Sunday, January 26, 2014

ICE STYLE.....Figure Skating Costumes Recap/Highlights of Four Continents Championships 2014: Ladies and Pairs

 India vs. China Fashionistas: Ami Parekh of India , Sijun Li of China give some Costume Couture--Four Continents 2014, Taipei City Chinese Taipei, Taipei Arena

This past week was the 2014 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, held in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei. Skaters from North America, Africa, Asia and Oceania competed in the ISU sanctioned event in disciplines of Men's singles, Ladies singles, Pairs and Ice Dance.

Of note: none of last year's Four Continents Champions defended their title this year in order to prepare for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Now, let's get to the FASHION--First up: The Ladies and Pairs Costumes Recap/Highlights:

 Top Three Ladies: (left to right) silver medalist Satoko Miyahara of Japan, gold medalist Kanako Murakami of Japan and bronze medalist Zijun Li of China pose with their medals--Four Continents 2-14 Taipei City, Chinese Taipei

Kanako Murakami of Japan, Short Program: Kanako skated her Short Program to Violin Muse by Ikuko Kawai. I love this costume and the mixing of colors and patterns. Here is what I've already said about this costume.

Kanako Murakami of Japan, Free Skate: For her Free Skate to Papa Can You Hear Me (from "Yentl" soundtrack) by Barbara Streisand, Kanako wore this blue sequined costume. I like this--it's pretty but nothing extraordinary. I do like the costume she wore before during the season--you can see that one HERE.

Mirai Nagasu of US, Free Skate: Mirai Nagasu won the Bronze at the U.S. Nationals earlier this year and even though she should have gone to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics as a result, the US Figure Skating Committee decided to send 4th place Ashley Wagner instead. She came to the "Four Continents 2014 Figure Skating Championships" with a heavy heart and tried her best but it wasn't a success. Now, back to her costume...She wore this above for her Free Skate to Music from James Bond by various artists. It is pretty, elegant and somewhat mysterious--and right for the "James Bond Girl" theme of her skate. Here is more of what I've already said about this costume.

Samantha Cesario of the US, Short Program: I LOVE Samantha Cesario's red hot costume for her Short program to "Fever" by various artists. It is perfect for the music and skate and bold in its coloring, sequins and use of fringe. This could have gone TACKY-licious quickly, and yet it did not. It was FEVER-hot!

Samantha Cesario of the US, Free Skate: Her costume for her Free Skate to "Carmen Suite" by Georges Bizet and Konstantinovich Shchedrin was also well done. It was a black/nude costume with swirly sequined detail. Any time a skater skates to "Carmen" and doesn't go the typical route of wearing a red rose in her hair and/or a toreador bolero and red/black costume...I am happy--as long as it is done well. And by the way, both costumes were designed by Samantha herself, as well as Tania Bass. Congrats Samantha! Good job.

SoYoun Park of South Korea, Free Skate: Simply beautiful. That's what I can say about this Free Skate costume of SoYoun Park's for Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The deep navy blue colored costume featured sequins throughout done wonderfully, especially the light blue colored section at the center front. I also loved the beautiful open back.

Amelie Lacoste of Canada, Free Skate: Amelie wore this rose pink costume for her Free Skate skating to the "Amelie Poulain" soundtrack by Yann Tiersen. I have to admit that I am not a fan of this costume; it looks heavy-handed and cheap. And the various design details (heavy neck edge trim, gathered bust, sequined front) just do not mesh together harmoniously.

Satoko Miyahara of Japan, Free Skate: For her Free Skate to Poeta by Vincente Amigo--a tango--Satoko wore this deep red with black costume. The costume featured one long-sleeve, nude neck covering (that was too light for her skin) and less-than-expensive looking crystal detail. In other words: I didn't like so much. This could have been better. She needs to call Mao Asada's costume designer, like ASAP.

Zijun Li of China, Free Skate: The Chinese skaters--I have said this before--have really stepped it up in terms of costumes and costume design. And this one on Zijun Li is a great example. She skated her Free Skate to Coppelia by Leo Delibes in this look. It was a black and fuchsia one-sleeve costume with leaf-like crystal detail. She also wore THE accessory of the season: gloves. I thought this costume was beautiful, looked expensive and designed quite well.

Veronik Mallet of Canada, Free Skate: Veronik skated her Free Skate to Funny Girl by Jule Styne in this fun black sequined and fringed costume with pearl necklace detail. It was cute but part of me wished she would have done something like THIS (without the baby bump of course!).

Alisson Krystle Perticheto of the Philippines, Free Skate: Alisson skated her Free Skate to Sleeping Beauty by Petr I. Tchaikovski wearing this costume above. The costume was pretty but seemed a tad bit "Sleeping Beauty: High School". I know that she is not one of the "A-List" skaters in the World so I can cut her some "costume slack". But next time: remove those arm/bicep band ruffle pieces. Please.

Ami Parekh of India, Short Program: Ami skated her Short Program to Raga-Jazz Style by Shankar Jaikishan. Although the costume itself was simple and un-fussy, I liked it. She could have gone the whole "Bollywood Couture" route and she didn't. Part of me wishes I could see that version but at the same time, this was a nice (subdued) costume.

Pairs Costumes Highlights:

Wenting Wang and Yan Zhang of China, Free Skate: You cannot really tell from this photo but her costume was FABULOUS! Once again, the Chinese are stepping it up with figure skating costumes. This Pairs team skated their Free Skate to Humanity by Tomoyasu Hotei, Parisian Walkways by Gary Moore and Malaguena by Ernesto Lecuona. The costumes--especially hers--were very well constructed, looked expensive and very chic. I LOVED the Art Deco-like sequin work of her one-shoulder costume, particularly.

Margaret Purdy and Michael Marinaro of Canada, Short Program: Purdy and Marinaro wore these costumes to their Short Program to Casablanca (soundtrack) by Max Steiner. I didn't get what these costumes had to do with "Casablanca". At all. It almost looked as if they went to a Figure Skating Costume shop and said "I want this and I want that". They could have been skating to a (name a Disney film) soundtrack.

Tarah Kayne and Daniel O'Shea of US, Free Skate: I absolute LOVED these costumes from U.S. Pairs skating team Kayne and O'Shea. They skated their Free Skate to  "Don Quixote" by Ludwig Minkus. These were unique--even for this been there/done that genre and worked very well with the music. And they looked well done and not cheap-looking (a bit of a criteria for me). These costumes--by the way--were designed by Dawn Imperatore. Very well done Dawn!

Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier of US, Free Skate: I really like these costumes from the US Pairs team of Denney and Frazier which they wore for their Free Skate to Notre Dame de Paris (soundtrack) by Richard Cocciante. You can read my thoughts HERE.

Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China, Free Skate: Sui and Han skated their Free Skate to Kalinka (Russian Folk Music) and I have discussed these costume HERE. I think these costumes are FANTASIC!

***Next Up : Costumes Recap/Highlights of "2014 Four Continents" Men and Ice Dance!