wish it wasn't. Well, I guess someone read my blog! Thank you Chris.

Free Skate to Ghost - The Musical by David A. Stewart, Glen Ballard--For their Free Skate, Alexa and Chris wore these looks above which I thought were modern and sleek. Alexa's dress featured a lilac-hued ombre color and clean/un-fussy design and I loved the sexy open back. Christopher's look was more on the un-costume costume world of the "Max Aaron School of Costuming" with his very tight silver-gray asymmetrical top and black pants. He also looked quite sexy and it was wise to make those sleeves as tight as they could be, showing off his very toned biceps. Overall--in terms of their skating--I just wished they had more emotion, more passion. For a married couple, it seems strange how much of that they lacked, particularly Chris; the entire time he looked as if he was waiting for his bread to toast. 

Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise of Italy Short Program to Magnificat by Mina--OK, let me be frank: I could CARE LESS what they skated to when they looked this HOT! HOT! HOT! I loved these lavender costumes featuring ombre-dye coloring and sequined applique embellishments. I liked her little costume with long sleeves and handkerchief-hemmed skirt section. But can we discuss MATTEO GUARISE!!??? Mamma mia!!! His body is INSANE! Oh, and yes, I loved his costume. First, the fit was perfection. 


Free Skate to The Tree Of Life by Roberto Cacciapagua--Once again, these Italians are making me swoon with just looking at how SEXY they look! I really liked these costumes from head to toe! The colors were vibrant and ice-impacting and they looked like a wonderful and sexy sea/earth flora-and-fauna God and Goddess in these.


Valentina Marchei and Ondrej Hotarek of Italy Short Program to Tu vuo fa l'Americano by Renato Carosone--The music and program was SOOOO Italian, they should have served the judges some Limoncello after they skated! The colors and fun presentation were a welcomed respite from the usually more serious Pairs programs. Ondrej wore black pants, tight white dress shirt and red polka dotted neck-scarf. He looked like the waiter at a fun pizza restaurant, and Valentina wore this red mini dress using the same polka dotted print for the skirt. I especially liked the crystals that were strewn throughout her tights.


Free Skate to Amarcord by Nino Rota--Once again, Marchei and Hotarek went the Italiano route; this time for their Free Skate, they skated to the music of the Academy Award-winning Federico Fellini film "Amarcord". They were bold and fun in their "Harlequin" print embellished costumes in black, red and white. It was kooky and slightly "Circus"-like. But visually, at least it got me to pay attention. Fun and bold: Me Piace!(I LIKE IT!).


Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres of France Short Program to Make It Rain by Foy Vance performed by Ed Sheeran arranged by Maxime Rodriguez--Vanessa wore a bright royal blue "Versace"-like design featuring strap detail, crystals and overall styling reminiscent of the 90's heydays of Gianni Versace. I could care less if the music or program had NOTHING to do with the Italian designer or 90's Supermodels because I loved her costume! And now, it's time for Morgan: While I do not complain when I see something SUPER TIGHT and SUPER SEXY on Morgan Cipres (Bonjour Morgan!!), this was a bit of a disjointed mess. I give them points for trying to bring in her royal blue color with his strap detail, but...this was just odd. He should have dumped that vest and belt and just keep that see-through super sexy plunging v-neck top. Add tiny royal blue crystals on it...and call it a COSTUME day! Merci.


Free Skate to Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel performed by Disturbed, arranged by Maxime Rodriguez--The French pairs team went back to their 2016-2017 Free Skate with his music and program. In terms of their costumes, they were sleek and sexy, just like their skating. Vanessa wore a black jumpsuit/unitard with a faux leather-like strappy harness on her upper torso. I liked the modernity of it. We know she loves a jumpsuit/unitard so this was not a surprise. Morgan was a bit of a costume disappointment since he looked as if her just went to Zara and called it a day...


