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Ladies of Japan--(L to R) Kaori Sakamoto, Marin Honda, Kaori Sakamoto, and Wakaba Higuchi--NHK Trophy 2020 Grand Prix of Japan

This past weekend was the sixth in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Competition series, the 2020 NHK Trophy, or Grand Prix of Japan (although Skate Canada and Internationaux de France were both canceled due to the pandemic). It was held in Osaka Japan and featured some of the top figure skaters, mostly from Japan and South Korea. Naturally, it made for some new COSTUME COMMENTING here on my "Ice Style" BLOG so...let's get started on the NHK Trophy 2020 Costumes Recap, The LADIES:

Marin Honda Japan Short Program to The Giving by Michael W. Smith--Honda skated her Short Program to this sweeping, very melodic music by Michael W. Smith wearing this gorgeous costume. The design featured a purple multilayered and paneled base, with jagged hem edges. The top was accentuated by elaborate sequined applique that framed her torso, beautifully placed atop a nude illusion top and sleeve section. She looked like a rich yet delicate fairy or flower princess, especially with the lovely hairband.

Marin Honda Japan Free Skate to La La Land by Justin Hurwitz--For her Free Skate to "La La Land", Honda wore this blue dress with yet another gorgeous neckline filled with expensive-looking flower and sequin applique, and beautifully draped upper torso, highlighting the upper area of the costume. It was sweet and striking at the same time, especially in this vibrant blue hue. The dress (I am guessing) was inspired by the blue halter dress that actress Emma Stone wears in the movie when she goes out with her girlfriends.
SCORE: 9.50

Mai Mihara Japan Short Program to It’s Magic (from "Romance on the High Seas") performed by Doris Day--For her Short program to the Doris Day song "It's Magic" from the film "Romance on the High Seas", Mai Mihara wore this fuchsia pink costume with crystal sequin applique throughout. The color was striking, especially against the white ice, and the crystal detail was nice. Part of me wanted a little bit more of a "1949 Doris Day Style Moment"...

...perhaps closer to the costumes worn in the film but of course, updated to now; Mai's costume seemed like it could be more for a "Nutcracker/Sugarplum Fairy" skate instead.
SCORE: 8.00

Mai Mihara Free Skate to Fairy of the Forest, Galaxy (piano version) by Yuko Toyoda--I loved this costume worn by Mihara for her "Fairy of the Forest" Free Skate. This was completely ON POINT: She looked like a beautiful fairy, as she should! The intricate embroidery and sequined applique were the stars of this costume with the various shades of green, silver, black, as well as pinks and violets. I also loved the butterfly wing-like motif on the top portion--and her eye makeup was FANTASTIC!
SCORE: 9.50

Mako Yamashita Japan Short Program to Una voce poco fa (from The Barber of Seville) by Gioacchino Rossini--Mako wore this colorful design for her "Barber of Seville" Short Program. The look was a bit "Court Jester-y" in its design, colors, and scroll-like applique. Not sure what this really has to do with the famous opera or any of the characters (perhaps the "Arlecchino"/Harlequin, wily servant character??) but it did give me a Venetian vibe.
SCORE: 7.85

Mako Yamashita Japan Free Skate to A Thousand Years by Christina Perri--Mako skated her Free Skate to the music from The Twilight Saga film "Breaking Dawn Part I, wearing this deep blue costume featuring a very intricate gathered bodice, gold sequin applique, and nude illusion sleeves and top section. I thought this was quite pretty and very "Going to a Red Carpet" event (or a fancy wedding!) but maybe not so "Twilight"-y but it was elegant and pretty nonetheless.
SCORE: 9.00

You Young South Korea Short Program to Istanbul Grooves by Yasar Akpence, and Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra (soundtrack) by Philippe Chany--I certainly got the "Cleopatra" vibes from this outstanding design, worn by South Korean skater You Young. I loved everything about it: the bias-binding-like criss-cross detail on the torso, the oversized gold jeweled trim on the neckline, arms, and sides, as well as the golden "belt" wrapping around her waist. She looked like a sculpture of a sarcophagus that I would find at the Cairo Museum! 
SCORE: 9.90

You Young South Korea Free Skate to Lord of the Rings (soundtrack) by Howard Shore, performed by The Piano Guys, May It Be (from Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring) by Howard Shore, and Lord of the Rings (soundtrack) by Howard Shore, performed by The Piano Guys--For her Free Skate, You Young wore this mauve-pink colored costume that looked light as air. The chiffon design reminded me of a Roman tunic made for the wife of an aristocrat. The delicate web-like sequins across the body added to the overall elegance of this look. My one critique is that the illusion sleeve is short and doesn't conform to her body. I would have much preferred the sleeve to be longer and similar to Mai Mihara.
SCORE: 9.50

Wakaba Higuchi Japan Short Program to Bird Set Free by Sia--For Wakaba's Short Program to Sia's "Bird Set Free", she wore this indigo blue costume featuring asymmetrical lines, crystal "icicle"-like sequin detail, and nude illusion panels throughout. The one sleeve design had an overall air of a rocker performance look that reminded me of Blondie or Pat Benatar; it was directional, modern if not even slightly "Punk".
SCORE: 9.00

Wakaba Higuchi Japan Free Skate to Poeta by Vicente Amigo and Flamenco Passion & Soul by Gino D'Auri--For her Free Skate to the flamenco-inspired music, naturally, Wakaba went with a Spanish Senorita "Carmen" look. The costume checked all the boxes: Red, black lace, red roses, Sevillana-like tiered ruffles...heck, all she was missing was a big Mantilla and Peineta (hair comb) on top of her styled chignon! While it was a bit "been there done that" for the music and theme, it was done well and nice design elements such as the asymmetrical neckline and center front nude illusion panel.
SCORE: 8.75

Kaori Sakamoto Short Program to Concerto En Re Mineur, BWV 974: ll. Adagio by Johann Sebastian Bach perf. by Alexandre Tharaud and Bach A La Jazz by Matt Herskowitz and Mary Kerr--I liked this costume worn by Kaori Sakamoto for her Short Program. The design featured pink, lilac, and deep purple ombre hues, nice gathered midriff detail, and gorgeous heavy-to-light crystal work. The neckline was especially beautiful in its sequin embellishment and I also like the "starry night" look of the other crystals on the dress.
SCORE: 9.00

Kaori Sakamoto Japan Free Skate to Main Title Trinity Infinity from The Matrix (soundtrack) by Don Davis, Clubbed To Death from The Matrix (soundtrack) by Rob Dougan, and Chateau Vol.2 from The Matrix (soundtrack) by Rob Dougan--Sakamoto saved the BEST COSTUME for her Free Skate to music from "The Matrix". I loved the modern, chic, and super fashionable design--the juxtaposition of the faux leather with see-through illusion chiffon; it gave it a Pierre Cardin-meets-Jean Paul Gaultier look. But hands down, the costume highlights were the "Matrix"-like sequins in variations of green, turquoise, gold, and blue, exquisitely positioned on the side of her costume as well as on her wrists. And to finish it all off in a severe "Don't Mess With Me" hair chignon: Perfect!
SCORE: 9.95

Click below to watch KAORI SAKAMOTO of Japan and her FREE SKATE from NHK Trophy 2020: