Fave Costumes: 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships Ladies and Men
The 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships took place this last week.This is like the "Miss Universe" or "Miss World" of Figure Skating International Competitions (sorry for the beauty pageant analogy...it's just my nature!)....
The 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships, TD Garden Boston
The Worlds, as they are called by fans and followers of the sport, were held in Boston, Massachusetts USA at the TD Garden. It is the sports most important competition sanctioned by the International Skating Union, or ISU. As many of you may know, I am a big fan of figure skating and especially figure skating costumes and love to give my "Nick Two Cents" here on that latter subject.
The 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships, TD Garden Boston
I wanted SOOOOOO badly to be there (and I--along with my partner David--almost began the ticket purchasing and airline-and-hotel-booking process...until I realized that I was already scheduled to be part of the annual FIDM DEBUT Fashion Show in Los Angeles. Well, that does not stop me from giving my "Ice Style" fashion critique on the costumes of the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships so...Here we go!
First up: The Ladies and Men!
Ashley Wagner of the USA Free Skate to Moulin Rouge Soundtrack: I LOVE this costume on Ashley. The white and gold detailed costume pays homage to the design worn by Nicole Kidman in the film/musical. Very similar gold applique is seen on Ashley's costume and I really love the "statement making" necklace. This is one of my favorites of the season!
Short Program to Hip Hip Chin
Chin performed by Club des Belugas: I
liked this black costume on Ashley for her Short Program. It is subtle yet
elegant and quite sexy (from the back). The halter mock-neck design isn't
necessarily exciting or innovative but it is really the back detail of the
silver and gold sequins that are the stars. Literally! I also LOVED when she
plopped her little you-know-what down on the ice after her Short Program (see
photo above!). This has nothing to do with my Costume Critique but I just love
Gracie Gold of the USA Free Skate to The Firebird by Igor Stravinski: I also really loved this costume worn by Gracie Gold. The red and gold look is very "Firebird" and in a not so koo-koo way; it's more Couture Firebird! The bust/torso detail is one of my favorite details but I also love...
The back: The multicolored sequin work is exquisite and reminiscent of a fabulously bedazzled spine. I also liked the same detail on the "sleeve".
Short Program to El Cochlo by Angel Villoldo: Gracie gave "Tango Chic" in this black with red costume worn for her Short program. This costume was dubbed the "Christian Louboutin" costume because of the fact that the inner part of the skirt was red (like the iconic Louboutin shoes). This was a simple look and I admit that I wish there was just a little more to this but, overall, I LIKEY!
Mao Asada of Japan Free Skate to Madame Butterfly to Puccini: I like this ombre-shaded lilac kimono-inspired costume worn by Asada for her "Madame Butterfly" Free Skate. The chiffon look features little sequined butterflies on the top section, a gathered torso, and bell-shaped sleeves.
Short Program to Bei Mir
Bistu Shein (Bei mir bist du schoen) by Sholom Secunda, Jacob Jacobs: Asada wears this fuchsia colored costume for her Short Program which at
first seems a bit too "Junior" but with closer inspections, one
notices the haute sequin work and chiffon godets which add movement to her
skirt. It is still not one of my favorite costumes and looks a little too
bourgeoisie for someone like Mao Asada, but it's a nice choice. A 7.0 out of
Free Skate to Sheherazade by Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov: Anna's costume for her "Sheherazade" Free Skate is very "Disney Exotic" with it's bright and bold turquoise blue color and almost excessive use of gold jewelry-like embellishment. It's a lot of costume for sure but we all know Anna loves a good over-the-top costume. And this is no exception. While I appreciate the visual festiveness, it becomes almost kitschy and too-mucheey, as I like to say.
Anna Pogorilaya of Russia, Short Program to Bolero for Violin and Orchestra by Walter Taieb and Vanessa Mae:I liked this red costume on Anna for her short program. It's very Versace runway couture! The costume mixes the solid strips with skin-baring illusion throughout the torso and arms. It's sexy and fashion fab!
Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia: Gold medal winner Evgenia Medvedeva's costumes for both her Short and Free Skate are above. She skated her Short Program to Melodies of the White Nights (soundtrack) by Isaak Schwarz (left) and Free Skate to Dance For Me Wallis (from "W.E." soundtrack) by Abel Korzeniowski, Allegro by Rene Aubry, Charms (from "W.E." soundtrack) by Abel Korzeniowski (right). I liked both costumes worn by Evgenia; they were pretty, sweet and appropriate for each skate. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the blue Free Skate one, since she reminded me of a super young/super cute Wallis Simpson/Duchess of Windsor--which was the point since she skated to "W.E.", a film about Simpson and her husband, Prince Edward Duke of Windsor.
Elena Radionova of Russia Free Skate to Titanic (soundtrack) by James Horner: Elena wore this ombre-shaded pink-to-teal dress for her Free Skate. I guess this was to represent the sweet Rose DeWitt Bukater (played by Kate Winslet). While the overall look achieved it's sweet quality, it looked almost as if she was wearing her grandma's old dress. But that wasn't my biggest style pet-peeve...I was a bit disconcerted (and alarmed) at how her skirt kept lifting up and she had a VERY VERY scooped under-panty (attached to the dress of course)...
Elena is all but 17 years old and personally, I was not comfortable with seeing soooo much of her--and if I was her mom, I would have not approved this look! There were major fit issues going on that needed to be worked out before she hit the ice.
Rika Hongo of Japan: I wanted to add Rika here in my Recap because she is a skater who always "brings it" when it comes to fun and creative costumes. Above are the designs she wore for her Free Skate to Riverdance by Bill Whelan (left) and Short Program to Incantation by Benoit Jutras (from "Cirque du Soleil") (right). I liked both for being wonderfully expressive and representative of the music she skated to (the "Cirque du Soleil" one is SOOOOO Cirque du Soleil"!). If I had to pick a favorite, it would be that one, just for being so fun, theatrical and creative--and just a little kooky!
Mirai Nagasu of the USA Free Skate to The Great Gatsby Soundtrack: Finally, in terms of the Ladies, I wanted to give a special Costume Shout-Out to Mirai Nagasu and her Free Skate costume. I love this 1920's Flapper Chic look on Mirai. the blush color, along with the exquisite sequin work is beautiful and very Vogue Magazine fabulous.
Javier Fernandez of Spain Short Program to Malaguena performed by Paco de Lucia and Placido Domingo: This Sexy Toreador look on Javier is one of my favorite costumes in terms of the Men in the 2015-2016 Season. I loved the satin shawl collared vest with pearl and sequin embellishment and the blood-red colored shirt. But I also appreciated the bullfighter-tight black pants. The entire look was Muy Bien!
Free Skate to Guys and Dolls Preformed by Frank Sinatra: Another great look on Javier is his trousers-suspenders-and-dress shirt look for "Guys and Dolls". Javi always looks sharp in UBER masculine costume looks and it's obvious he and his people know this. I just love how music-appropriate and well put-together this ensemble was. Muy bien tambien!
Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan Short Program to Ballade No. 1 op. 23 in G minor by Frederic Chopin: Yuzuru's look is very "bedazzled Classical Music conductor" with the blue and white ombre sequined blouse, gathered gold cummerbund and black pants. When I first saw this during the season, I admit, the costume looked a little unsophisticated (and a little cheap) to me, but it grew on me through the season. I do still find the nude illusion under each arm and wrist quite odd though.
Free Skate to Seimei (Japanese movie soundtrack) by Shigeru Umebayashi: Yuzuru skated his Free Skate in an outfit that was evocative of a Japanese Period costume look. I liked the soft fluidity of the top and purple insets and sleeve hems. But, there was still something about it that looked inexpensive and (here we go again) unsophisticated. For some reason, Yuzuru (and his people) choose fabrications and designs that tend to look more Ready-to-Wear Skating Costume than Haute Couture.
Adam Rippon of the USA Short Program to Who Wants to Live Forever by Queen: Adam wears two of my favorite looks on Men this season. Exhibit A: his Short program costume. The entire look is sleek and chic. The star here is the shirt with his see-through panels, velvet front and gorgeous sequin work. It really highlights how SUPER thin Adam is and works to emphasize his sinuous skating...
I also think this back...is EVERYTHING!
