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ICE STYLE.....2013 Skate Canada: Ladies and Pairs!


This weekend was the second of the I.S.U. Grand Prix of Figure Skating senior-level invitational competition: the 2013 Skate Canada International. Skate Canada 2013 took place at the Harbour Station in Saint John, New Brunswick Canada.

Canadians are big fans of figure skating and Canada has lots of top skaters in all the disciplines poised for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Now, let's get to the Costumes! Last week, I wrote about the Skate America 2013 Costumes so now it's time for my Skate Canada 2013 Costumes Recap. First up the Ladies and Pairs.

The Ladies:

Akiko Suzuki Japan, Short Program: I loved Akiko's last season costumes, especially the feathered costume she wore to her 2012-2013 Short program to Music from "O" by Cirque du Soleil. With that in mind, I was hoping she would still "bring it" when it came to this season's costumes. For her Short Program to "Hymne à l'amour" she wore this blue-purple costume featuring heavily jeweled neck detail, side crystal "straps" and a busy flower applique side-waist accent. it was quite a lot. I didn't like the entire costume "package" but did like some of its details, especially the neck/shoulder jeweled accents.

Free Skate: I liked this costume that Akiko wore for her Free Skate to Music from the soundtrack of The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It had an ombre shaded skirt section and beautiful sequined bodice. I also loved the crystal web-like neckline.

Christina Gao USA, Short Program: I thought this costume Christina wore for her Short Program to "Close Without Touching" by David Arkenstone was quite nice. The deep wine colored side beaded costume had elongated sleeves and side-slit skirt section. It worked well with the music and program and made her look more mature--and in a good way. The costume was designed by Yumi Barnett-Nakamura.

Gracie Gold USA, Short Program: When I first saw Gracie step onto the ice, I would have bet money that she was skating to "Chicago" but nope, I was wrong; she skated her Short Program to "Three Preludes" by George Gershwin. While I actually wished she would have skated to "Chicago" since I really wasn't a fan of this choppy jittery music, I still liked her costume. It had lots of razzle-dazzle, stage impact and I especially like the asymmetrical lines that curved and hugged toward her back in all the right ways. Also note that she had nude GLOVES created for the costume. Lots of this season's ladies wore gloves as part of their costume and this was an ingenious way to wear them but look as if she wasn't.

Free Skate: Gracie skated her Free Skate to Music from Sleeping Beauty by Tchaikovsky. I loved this ombre lilac costume featuring intricate crystal "necklaces" in a web-like effect throughout the top section. I also liked the drop-shoulder sleeves. Both her Short and Free Skate costumes were designed by Gale Johnson and Denise Gold.

Julia Lipnitskaia Russia, Short Program: Fifteen year-old skating dynamo, Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia, skated her Short Program to "You Don't Give Up on Love" by Mark Minkov. The costume was sweet, girly and right for her age. I liked the heavily beaded detail of the top section, but I thought the costume itself could have had more flare and sweep at the bottom. And notice the gloves, THE Season 2013-2014 trend for Ladies Costumes. I also want to note that this sweet blue costume above was such a departure from what she wore last season and this infamous "cray-cray" bodysuit:

 Julia wore this in her last season's SP to "Sabre Dance" (modern arrangement) by Khachaturian--I thought it looked like a costume from an old "King Kong" movie. Seriously.

Free Skate: For her Gold Medal-winning Free Skate to Schindler's List by John Williams, Julia donned a red "jacket" costume mimicking the red coat the little girl in the film wore; a red coat is used to distinguish a little girl in the scene depicting the liquidation of the Kraków ghetto. Later in the film, Schindler sees her dead body, recognizable only by the red coat she is still wearing. I thought this was a proper "homage" of sorts. Julia's red "jacket" also featured black sequined trim--also mirroring the black trim in the movie's red coat. Notice Julia wore gloves, of course.

Kaetlyn Osmond Canada, Short Program: Speaking of gloves, Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada wore long white ones for her Short Program to "Big Spender" and "Rich Man's Frug". The black costume with side slits was well, "just there" for me; nothing spectacular, but not bad either.

