Some Old and Some New...Costumes...that is:
Semi-Smile, Basic Smile, and Big-Ol' Smile: (L to R) Korea's Yu-Na Kim (Silver), Japan's Miki Ando (Gold) and Italy's Carolina Kostner (Bronze), 2011 World Figure Skating Championships
On my previous post, I gave my "Nick Two Cents" on the Mens Costumes of last week's 2011 World Figure Skating Championships, so now of course, we are onto the Ladies. The ultimate Gold Medalist of the Ladies was Japan's Miki Ando...
The Silver, a teary-eyed Yu-Na Kim (who had not competed since last year's World Championships and was "the one to watch") and finally, Bronze went to Italy's Carolina Kostner. Costume-wise there were some same-old same-old for this competition and some new. And speaking of NEW, leave it to Russia's Alena Leonova to shake things up--just a little bit--not on the Costume Front, but the HAIR front. Read on kiddies...
Carolina Kostner of Italy:
Roberto Cavalli Muse, Carolina Kostner, stuck to the same costumes she used last year during competitions for both her Short Program and Free Skate. For her Short "Galicia Flamenco" Program, she wore an elegant royal blue with black applique lace detail "one-shoulder" costume. Great color, looks well-made and a nice variation on the "Uh Oh, is she about to do 'Carmen'???" Spanish Sevillana look.
For her long--or Free Skate-- again, she stuck to the same costume she's worn before: An asymmetrically draped-and-shirred "Grecian Goddess" number in light pastels and muted golds.
I love these kinds of costumes since it kind of reminds me of the one I created for Sacha Cohen on the "Thin Ice" Challenge of Project Runway Season 2 almost six years ago. In other words, you ain't gonna hear any criticism here darlings...
Semi-Costume Change: Rachael Flatt of the USA
The lovely Rachael Flatt of the USA wore a deep lipstick red "sweetheart neckline" silver crystals and red sequined "Empire line" costume during her Free Program routine at the 2011 Worlds last week. It looked the same as what she had previously worn before. However...I thought something was different:
And after a bit of photo research, yep, I was right: She added sleeves! Above is what she wore at the Four Continents in Taipei Taiwan as well at the 2010 U.S. Nationals--sans sleeves. I like it either way, although my preference would be without sleeves. She looks FAB in strong vibrant colors that also play with her strong and vibrant blond hair--as well as her skating!
Now onto the Costume Change Ladies:
Mao Asada of Japan:
For the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships, Mao Asada kept her same Free Skate lavender-colored costume which she has worn in previous competitions. However, she has almost always changed her Short Program "Tango" costumes.
Here's a sampling:
ISU Trophee Eric Bompard in France (above) in November 2010, and...
One month later at the Japan Figure Skating Championships, December 2010.
Here's the "new-and-improved" red-and-black costume she wore at the 2011 Worlds last week for her short program. Mao is rather hit-or-miss with her costume choices. Sometimes they veer on looking a little too "Toddlers and Tiaras" and something out of a soccer mom's sewing room. And then, when she tries to go a little "sexy", she still somehow has to put some poufy pom-poms or cheap-looking diamante trim. I like the twist-knots and more directional draping of this costume. At least she gets "Nick Verreos Improvement" points.
Yu-Na Kim skipped out last year's entire Grand Prix series, wanting to concentrate instead on last week's 2011 Worlds. She came in a VERY Good Second but was saddened and crying throughout the Medal Ceremony (I just wanted to hug her!). In terms of Costumes, she always picks fabulously designed and very expensive-looking costumes that make her look like a Pro as well as a bit of a Figure Skating Fashionista. Since she hadn't competed in about one year, both her Short and Free Programs Costumes were NEW! (Yeayyy for Yu-Na!).
Let's take a look at last year's compared to the new ones:
Before: Short Program Costume--This chic one shoulder sequined number was very Art Deco and "red carpet" worthy.
Now: Yu-Na is still giving one shoulder but with a "twist".This black stretch velvet with blue and silver sequins is both pretty and modern at the same time.
My favorite part is the side and back and how it all seamlessly works its way around her torso.
Her last Free Skate Costume was this blue ensemble featuring a halter neckline with a crystal sequin halter neckline. Once again, she stuck to elegant, lady-like and never too gaudy, kitschy or over-the-top. Just right, for her and her routine.
Now, she chose a modern serious black and silver sequined costume that was again, almost "figure skating costume" text book perfect. I like the curved sequin detail and I especially like that those sequins look Swarovski-expensive (as opposed to poor Mao Asada's I-just-went-to-Jo-Ann's Fabrics-of Tokyo sequins).
And Now, Onto Miss Hair-Krazee: Alena Leonova of Russia
Oh yes, kids, that's one of my favorite Figure Skaters (in terms of KRAZEE Costumes), Alena Leonova of Russia. First of all, I won't even go into her costumes, because I have talked about that dingleberry monstrosity already which she wears to skate to (appropriately enough) "Polka (Circus)" and "La Strada" for her Short Program. Her hair now is all poufy, curly and very Bette Midler. If she thinks that's a good thing, her Gay Russian Hairdresser(I'm guessing here!) may have ill-advised her.
Here's her hair not too long ago--very "Dorothy Hamill Growing Out". The costume, by the way, has changed if only slightly. It seems that she has had it made in several "color ways" as we can see from above and...
Here, both from the ISU Cup of Russia in November 2010.
And for her Free Skate last week at the 2011 Worlds, Miss Leonova, slicked it all back-- her hair that is. She is such a CHAMELEON! I think she's just growing her hair out and can't think of nothing else to do. But even then, this look is a bit "Tanya Harding after a couple of Vodka Tonics" for my taste.
I still have to defer to this hair above. Keep it simple up top Alena. But go Сумасшедший (crazy) with the Costumes!!! PLEASE????