Constable , Costume Police
COSTUMES ! COSTUMES ! Here we go....
Is it time to kick off a costume thread for this season ? I was recently made aware of this very interesting article on icenetwork.com , and it seemed a really good springboard for diving into the costume swamp once again.
Judging from the article , you can see that many skaters do put a lot of thought into their costumes but we know many need to pay more attention .. Sometimes a self designed costume works better than an effort by a well known designer ( Alissa's costumes have often been among the most attractive in a given season ).
I was very impressed with Caro's costumes last year , and wonder why all that money was spent on her previous designer costumes, which , though beautifully artistic if you saw them on a mannequin , were always too short at the back ,and the poor girl often had to suffer the indignity of a wedgie ( not to mention the nipple malfunction of a couple of years ago )..simply not designed ( or executed ?) with athletic activity foremost in mind. It was as if, to the designer , Caro was a vehicle for the costume , instead of the costume being an accessory to her skating ..
Her own efforts? Very simple, yet elegant .. and no malfunctions..
Then again, sometimes you want to scream "Please ! Go to a professional !"
Savchenko /Szokolwy :
Zhiganshina / Gazsi :
Both repeat offenders,for me..( But S/S's last year's FD costume was lovely )
There are trends that crop up and either hang on seemingly forever ( what's with the gloves ?)..or fade and then get brought back with a vengeance. Some , I hope, will never see the light of day again...such as the "Trapped in Tulle and Tatters" look of the late '90s-early 2000s
Fusar Poli /Margalio :
Lobacheva /Averbukh :
Bourne /Kraatz :
...Or the "Split Personality" ( better known in my family as another half-a**ed effort )
Jeremy Abbott :
I suppose at a stretch, Caro's chartreuse / green dress from last year could be said to be in this category, although the neckline and sleeves are the same on both sides.. which goes to show that sometimes it's not the most basic design idea that's bad , necessarily..but that people can't resist going overboard with it. Too much decoration , a too extreme difference between the two halves.
Both Jeremy and Kanako's efforts were extremely distracting..and it doesn't matter if they had some rationale for the designs... If the costume makes it more diffucult to fully appreciate the skating , it's not your friend.
I want to move on to make a start on the costumes we're beginning to see this year, but I'll have to do it in sections, as this is getting mighty long....but I love the Nick Verreos quote at the close of the article about uniforms.. I think it might be wise for skaters to use this word to themselves sometimes ,instead of "costume"... It might help some of them to employ a little restraint , now and then.
Also, I noticed that under the Jeremy Abbot photo was a Nick Verreos article..
..in which he makes the point ( with some examples) that a costume is often reworked as the season progresses. ( and sometimes we've seen not just a slight reworking of the idea, but something completely different )
I think we should remind ourselves of this as we move into the season..you know, before we or at first viewing.
And for me, every costume has to answer these questions..Does it flatter the skater ? Can the skater move freely in it , without fear of malfunction ? Can we clearly see the skaters movements ? Does it relate to the music or theme ?
I'll have to come back with the next bit..but .. jump in guys..( you know you want to..)
Last edited by colleen o'neill; 09-11-2012 at 03:14 AM.
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Am I the only one who liked S/S's Pink Panther's costumes? I think the colors were perfect for the music and they were well-designed... And, for me, Caro's dresses last season were close to perfection, her FS's one was simply perfect for her, for the music, for the choreography, it was HER dress! You could see that she loved performing wearing it, it gave her confidence! And, may I share one of the worst costumes from last season? This: http://searchsafer.com/imgdetail.php...%20sheherazade! I think those pants were too evident, you were forced to watch them instead of Mao! Then there is obviously the Yu-Na/Akiko dress http://searchsafer.com/imgdetail.php...0suzuki%202012... What I would like to see in the costumes next season? Originality, new ideas, something elegant so see but with the courage to try!
Wicked Yankee Girl
Always. While the ISU has been kind to put up all the JGP's for viewing, I'm still tapping my toes waiting for the GP to begin! A good costume thread can always pass some time.
One thing that always puzzles me is why some costumes often obviously don't fit, and yet are not altered over the season. I'm not talking about hand me down costumes, here, and there are more of those than you'd think. And I'm not talking about something that proved to be not quite right at it's first outing, and it was too late to fix it. From time to time, you'll see a dress that just fits wrong across the back in puckers. Next outing, there it is again. In fact, it will be there all season.
Is it impossible to fix something like thiat? If you paid a professional to make a costume, I would see it as something they should fix for free, since proper fit should be a requirement.
One thing that interested me about the article was the comment that Meryl Davis's mother is quite involved in her costumes during the design phase. I do know that Meryl users the same designers that she has used since she was nine, a pair of Michigan women. And yet Meryl is nearly always is turned out very nicely.
I wonder whether this is a place where all the mothers should be involved. After all a skater can't see that pucker across the back themselves, and clearly some of the profestionals don't care about it.
As to handme downs, I'm not the most noticing person about this, but it used to be that Jerrod Swallow's toreador coat from their paso doble would appear near every time it was appropriate to be worn by a Junior boy in the Detroit area. The girls hand outfits down too. Strangely enough, quite often the altered outfit looks better fitted than some of the new ones
As to this year, one thing that bugs me, but perhaps should not is overly literal costumes.
Here's an example; you take one look at this skater and it is obvious she is skating to Autumn Leaves, because they are attached all over the costume. I'm never sure whether it's nice to know what they are skating to before they begin, or whether the overliteralness is over the top.
Well she could have been skating to the Four Seasons: Autumn.
Here's another really literal costume, which was so silly, I liked it, Pechalat & Bourzat's costumes for Four Seasons. She was summer & winter and he was Autumn & Spring:
A good shot for seeing Nathalie's costume. I definitely like the snow flakes on the bootcovers!
