ICE STYLE.....Internationaux de France 2019 SKATING COSTUMES RECAP: LADIES & MEN!

Ladies and Gentlemen--(L to R) Alena Kostornaia of Russia, Alena Kostornaia of Russia, Alina Zagitova of Russia and Shoma Uno of Japan--2019 Internationaux de France Grand Prix of Figure Skating

The third competition event in the 2019-2020 Grand Prix of Figure Skating series--the 2019 Internationaux de France--took place this past weekend in Grenoble, France. Also known as Grand Prix of France, it showcased the Men's and Ladies Singles, Ice Dance and Pairs disciplines at the foot of the French Alps. I have already blogged about the costumes at Skate America HERE and Skate Canada International HERE so now it is time for the Internationaux de France costumes I have not talked about...

Starting with the two triple axel Queen and Gold Medal Winner from Russia: 
Alena Kostornaia Short Program--Skating her 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 seeing in the HBO show) featuring subtle blue tie-dyeing, dark blue/gray accents on the sides and back and delicate beading (it's Figure Skating, after all). I thought the dye detail formed quite a nice design on the torso of the costume, almost giving a sea creature-like effect.

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 outstanding 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.

Mariah Bell USA Short Program--For Mariah's Short program this season, she skated to Radar by Britney Spears and Work Bitch by Britney Spears, and as a Britney fan, I was happy! Her skate was choreographed by Adam Rippon and her black costume was designed by Figure Skating Costume go-to-designer, Lisa McKinnon. I thought this black mock-halter-neck and open-back costume featuring black jeweled sequins was sexy, stage-worthy and yes, very Britney.

Free Skate to Hallelujah by KD Lang--For her Free Skate, I loved this beautiful costume which Mariah skated to KD Lang's "Hallelujah". The light lilac-based design featured GORGEOUS sequin work, solid vs. illusion paneling and pretty ombre dyeing effect at the hip area. It looked expensive and "Heaven"-like. 

Starr Andrews USA Short Program--Another Lisa McKinnon design was worn by American skater Starr Andrews for her Short Program to You Lost Me by Christina Aguilera. This design featured a silver-light gray color base with skin-color illusion and beautiful pearl-and-bead work. I loved the criss-cross draped banding across the body as well as a slightly asymmetrical slit-front skirt. It was sexy, impressive and worked well against Starr's skin.

Wakaba Higuchi Japan Free Skate--For Higuchi's flamenco-inspired Free Skate to Poeta by Vincente Amigo, I was happy to not see a very traditional--and overtly--Flamenco-looking design; this was a bit more elevated and thoughtful. The references were there (the flutter sleeves, the hints of Spanish red), but it was nice to see the unexpected deep violet coloring and see what looked like thorns as opposed to those traditional red roses.

Yuna Shiraiwa Japan Short Program--Skating to Concertino Bianco for Piano by Georg Pelecis, Shiraiwa wore this heavily-beaded gold-and-silver sequined costume with a white petal-shaped skirt. The costume was pretty impressive and all that bead-work is very expensive and made quite a costume impact. 

Free Skate to To Warm the World-Gerstein's Theme by Armand Amar, The Bishop's Complaint/The Train II by Armand Amar and The Train III by Armand Amar--For some background on this beautifully dark costume, the music is from a 2002 film that examines alleged links between the Vatican and Nazi Germany (yeah, you read right). I thought that the ombre shading was quite nice but I was a bit on the fence with the macabre details: The shredded raw edges of the shirt in combination with the dripping blood effect was a bit disconcerting. If I didn't know what she was skating about (and the background of the film), I would have been a bit more "Ummm, this looks really odd!), but since I did know, it somewhat worked. 

Alina Zagitova Short Program--Skating 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" for her. All that lace and darkness reminded me of the black lace Mantillas the widows wear to their husband's funerals. 

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 make up...

Alina vibed her best Elizabeth Taylor/Katy Perry Cleopatra Diva (photos above)

And now, time to discuss...THE MEN:
Shoma Uno Japan Short Program--Skating to Great Spirit by Armin van Buuren and Vini Vici feat. Hilight Tribe, Shoma wore this Hippy-esque Tie-dye (tie-dye is FOR SURE a Figure Skating Costume Trend for the 2019-2020 season!) multicolored top with black pants. The top featured blue, violet and red colors and exquisite sequin details. It was nice and delicately interesting, reminding me of a psychedelic-looking sky during a "Burning Man" weekend (I have never been so I am just assuming here!). 

Free Skate to Our Life (Finale) performed by Brock Hewitt, Dancing On My Own performed by Callum Scott, Your Last Kiss by Karl Hugo--I am guessing that Shoma might have just worn the same pants he wore for his Short Program and just changed his top. I liked this beautiful, and expensive-looking black-and-silver sequined top. It was just such a shame that his skating wasn't as elevated as this costume.

Tomoki Hiwatashi USA Short Program--Fun, vibrant and colorful, was the look of Tomoki's costume (or at least his shirt) for his Short Program to Love Runs Out by OneRepublic. It was hippy-dippy psychedelic and fresh. And yeah: How the heck can he do that split...on ice skates!!!!!

Free Skate to Petrushka by Igor Stravinsky--I loved this costume, inspired by the famous Stravinski ballet. Tomoki was definitely "Petruskha" in this creative, colorful design. I loved the asymmetry of the ruffle in the front neckline/torso, the ombre-dyed diamonds, uneven edges of the top and black strappy sequined accents. It takes a certain kind of figure skater to pull this look off and I think Tomoki did!  

Kevin Aymoz France Short Program--Yes kids, this French boy skated to The Question Of U by Prince, as seen from the purple sequined and Lycra top underneath. Oh, and he also wore black pants with a black belt. I have to say there are more creative ways of honoring Prince than this so I wasn't a fan. He looked like he went to a Cruise and found out he was doing a Prince sing-a-long and then bought this at the ship's souvenir shop.

Free Skate to Lighthouse by Patrick Watson--I was very happy for Kevin to have done so well, especially in his home country of France, but this "costume" (I put in quotes for a reason) was also a miss. He wore a black shirt with random rhinestones and what looked like the same belt and pants from his Short Program. Here is the short version: No. 

Alexander Samarin Russia Short Program--For his Short Program to Blues for Klook by Eddy Louiss, Samarin wore this indigo-blue colored solid/sheer shirt and matching dark blue pants. It matched the "Blues" inspiration of his music for sure and he did look like a band member of a cool blues band. While it wasn't making any real fab costume waves, it was OK.

Free Skate to Good News by Apashe--Lastly, Russian skater Alexander Samarin wore this look for his Free Skate. The music is quite "Hipster-Cool" and his look involved a black top and pants with "slashed" front, flared sleeve hems and creepy imprint in the back. His shirt looked as if it was inspired by a horror movie and it was both creepy yet impacting.

**NEXT UP: ICE DANCE and PAIRS COSTUMES RECAP of the 2019 Internatiuonaux de France !! 

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