Natalia Popova Ukraine, Short Program: Natalia skated her Short Program to "Concierto de Aranjuez" by Joaquin Rodrigo performed by Edvin Marton--yes the same music Michelle Kwan skated to years ago (lots of skaters skate to this but, it will always be--for me--Michelle Kwan's music!). I thought this was an original way to give España and not in such an overt way. The almost zebra-print like stretch devore velvet fabric, sprinkled with crystals, looked chic, very high fashion and still retained a slight nod to the lace mantillas of Spain.

Amelie Lacoste Canada, Short Program: Amelie skated her Short Program to "The Feeling Begins" by Peter Gabriel from Music for "The Last Temptation of Christ" and in case you're thinking it was "Groundhog's Day" all over again, you are right: she wore the same costume and skated to the same music last season for her Short Program as well...

Amelie Lacoste at Cup of China 2012--I liked the costume then and still like it now. It's exotic, sexy and goes perfectly with the haunting Near East-like music.

Free Program: This pink costume above is what she wore to her Free Skate to Music from the Amelie Poulain soundtrack by Yann Tiersen. It had a beaded bodice and sequined applique neckline and strap. I thought this was "Figure Skating Betty 101"--in other words, the Figure Skating version of a typical Beauty Pageant gown bought from a Prom-and-Pageant store; it was sweet but oh-so-typical.

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford Canada, Free Skate: For their Bronze Medal-winning Free Skate to Music from the Alice in Wonderland soundtrack by Danny Elfman and "Everlasting" by Two Steps from Hell, Duhamel and Radford wore these purple costumes influenced by Alice and the Mad Hatter, I assume. To be honest, I thought these costumes looked cheap. Her bodice "boned" detail seemed as if it was glued on (I'm sure it was) and didn't evoke an expensive corset quality. But I had more issues with Eric's ill-fitting jacket; it was too tight and not tailored correctly.

Sui Wenjing and Han Cong China, Free Skate: For their Free Skate to "Kalinka" (Russian Folk Music), this Chinese Pair wore these great costumes. These were my favorites! First off, let's just make a note that it might not be coincidental that they chose a RUSSIAN FOLK SONG for their Free Skate, leading up to the SOCHI RUSSIA Winter Olympics. Besides this, these were very colorful, festive costumes that only enhanced their great skate. Everything about it wanted you to join them in, on all the Russian Folk Dance fun. Outstanding.

Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers Canada, Free Skate: For their Free Skate to Music from the soundtrack of Oz - The Great and Powerful, they wore these costumes. I liked the bright color of her costume as well as the neckline beading. However, I thought they could have done so much more, knowing the film and the costumes.

Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier USA, Free Skate: These costumes, which the US Pairs team of Denney and Frazier wore to their Free Skate to Music from Notre-Dame de Paris by Riccardo Cocciante were perfect! I loved that they were completely complimentary to each other.  The sequin work looked exquisite and expensive. Very good Costume work!

Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek Italy, Free Skate: Red and Black for a Free Skate to Music from the Dracula soundtrack by Philip Glass, naturally. There could have been a little more creativity in regards to the designs of these costumes but I forgive them, especially, since they got the Gold. Vampire. Blood. Figure Skating...Done and Done.

**Up Next: Skate Canada 2013 Costume Recap Part Two: The Men and Ice Dance!

2 Responses to "ICE STYLE.....2013 Skate Canada: Ladies and Pairs!"

Gail Johnson said...

Hi Nick,

My name is Gail Johnson and I had the honor of designing and making Grace Gold's dresses this year. Thank you for your kind words. These dresses were a labor of love and it is always nice to be appreciated. You are a real encouragement to me and I'm sure to Gracie. I've been reading your blog since you started and am thrilled to be mentioned in it.

DJ Copely, MD said...


If you haven't already, check out the outfits on former Lithuanian ice dance champs Copely & Stagniunas and 2011 US National Junior Champs and World Junior Bronze medal ice dancers Lichtman & Copely all designed and sewn by skating mom Sandra Copely.