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Thread: What Happens to Old Costumes??

  1. #1
    In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
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    What Happens to Old Costumes??

    I was leafing through a back issue of IFS magazine this morning and while looking at a photo of Brian Joubert in his Matrix costume from last season, I suddenly had the strangest thought -- what happens to costumes at the end of the season?

    I mean -- you can HARDLY wear them out in public. Well, some you could, but most -- I don't think so. I can't imagine giving them to Goodwill.... Yeah, you could just keep them in your closet, like a wedding dress, but (a) if you have a career spanning 10. 20 years, you're eventually gonna run out of room, and (b) some costumes, like ice dance costumes with 3 miles of extra fabric attached, or variations of the Surya Bonaly Parade Float look, take up entire closets just on their own. Rag bin? I doubt most of those fabrics would absorb much.

    I imagine some are given away for internet auction purposes and charity auctions and such, but I should think that would only apply to costumes worn by the Big Guns. I can't imagine "Short Program Dress Worn by Maria Balaba*" would take much in.

    Any thoughts??

    *Latvian Junior Lady who didn't qualify for the SP in Kitchener last week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyCoop
    I can't imagine "Short Program Dress Worn by Maria Balaba*" would take much in.
    I'm sure there's a skater in Latvia who would love to have the dress!!!

    You're right to some extent - I remember years ago seeing Nicole Bobek (around 92 or 93) wear a dress in exhibition that had been previously worn by Jill Trenary.

    German skate Evelyn Grossman wore a dress that Annet Poetch (sp?) had worn. Jutta Mueller coached both skaters.

    If a costume is not too elaborate or ornate, it could be reworked into a new dress - shorten the sleeves or add them, shorten/lengthen the skirt, add sequins, dye, etc.

    I swear that Sasha's Olympic Carmen dress was reworked from Jenni Meno's 97 LP dress - I'll have to find pictures. This would make sense since they were both coached by John Nicks.

    Other times a costume is placed on display. I seem to recall that Scott Hamilton's 84 Olympic suit, Tonya Harding's 91 costume, and the Olympic winning dresses of Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, and Kristi Yamaguchi are on display at the Figure Skating Museum in Colorado Springs.

    But there are unique costumes that I can't imagine someone else wearing or being redone - Debi Thomas's unitard, K/P Air on the G String outfit, Michael Weiss's tatoo shirt, A/P rope creation, etc.

    Herm (sk8ngnutt)

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    It's not uncommon for skaters to sell, loan, or give old costumes to other skaters at their rink or elsewhere. Practice outfits also, especially if they've grown out of them.

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    Custom Title 76olympics's Avatar
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    In Toller Cranston's case (via his book), Christopher Bowman let street people in the house and his costumes were walking up and down his street (and these were some distinctive, highly decorated ensembles!),

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    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Fun Topic....

    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyCoop
    Yeah, you could just keep them in your closet, like a wedding dress, but (a) if you have a career spanning 10. 20 years, you're eventually gonna run out of room, and (b) some costumes, like ice dance costumes with 3 miles of extra fabric attached, or variations of the Surya Bonaly Parade Float look, take up entire closets just on their own.
    My guess??? Check out the Skating MOM's Collective Closets. That's where you'll find a whole bunch of them.

    DG

  6. #6
    average opinionated skate fan
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    one can only hope that there really is a Figure Skating Dancers Costume Graveyard somewhere. Tule and Feather sellers will gather there once a year to celebrate the good fortunes the dead monsters have sown.

  7. #7
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Katia gave a russian pairs team a few of G&G's costumes, IIRC

    and SOI allows other shows to use their group costumes

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrmsk8ngnutt
    If a costume is not too elaborate or ornate, it could be reworked into a new dress - shorten the sleeves or add them, shorten/lengthen the skirt, add sequins, dye, etc.
    Herm (sk8ngnutt)
    Tara Lipinski's 1997 LP dress was reworked...with a corset...and became her 1998 SP dress

  9. #9
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Old skating dresses go to a nice dress farm. There, they are worn by pretty little girls who never fall, and handsome big boys that are always nice. Aaahhhhh.......

  10. #10
    SkateFan4Life
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    Well, if you're Kristi Yamaguchi or Scott Hamilton, the costumes you wore for your Olympic gold medal winning performances are displayed at the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame/Museum in Colorado Springs. I'm sure many skaters have donated their costumes - or loaned them - for exhibition purposes.

    Back in the old Cold War days (i.e, East Germany), the East German women had a habit of passing their costumes to the next skater in line. Katarina Witt wore a few of Annet Poetszch's dresses in both competition and exhibition performances.

    As for Sasha Cohen and Michelle Kwan, both of whom had had numerous, expensive designer skating costumes, I suppose they are kept in storage for some future date in which they can either be worn again or displayed.

    I can't imagine either Cohen or Kwan donating their costumes (Vera Wang, etc) to the Salvation Army, can you?

  11. #11
    On Edge Piel's Avatar
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    I can't imagine either Cohen or Kwan donating their costumes (Vera Wang, etc) to the Salvation Army, can you?
    Actually, I can. Unless they are both planning to display them in their own personal museum or something.

    And then there is the Kwan Shrine in Detroit.


    Are there skating programs set up for disadvantaged children in the larger cities/areas where figure or roller skating is popular? It would be nice if skaters would donate costumes they no longer want to these types of programs.
    Last edited by Piel; 03-08-2005 at 05:48 PM.

  12. #12
    Just an average girl
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    One year at Skate America Jenny Kirk wore an old Jenni Meno Stars on Ice dress, because her new short program costume wasn't ready yet.

    Years ago at Nationals, a junior dance team took to the ice and everyone scratched their heads. "Those costumes look awfully familiar." Of course, they had received them from a senior dance team who'd worn the costumes a couple of years before.

  13. #13
    In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
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    I would imagine that recycling and passing down costumes would be a common occurence among the cash-strapped Eastern European federations. Wouldn't surprise me if the Ukrainians threw their old costumes into a big bin every season or two and then they were chopped up and made into new ones, some of which would be consolidations of 3 or 4 other old costumes, at least 2 of which clash with the others. It would help explain why they IMO are consistently the worst-dressed, the exception being Elena Liashenko.

    As to the concept of a costume graveyard -- wouldn't that qualify as some sort of environmental hazard?

  14. #14
    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    They go to "EBAY" heaven

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    [QUOTE=Piel]Actually, I can. Unless they are both planning to display them in their own personal museum or something.

    And then there is the Kwan Shrine in Detroit. [QUOTE]

    One of Michelle Kwan's skating dresses found itself in a museum exhibit on Chinese Americans; I saw it at the Gene Autrey Museum before the exhibit went to the Smithsonian. Kristi Yamaguchi also had a costume in the Smithsonian; I'm not sure if it is on permanent display, or if it was part of an exhibit on Japanese Americans.

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