In case you were wondering, this above is what they last wore for this same program last season

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada Short Program to With Or Without You by U2 performed by April Meservy--Meagan's look featured a sheer tank with deep blue lace overlay including delicate silver beading. I thought she looked pretty, sexy and modern. Eric looked sleek and fab in his matching deep blue "Western Shirt"-inspired top that had delicate rhinestone details at the collar, shoulder and sleeve bands. Oh, and yes, he wore a pair of nice super-tight black pants. While we have seen these costumes before at the end of last year and at the 2018 Canadian Nationals, this was a COSTUME CHANGE from what they last wore at Skate Canada International 2017 for the Short Program...


I am happy they changed because these were just plain odd, especially hers. Come to think of it, maybe they knew it and that's why they changed.

Free Skate to Neutron Star Collision by Matthew Bellamy, I Belong To You (Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix) from "Samson and Dalilah" by Camille Saint-Saens, and Uprising by Matthew Bellamy performed by Muse--If I am not mistaken, these were new costumes for this Free Skate, debuted at the Olympics last week for the Team Event...and I liked them! Meagan's maroon colored halter-style costume featured GORGEOUS jeweled sequins in the neckline which accentuated her incredible shoulders, as well as a handkerchief hem skirt which elongated her petite frame. I especially LOVED Eric's cowl draped top with see-through chiffon side panels. It was pretty, matched her dress and had enough stage impact. Now, going back to the Costume Change...Meagan and Eric love a Costume Change and especially for their Free Skate; they literally CHANGED THEIR COSTUMES almost every single time they skated:

Gold? Red? Or Blue? Costumes worn by Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford for their Season 2017-2018 Free Skate 

Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert of Olympic Athlete from Russia Free Skate to Too Close by Alex Clare (Evan Duffy Cover) , I love you much too much by Bob Zurke and The Sleeping Beauty by Petr I. Tchaikovski--Since the nation of Russia was not allowed to compete under the name "Russia", all their athletes come from the banner "Olympic Athlete from Russia". Now, in terms of their costumes: These lovely looks are what they wore for their Free Skate. They were quietly elegant if not rather "basic" but not in a bad way. The music was classical, yet instead of going the tutu route, they went for 90's slip dress sleek. They did, however, allow for a little bit of sparkle when toward the end of their program, they flipped their necklines, and exposed hidden sequin embellishments in a kind of "costume change" flourish (see photos above for before and after the "costume flip". It was meant to reflect going from "practice to performance"...cleaver, but also a tad gimmicky.

Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Olympic Athlete from Russia Short Program to Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninov--I thought these costumes were quite unique and fabulous. I loved the wrapping-around red ties and black background. While they did give me a feel of blood slashed through their bodies, the costumes still seemed sublime and almost pretty. I also really liked how they matched! (what a novel costume idea for Pairs??!!).


Free Skate to Candyman by Christina Aguilera--For their Free Skate for the 2017-2018 Season, Tarasova and Morozov decided to go "Kooky" as you can see above. While I guess there were hints of the WWII 40's Milk Shake Diner Style to these looks, they were still more "The Mask" than "Candyman". I don't know but these costumes just seem a little too "comical", especially for an Olympic year skate as many commentators pointed out (Hello Tara Lapinski & Johnny Weir!). 

Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang of China Free Skate to Star Wars (soundtrack): While I liked both of these costumes, I especially loved the blue chiffon costume on her! The gathered bodice design featured gorgeous sequined trim at the plunging neckline, armholes and waist and a fabulous neck drape. This dress could easily go from ice to the red carpet! Now, for Hao Zhang, I thought his top was great with its Star Wars-meets-Star Trek-like details; I especially loved how the crystals on his shirt look like mini buttons lighting up on a "Star Wars" ship!

Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China Short Program to Hallelujah--I LOVE this Chinese Pairs couple, not just for their skating but, yes, their costumes as well. They are bringing the Haute in Haute Couture Figure Skating Costumes with these looks above worn for their Short Program. Her scarlet red costume was BEAUTIFUL; I loved the sequin work that went from heavy to light--as if a gorgeous Swarovski crystal mirror had broken and ended up beautifully on her costume! And he was not left behind with a beautifully-embellished "Dragon" sequined top. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Free Skate to Violin Fantasy on Puccini's Turandot by Vanessa-Mae and Nessun Dorma (from "Turandot") by Giacomo Puccini, performed by Luciano Pavarotti--These costumes worn for their Free Skate were two of the MOST BEAUTIFUL COSTUMES I have seen in a long time on Pairs skaters. They were bold, right for the music and looked super ice skating COUTURE...I can go on and on. I loved the sequined applique on her gorgeous red dress but that gold and silver dragon on his shirt was EVERYTHING!

Tae Ok Ryom and Ju Sik Kim of North Korea Short Program to A Day in the Life by Paul McCartney, John Lennon, performed by Jeff Beck--This is the North Korean pairs couple EVERYONE is talking about so, naturally, I was excited to discuss their costumes. Anyone thinking that since they came from poverty-stricken North Korea that their costumes would be, let's just say Not-So-Mucheey, they were sadly mistaken: They looked FAB! They skated their Short Program in these black jumpsuit ensembles featuring silver and gray metallic, jeweled sequins and Rock & Roll-like accessories--like her arm bands. I liked the matching asymmetrical waist/hip details and his sheer side panels, encrusted with crystals. These reflected the music and had nice stage impact.


Free Skate to Je suis qu'une chanson by Diane Justler, performed by Ginette Reno--For their Free Skate, they wore the costumes above, which were quite similar in silhouette to their Short program but with slight changes. She looked quite sexy in her halter-style jumpsuit/unitard with silver beading and illusion neckline and I really liked the sheer swirl patterns on her legs. Finally, his look comprised of black pants and top was sleek and directional. I especially loved his tank-top/short sleeve shirt design featuring similar sheer panels seen on her costume. Overall, these were great fashionable looks from this North Korean pairs team. whoever is designing these looks and helping out with their image is doing an A+ job!

Let's finish with the Gold medalists from Germany:
Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany Short Program to That Man performed by Caro Emerald--I absolutely LOVED this new costume worn by Aljona for her Short program! The minute she stepped on the ice I had one word: WOW. The crystals, sequins, fringe, sheer waist panel...it was GLORIOUS 1920's Flapper "Great Gatsby" DIVA! Sorry Bruno, you looked cute and I loved your little bow tie but...it was ALL ABOUT Miss Savchenko! Her costume, by the way, was designed and created by:


Lisa McKinnon. Of course. Fab job Lisa!

And in case you were wondering, these were the costumes they wore when they skated to this music/program last season (Season 2016-2017):
While I think these are cute and the salmon pink color is nice, the new one is MUCH BETTER!

Free Skate to La Terre vue du ciel by Armand Amar, edited by Maxime Rodriguez: For their Olympic gold medal winning Free Skate, the German Pairs couple of Savchenko and Massot wore these lilac-hued costumes above. I LOVED Aljona's white-and-lilac ombre dyed costume which featured gathered upper torso and a sequined neckband. The costume also had a center front nude illusion panel and diamante-studded waistband. I especially LOVED the front gathered section and that bejeweled neckline! Bruno matched her costume with his top and while it was OK, once again, this was all about (costume-wise) Aljona darlings! Her costume was another great design from...

Lisa McKinnon

And, for those inquiring minds...while she has worn this before, it was a COSTUME CHANGE from what she last wore for their Free Skate earlier in the season last year at...
2017 Skate Canada International

CONGRATULATIONS...
To all the Top Three Medalists: (L to R) China's Wenjing Sui and Cong Han (Silver), Germany's Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot (Gold) and Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Rric Radford (Bronze)

Bravo Savchenko and Massot! 

**Stay tuned here on my ICE STYLE BLOG for more Costumes Recaps of the 2018 Winter Olympics Figure Skating!!

1 Response to "ICE STYLE.....2018 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Costumes RECAP: PAIRS COSTUMES"

Pam Cho said...

Thank you for all the details, Nick. I can’t wait to read more. I always look forward to reading your comments and expertise.