Things I Like: Skate America

This is exactly what it sounds like. 🙂

 

  1. The Rise of Biolguin

I can’t remember the last time someone whom I wanted to win but was sort of an outside shot actually won. Oh, wait…it was last night.

I love Julianne and Charlie to pieces, and have since I saw them live at Skate America last year. Their joy and connection to each other are truly special. As someone on an online forum once said, “anyone who doesn’t like them must also not like puppies and ice cream.” Pretty much sums it up. Both of their programs this year are great fits for them: the SP is jazzy and upbeat and fun, and the FS is more soft and romantic, but not in an angsty way. And they were on. Charlie missed the SBS 3Lo in the short, but they came back with a vengeance in the FS and it was glorious. Every element was pristine. And it doesn’t hurt that they were preciously adorable. (Full disclosure: I 800% ship them after this.) If they’re not in the mix for the podium at worlds this year, I am going to bang my head on a wall in rage.

2. This is How You Capitalize on A Meltdown, Y’all!

I have been incredibly impressed with Denney/Frazier’s comeback from a possibly-career-ending injury, but this was beyond my wildest expectations. They’ve done well in both of their previous competitions, so I thought they could be in the top four, or maybe even get the bronze if someone melted down. But silver? Never would’ve guessed. They had their share of luck (Tarasova/Morozov melted down in the free skate and dropped to 3rd despite leading by seven points after the short), but they certainly did their part: they had a few near-misses on SBS jumps, but no falls in either program. I am not sure how I feel about their SP: it’s nice, I suppose, but the music is not my taste. The free skate is by far my favorite of their programs. I might be somewhat biased because my orchestra is currently playing Somewhere in Time, but it’s a great program in general. It’s gotten mixed reviews-some think it’s generic, and others enjoy the lyrical, dreamy quality it has-but I love it. And it makes me immensely happy to see an American pair ACTUALLY LANDING THINGS. They won the silver medal, and what a statement that was.

3. Another Surprise Silver

I do not want to talk about most of the ladies FS, but what a competition this was for Mariah Bell! To go from 11th in the country to second at a Grand Prix in only a few months is almost unheard-of. Mariah’s recent coaching change has done wonders for her consistency and jump technique, but she’s still getting the best of her former coaching setup: it appears that she’s still working with her choreographer, Rohene Ward, who did both of her programs this season (both of which I love). She won the FS here, smashing her previous PB. I have a feeling Mariah will be on the world team this year.

4. #BollywoodRuslena

Full disclosure: I understand that they missed some levels, but I still thought that Elena and Ruslan’s free dance was totally underscored. It was jam-packed with interesting, innovative choreography and transitions, and it’s a really engaging program. They both got really into it, especially Elena (she’s not the #unofficialqueen for no reason!). That, and the unique choreography and elements, made it a lot of fun to watch! It’s got some of the coolest transitions into and out of elements I’ve ever seen. I highkey want to see this program at worlds.

5. I Can’t Even…And Yet, I Can

I literally could not keep the giant stupid grin off my face while I was watching this. You’ve got to watch it to know what I’m talking about. (Also, I’ve never seen it, but I read somewhere that the voiceover that segues from the blues section to the hip hop section is from Blades of Glory. I don’t know, but that’s kinda hilarious if it is.)

Costumes I enjoyed, described in less than ten words

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Mariah Bell, SP to Chicago (“Roxie” and “All That Jazz”): IT HAS A FRINGE SKIRT, GUYS. Also, sparkles.

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Seguin/Bilodeau, SP to “Skokian”: More fringe skirts! + Is that a lime-green pocket hankie?

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Ashley Wagner, FS to “Exogenesis Symphony”: Ombre and sparkles are always a good combination. Very elegant. (No, equals signs do not count as a word. :p)

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Mao Asada, FS to “Ritual Dance”: I would wear this to a ritzy Hollywood awards ceremony. Gold_FS_htjlpiqr_jodq6uxs.jpg

Gracie Gold, FS to “Daphnis et Chloe”: both the dress and program were stunning…in opposite ways. 😦

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A Few of My Favorite Things, 2015-16: Costumes (pairs/dance)

Yup, it’s back!

This is the fourth of seven planned posts in the Favorite Things series, and I have been thinking about what I will include in it all day, so hopefully I won’t leave anything out. (STILL kicking myself for leaving out Tobias/Tkachenko’s Free Dance from the free skates post…)

Anyway, this is structured the same as the last post: top five costumes in each segment of each discipline. So…here goes!

Top Three Pairs Short Program Costumes 

  1. Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (“Spanish Romance”)

Despite the fact that Sui’s dress is the stuff my eight-year-old dreams were made of (it’s PINK and PURPLE and SPARKLY!), I appreciated this lovely slap-in-the-face to anyone who thinks you can’t wear pink without looking juniorish. His is fine, too.

