USA vs Japan: Who Has the Best Costume Gracie Gold of the US, Short Program Costume (left); Japan's Mao Asada Skate America 2013 Free Skate Costume (right)
This past ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Season 2013-2014 has certainly been an exciting one--and especially for the costumes! We've seen lots of pretty, exciting as well as innovative costumes. I have been impressed for sure...
Here on my NICKVERREOS.COM blog, I have tried to cover most of the costumes seen at the Hilton HHonors Skate America 2013, Skate Canada 2013, 2013 Lexus Cup of China, 2013 NHK Trophy, Trophée Eric Bompard 2013 and the Rostelecom Cup/Cup of Russia 2013. So let's discuss my FAVORITE COSTUMES of this year's Grand Prix of Figure Skating Season, beginning with the Ladies and Pairs...
Mao Asada of Japan, Short Program Costume: Mao skated her Short Program to "Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9, No. 2" by Frederic Chopin (for most of the season before changing it for the Grand Prix Finals).
This is what I said about this costume: "Her costume was EXQUISITE. I loved the lilac color and ombre effect as
well as all the delicate gathering at the upper torso. The four-layer
skirt was perfect to highlight her turns and movements and her
Triple Axle! And my favorite part was that back, I'm not sure if this
was an overt homage to Paris (where the composer lived the last 19 years
of his life, and died) but it sure did look like the Eiffel Tower. C'est Fantastique."
Mao Asada, Free Skate (Skate America 2013): Mao wore this costume above for her Free Skate to "Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor" by Sergei Rachmaninoff to 2013 Hilton HHonors Skate America (she changed her Free Skate costume for her next competition).
This is what I said about this costume, in my blog here: "Asada wore a multicolored costume in royal, midnight blues, violets
and fuchsia. The design itself was masterful and looked very expensive
(nothing but the best for Mao!). It reminded me of an exotic bird taking
flight. I also appreciated the 3D effect of the costume and how the 'feathers' seem to be separated and jutting out from the illusion base
of the costume. I know it's only the first Grand Prix but for now, it's
one of my favorite costumes of Season 2013-2014"
Gracie Gold of the US, 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. This was definitely one of my favorite Ladies costumes of the season, and I have to give props to the designers: Gale Johnson and Denise Gold.
Ashley Wagner USA, Short Program: Ashely wore this black costume for her Short Program to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" by Pink Floyd.
The costume featured black stretch chiffon, double-layer "skirt" and
panels with silver crystal trimmed details. I really liked this costume
because it perfectly reflected the theme of her music. She also could have
easily worn this if she was skating to say, Tchaikovsky "Swan Lake"
as well! I especially loved the various sizes of the jeweled crystals
and how the neck detail looked like a built-in diamond necklace (that
was probably the point!).
Akiko Suzuki Japan, Free Skate: I really 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.
Amelie Lacoste of 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...I liked the costume then and
still like it now. It's exotic, sexy and goes perfectly with the
haunting Near East-like music.
Anna Pogorilaya of Russia Free Skate: For her Free Skate to "Mermaids" from the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides soundtrack by Hans Zimmer,
this was THE MOST PERFECT Costume! I loved all the water/oceanic
references--from the various shades of blue to the seashell bust detail;
it was gorgeous and very right for the program
Haruka Imai Japan, For her FS to Piano concerto by Saint-Preux, she wore this
costume above. It was a one-shoulder-like costume consisting of nude
illusion top, sequined applique torso detail and a "petal"-like
multi-layered skirt. The top section was fine (although I'd like the
illusion sleeves to be tighter), but it was the skirt that bothered me
the most. It looked more "Wilma Flintstone" and less Figure Skating
Kanako Murakami Japan, Short Program: Kanako skated her Short Program to "Catgroove," "Libella Swing" and "Swing Bop" and
I really liked her costume. It was a lilac colored costume with
bubblegum pink front, back and neckline panels, skin-colored illusion
neck and sleeves, crystals throughout (naturally!) and a fringed
"overskirt". I thought it was fun, colorful , yet still very well done.
The fringe, especially, was very effective when it came time for her
turns and jumps.
For her Free Skate to "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" from Yentl by Michel Legrand, Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman, Kanako wore a silver gray costume with blue and black sequined detail. The costume had nothing to do with the "Yentl"
film, but really, would you rather have Kanako come out as a
Yeshiva Orthodox Jewish boy??? I didn't think so...so this was good
Qing Pang and Jian Tong of China, Short Program: For their Short Program, Pang and Tong skated to "I Dreamed a Dream" from the Les Misérables soundtrack by Claude-Michel Schönberg,
which was very popular music choice with lots of the skaters this
season (both Pairs and Ice Dance). I wonder if only after the film came
out, did all these skaters become aware of this iconic music? Who knows.
But back to the costumes...I thought hers, especially, was sublime! I
loved the heavily jeweled silver crystal detail of her top section; it
looked very expensive and well made.
Peng Cheng and Hao Zhang Hao China Free Skate: They skated their FS to "Yellow River Concerto". These costumes
were great. I especially loved Zhang Hao and that AMAZING blue with
green and silver applique sequins on his top. Her costume was beautifully
made, elegant and looked expensive! A perfect combination and
connection between the two looks!
Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov Russia, Short Program: Gold Medal winners Volosozhar and Trankov wore these costumes for their Short Program to "Masquerade Waltz" by Aram Khatchaturian.
Now, these costumes are examples of a pair working together and being
harmonious, costume-wise. Maxim is obviously the General with his army
uniform featuring epaulets, gold buttons, red piping. And Tatiana is his
love interest in this waltz, in a beautiful light lilac heavily
embroidered and sequined costume hinting at the bodices of those late
1890s-early 1900s ball gowns. Very well done.
For their Free Skate, they skated to Music from Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber,
as if you couldn't tell from their costumes. I love how the bright
golden yellow color of his (very tight) pants are brought into the gold
banding and straps of Tatiana's costume. His loose blouse also matches
her costume. It's all a perfect pairing in costumes and just right for the
music. And it begs repeating: Maxim has got to be one of the SEXIEST men
in Figure Skating. JEEEE---SUS is right!
***NEXT UP, Best Costumes of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013-2014 Season, the Men and Ice Dance!!