ICE STYLE.....2019 NHK Trophy Figure Skating COSTUMES: LADIES & MEN!

Sequined Kings and Queens--(L to R) Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan (Far left, second from left), Rika Kihira of Japan and Alena Kostornaia of Russia--2019 NHK Trophy Sapporo Japan

This past weekend was the 2019 NHK Trophy, the "Grand Prix of Japan" competition event for the 2019-2010 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, which was held in Sapporo Japan. As it is custom here on my "Ice Style" BLOG, I discuss the figure skating costumes so now, after blogging about all the previous competitions HERE, it is time to do a Costume Recap of 2019 NHK Trophy. Let's start with the LADIES and MEN for this BLOG. First up, the...

Alena Kostornaia Russia Short Program to Departure (Lullaby) from "The Leftovers" (soundtrack) by Max Richter and November by Max Richter--Alena wore this white costume (in keeping with the white looks seen in the HBO show "The Leftovers") featuring subtle blue tie-dyeing, dark blue/gray accents on the sides and back and delicate beading. I thought the dye detail formed quite a nice design on the torso of the costume, almost giving a sea creature or angel-like effect. The back is STUNNING as you can see in the photo above and the gloves are EVERYTHING with the crystals and spikey/winged details; I am thinking it is definitely more "Angel" from the Heavens for sure.

Free Skate to The Meadow (from "New Moon" soundtrack) by Alexandre Desplat, Eyes on Fire (from "Twilight" soundtrack) by Blue Foundation and Supermassive Black Hole by Muse--For her Free Skate, Alena wore a costume featuring a purple base, sweetheart neckline, black accents, silver rhinestones and red blood-like sequin accents. I liked the not-so-subtle homage to the "Twilight" movies' vampire theme and the subtle details such as those gloves; she looked pretty yet slightly deadly. I especially liked the neckline's sequined "fangs" motif.

Alina Zagitova Russia Short Program to Me Voy by Yasmin Levy--Russia's Olympian Alina Zagitova was vibing the Spanish flamenco theme with this black lace and sequined costume. I wasn't overly moved by this look; to be honest, it seemed a bit "old" and rather uninspiring for her. All that lace and darkness reminded me of the black lace Mantillas the widows wear to their husband's funerals. The one word that comes to mind is "Bland".

Free Skate to The Feeling Begins by Peter Gabriel, Lawrence Of Arabia by Maurice Jarre and Ramses by Khatir Hicham--With a Middle East-themed soundtrack ranging from "The Last Temptation of Christ" to "Lawrence of Arabia" to Egypt, we arrive at this fabulous costume worn by Zagitova. After a rather dull Short Program design, I was very happy to see this for sure! I loved the one-shoulder black-draped design with sequined nude illusion and in particular, the turquoise jeweled "Cleopatra"-like wings at the bust. Oh, and then those incredible details like the necklace, shoulder epaulets, snake wrist accents, and gold paillettes used as eye makeup were fabulous.

Eun-soo Lim Korea Free Skate to Sabrina (soundtrack)--Very "Sabrina"'ve got the necklace, the sweetheart neckline, the sequined bodice...this nude-colored costume was elegant, very delicately pretty and right for the music. She is literally the "Pageant Betty" of Figure Skating, especially here in this costume.

Karen Chen USA Free Skate to Illumination by Secret Garden--Karen wore this very pretty costume for her Free Skate. I thought she looked quite delicate and beautiful in this lightly ombre-dyed lilac costume featuring heavy-to-light sequins highlighting the torso. I liked how the nude illusion seemed to disappear highlighting the jeweled "shoulder straps". 

Rika Kihira Japan Short Program to Breakfast in Baghdad by Ulf Wakenius performed by Youn Sun Nah--Japan's Rika Kihira wore this red sequined costume. I liked the design and black ombre dye effect under the silver rhinestones, as well as the delicately asymmetrical skirt. The look was a bit "Vampira" but the red and black coloring was impacting, especially against her porcelain-like skin. This was a COSTUME CHANGE from what she wore before at Skate Canada International and the Autumn Classic: 

Which costume do you guys like better? Red or Blue?

Free Skate to International Angel of Peace: O Virtus Sapientae by Hildgard of Bingen performed by Maya Beiser, Beirut Taxi (from “Syriana” soundtrack) by Alexandre Desplat, Wings of the Eagle by Uttara-Kuru, Caravan on the Move (from “Caravans”) by Mike Batt, Mother Tongue by Dead Can Dance, Sacred Stones by Sheila Chandra, In A Moment of Greatness by Larry Groupé)--Rika wore this olive-toned costume featuring ombre dyeing effect and gold sequined embroidery. I wasn't a fan of the rather drab color and the gold lace applique was a tad too "Mother-of-the-Bride" old. This was also a COSTUME CHANGE...

From this blue and gold costume above, which she worn for her Free Skate before. I DEFINITELY liked this blue one better. 

Now, let's discuss THE MEN:
Jason Brown USA Free Skate to Schindler's List (soundtrack) by John Williams--For his Free Skate to "Schindler's List", Jason wore this ombre dyed gray costume featuring a Lycra turtleneck with sequin applique, deep gray pants, and cummerbund-like waist accessory. I thought this was an elegant design and I especially liked the sequined top with a detail that reminded me of the Manhattan skyline, but I think the pants were way too baggy.

Koshiro Shimada Japan Short Program to Stay by Cynthia Erivo, Oliver Tompsett--18-year-old Koshiro wore this blue costume for his Short Program. The Lycra top featured multicolored sequins and an asymmetrical neckline. He paired it with black pants. It was a nice look but still a bit "Junior"-esque. Maybe I should just be happy that it didn't look as if he went to the Japanese version of "Men's Warehouse" and bought a basic shirt, pants, and 90's black belt, like some of the Men's figure skater are wont to do.

Sergei Voronov Russia Free Skate to I Belong to You/Mon Cœur S’Ouvre à ta Voix by Muse--Sergei wore this purple/lilac colored stretch top withy very dark grape-colored pants. The color story was nice and I liked the color blocking effect. I also liked the contrast back zip. Do I wish there was more? yes. I am just not sure what that more would be.  

Yuzuru Hanyu Short Program to Otonal by Raul di Blasio--Yuzuru Hanyu rehashed his same Short Program music from last season for this 2019-2010 season. I liked this season's costume with its jaggedy edges and beautiful rhinestones. It all makes for a striking design on the torso, giving a "Snow King" effect, like stylish icicles. I know that he is a fan of the neck ruffle detail which makes for a nice "framed face", but here it looked a bit too "children's costume"-like.

Free Skate to Origin ("Art on Ice")  by Edvin Marton--This was a STUNNING costume worn by Yuzuru Hanyu. The subtle purple shading, the beautiful gold curved rhinestone design, the juxtaposition of the solid vs. the sheer, the 3D effect of the applique...all details that add up to a very Couture-like design that is right for such a Couture-like figure skater.


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