A better shot for seeing Fabian's outfit
Last edited by dorispulaski; 09-11-2012 at 04:22 AM.
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I usually don't like the costumes of Japanese skaters, in particular the boy's clothes are horrible. On the contrary I really liked Dai's and Hanyu's costumes in last season. I also don't like Caro's costumes, and I agree with those,who say Alissa's costumes are the most beautiful. I really- really don't like Joubert's outfit. In general I like the original costumes, as the french mummy outfit in last season. The Russian costumes sometimes are too flamboyant, they think they are on the stage of Bolshoi Theater. But I like almost all costumes of Plushy ( what a surprise! ).
Last edited by plushyfan; 09-11-2012 at 09:13 AM.
This is always a big and interesting topic.
Caro's pants last season was daring. As a rule of my, I don't like ladies wearing tight body suit. But she has shown a rare and perfect curve. I agree Caro's dresses were too short.
Alissa Czisny is always perfect.
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Alissa's dresses are OFTEN beautiful, but I think her last season's FS costume, the second one, was really sad and horrible, it looked like lingerie, for me (http://search.babylon.com/imageres.p...2&babsrc=NT_ss), when the first one (http://search.babylon.com/imageres.p...a&babsrc=NT_ss) was simply perfect for her music!
Originally Posted by Bluebonnet
Except this... Yes, I forgot this one.
Originally Posted by FSGMT
And I love Charlie White's this one:
Constable , Costume Police
Aha! doris..you anticipate my next category with the Autumn Leaves costume, above ..Lets face it, there's more than just being too literal that's wrong with that costume..the colours are harsh, as if the designer used a kid's paintbox, and didn't realize you could actually mix colours. I wouldn't mind the leaves so much if they weren't all defined so boldly... and it raises the use of illusion fabric..( "Dare to be Bare" ?) ..which can be either a great asset ( e.g. safely acheiving a strapless look or low cut back ) or a temptation to tackiness ..( and nakedness, which in turn , I guess, brought about the 50% covered torso rule. )
Here's my favourite "Good" example from back in 2000. Where does the costume end and the person begin ? Beautiful , subtle use of colour, delicate fabric, wonderful cut. ( and the skating's pretty delicious , too ) I never tire of re-watching this.. ( sorry , I couldn't find a still )..Yuka Sato :
Of course the "Bad" examples are legion.. This went through a few changes , and I disliked every one..
These were all hideous... ( Poor Miki )
and there were even more of them , all equally bad. Too much and too little all at once.
Jana and Sergei from 2010 Euros..( a tiny bit of a skirt was added for the Olympics..)
( I miss Jana , but not her costumes )
And probably the worst repeat offender in the history of skating , Elena Grushina. ( I was amazed this came up , I wasn't really looking for it . I was there..she wore this , at morning practice..when SC had issued free passes to elementary school kids as a treat and introduction to skating. The harem pants were also very sheer... )
Wasn't she the one that caused the ISU to issue a warning that the women MUST NOT wear only flesh coloured tights with no panty under their skirts ?
And then , there ought to be self administered rule..wear no costume before it's time . I don't mean when tinkering with hemline, or trying out different versions , I mean particularly when dealing with illusion fabric. Ralph / Hill suffered with this last year in their SD . When they first appeared at Thornhill , her costume was consideraby smaller ( less covered , less skirt ) than this , and I think even more beading was added after this....
Same problem with Alena Leonova in 2010 .. I think when we first saw her dress ,there were fewer appliques than this ..
and more by the time the Olys rolled around..
Wouldn't it have been better to leave the blessed thing with the costumer and let her get on with it ? ...unless you don't mind people wondering if you're trying to see how much ( little) you can get away with .
In regard to puckers, it can always be poor dressmaking , but sometimes, it's just that they chose a fabric with not enough stretch or give to it . In that case, especially if it fits tightly , or has long sleeves, it's either leave extra room here or there and put up with the puckers , or be continually pulling apart at the seams. ( Oh , and try not to breathe.)
I agree about Alissa's blue dress as opposed to the white ...much more becoming.
I preferred Alissa in blue also. Just on principle, I prefer color to white, and stronger colors to pastels. Alissa is so clouds-and-dream to begin with, that anything with cloudy-dreamy aspects makes her image a bit too gentle, almost sugary. She'd look splendid in, say, burgundy or dark plum tones, or dark bronze. She can retain the simple cut and solid colors she seems to prefer. One of my favorite of her costumes was that crisp Sabrina ensemble, the white-edged black dress.
As for Yuka Sato in the floaty "Afternoon of a Faun" outfit...blissfully beautiful. Like Alissa, her smile always adds luster to whatever she's wearing. Has anyone on this board ever been able to remain sad or even faintly blue when she took to the ice? It's always a thrill to see her skate; she's so musical and fluid. Her Worlds win in 1994 was one of the great gifts to fans in modern skating, because it gave her the opportunity to have a more substantial pro career--so we could see her exquisite skills more often. This was a skater I never wanted to lose track of. At that time, Japan wasn't a huge skating power, and with big stars like Oksana taking center stage, Yuka's quieter, more subtle talent could easily have been swept aside...but with that Worlds win, she earned her place at the front of the line.
Last edited by Olympia; 09-11-2012 at 07:24 PM.
I liked Jeremy Abbott's Beetlejuice costume. That it was for a flamenco didn't detract too much for me.
I like S/S's Pink Panther costumes. It emphasized Robin's posterior in a manner that convinced me that Aliona would hit her head during the duck-through-the-legs maneuver and that comic frisson was a fine end to that program.
Recently, my favourite costume would be Virtue/Moir's 2010/11 SD costume
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