Free Skate to Because (The World is Round), Get Back, Black Bird and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles: Another Costume Stunner on Adam is this violet-blue and black look for his Free Skate; it's FAB-u-LOUS!!! That shirt should go in a Figure Skating Costume Museum ASAP! I love the geometric sequin hints of a band leader's uniform and once again, the sheerness of the top (hello Sexy Adam!) and then, those super-tight black pants...This look is a definite TEN when it comes to male figure skating costumes.
Max Aaron of the USA: It would be a waste of my time even saying what music Max skated to, since by the looks of the costumes, he could have been skating to the sound of dripping water (!) but just to waste blog space, here we go: For his Free Skate, he skated to Black Swan (soundtrack) by Clint Mansell, Petr I. Tchaikovski (top photo) and for his Short, it was Nessun Dorma (from "Turandot") by Giacomo Puccini, performed by Luciano Pavarotti (lower photo). Both costumes were drab, uninspiring and oh-so-nothing. I get that Max wants to be the non-costume male figure skater but there are more creative ways to achieve this style other than looking as if you went through the Zara sale rack. What a fail.
Patrick Chan of Canada Short Program to Mack the Knife performed by Michael Buble: Patrick is another non-costume male figure skater. Or better said, he doesn't like to spend a lot of design time on his look. But for Patrick at least it looks as if there is still a little bit of effort and I appreciate that. This vest, shirt and pant look is a yawn but it works with the music. What I do like is the non-belt pant. I HATE seeing a tacky 90's "Ross Dress For Less" belt on these male figure skaters so if anything, I'd rather see NOTHING. Thank you Patrick!
Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic Free Skate to Le Corsaire by Adolpe Adam: I just had to add Michal because he's a male figure skater who embraces a costume WHOLEHEARTEDLY. Sometimes it works and sometimes, it can veer into too-mucheey territory. One thing you can say is that he gives you a TOTAL LOOK...from head to toe!
Misha Ge of Uzbekistan Short Program to Piano Concerto 2 in C Minor, Op.18 by Sergei Rachmaninov: Misha is another skater who loves a costume. His look for the Short Program involves this blue ensemble with chiffon inset ombre-dyed panels and mini beads of sequins throughout. He almost looks like an underwater sea creature in this; and I say that in a good way! I'm a big fan of Misha and his total love of costumes.
Mikhail Kolyada of Russia Short Program to Nightingale Tango, John Gray by Matvei Blanter: I would have assumed that Mikhail was skating to an Irish dance but oh well. I liked the graphic quality of his short (even though it verges on a tablecloth) and I also appreciated the piping detail down the front of his pants.
Deniss Vasiljevs of Latvia Free Skate to Adagio for Tron by Daft Punk: Oh, how I love a complete jumpsuit on a man! Deniss decided to wear one for his "Tron" by Daft Punk Free Skate. I think this Robot Couture look worked on him, highlighting the theme of the music and sleekness of his skating lines.
Ivan Righini of Italy: Ivan is another male figure skater who does not shy away from costumes, and especially a sequined top...as seen from both his Short Program and Free Skate looks to You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban (left) and Shine On You Crazy Diamond and Money by Pink Floyd (right). For both, I just wished the tops were sleeker, shorter and tighter, and same for the pants! Those pants look like "Grandma" trousers. He needs to talk to Adam Rippon's costume designer and get a pair of super tight ones. Pronto!
Maxim Kovtun of Russia Short Program to I Can't Dance by Genesis: Love the guitar applique on his shirt and I especially like the "jean" skating pants; complete with the jean top-stitching!
Finally I wanted to give a male Figure Skating Costume (and Fedora) Shout Out to...Denis Ten of Kazakhstan. Denis wore this GORGEOUS ensemble for his Free Skate to Romeo and Juliet by Tchaikovsky. I am OBSESSED with the beautiful drape and twists of the top and sublime sequin detail. Oh and then there's his coach, Frank Carroll. The fedora, the tie, the suit. I wish I could ever be half the Style God he is!
Congratulations to the Top Men and Ladies of the 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships!
**UP NEXT: My Figure Skating Costume RECAP of the 2016 Worlds Pairs and Ice Dance!