Non-costume-related note: Sui had a ligament surgery in her ankle (I believe that is what it was-sorry if incorrect) earlier today. I wish her/them a full and fast recovery and hopefully they will not have to sit out the whole season, which would make the pairs event 88% less interesting.

2. Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot (“Creature de Siam”)

Bruno looks like a waiter, but I will forgive that because Aliona’s dress, while not shown in its full spectacularity in this picture, reaches a level of sparkliness beyond what I thought was possible.

(No, seriously. I watched them compete at worlds from the top of the Loge seating and it was blindingly sparkly even up there. No wonder Bruno looks like a waiter…they probably used up their whole costume budget on Aliona’s bling!)

3. Tarah Kayne/Daniel O’Shea (“Take Me To Church”)

Not the best picture, but these were lovely. The burgundy color (is that the right name for it?) was very striking, and I loved the draped bodice and one-shoulder sleeve thing (*applause for word choice*) on Tarah’s dress. Basically, as long as the man does not look like a waiter, a vegetable (#BlueLettuce), or a 18th-century agrarian, I don’t care what he’s wearing…so this shirt was fine. I liked that they matched, actually. Not many pairs color-coordinate, LOL.

Top Three Pairs Free Skate Costumes 

  1. Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (“Samson and Delilah”)

This is one of the only costumes on this list where I felt the man’s costume was on par with the lady’s: I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s eye-catching and goes with the program…and doesn’t look like a waiter, vegetable or agrarian. Woohoo. But even so, Sui’s dress was still the standout: that shade of blue is my favorite color, and I love the asymmetrical tiered skirt and the wavy rows of crystals. Okay, I admit I’m a sparkle fiend, but it really does make an impact when the crystals on a dress are somewhat directional (like I said in the ladies’ costume post).

2. Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov (“Man and Shadow”)

Again, I am willing to overlook a subpar costume from the man (Fedor, please refrain from wearing loungewear in the future-this is an international athletic event, not a Netflix marathon!) because the woman’s costume is so great. I usually hate neutral-colored costumes because they tend to look bland, but the draping and the ribbon-looking things on Ksenia’s dress make it very interesting and extremely chic. It really matched the somber, somewhat “heavy” feel of Stolbova/Klimov’s free skate.

However, Fedor needs to stop wearing pajamas on international television.

3. Tarah Kayne/Daniel O’Shea (“Music of the Night”)

There have been so many POTO programs that, both in terms of the program itself and the costumes, it’s hard to make yours stand out. I think these costumes worked because of their simplicity: neither costume was very sparkly or colorful, and in this case, that was apparently what this program needed. I especially liked the use of lace trim on Tarah’s dress-normally that makes the dress look like a nightgown, but in this case it didn’t. Points for that, and also for managing to make a black, non-sparkly dress that wasn’t boring.

(I don’t understand Danny’s affinity for man-blouses, but he does not look like a farmer, vegetable or waiter, so I will let it slide.)

Top Three Short Dance Costumes 

  1. Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (“The Stunt Man” Soundtrack)

Orange costumes are strangely rare in any discipline, let alone ice dance.

Attractive orange costumes are practically an extinct species.

So despite the atrocity that is Ivan’s vest, these costumes win the short dance category on the sheer perfection of Alexandra’s Bedazzled Background Dancer In A Florida Orange Juice Commercial Dress™. Because anyone who can make an eye-searing shade of orange look beautiful has my utmost respect.

(JK, I actually love pretty much all orange dresses. This one was probably my favorite costume of the entire season in any discipline.)

2. Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (“The Merry Widow”)

There are many things I love about these costumes:

  1. Anna’s dress looks like a vintage 1950’s wedding dress. (Along with anything 20’s-inspired, I dig 50’s-inspired costumes. Yes, I just said “dig”, get over it. #ProudDork)
  2. Luca is wearing a vest and a tie but doesn’t look like a waiter at the Cheesecake Factory.
  3. These were a much-needed change from the cringeworthy pink fur boa nightmare things they wore earlier in the season. (I always like costumes more if they’re a change from a costume I didn’t like.)

As I said in the singles post, I like white dresses a lot-I think white is probably my favorite color of skating costumes, actually (along with purple)-so it was rather inevitable that this A. white, B. Sparkly and C. 50’s-looking dress was going to end up on this list. And Luca’s costume isn’t A. all one neutral color or B. a waiter/vegetable/farmer, so I approve.

3. Madison Chock/Evan Bates (“More”/”Unchained Melody”)

I try not to be insanely pro-American in my posts because, although I admittedly sometimes am in my head, it makes me look rather unprofessional. So I tried to limit this list to one American per category, even if it was hard and I was tempted to throw in extra spots and make it top 5 so I could put in the 85 teams whose costumes I loved at Nationals or whatever. However, I decided to be unpatriotic, stop giving Cannuscio/McManus every possible award (I LOVE THEM, OKAY?!?), and stick to one. Chock/Bates were the obvious choice, even though Madison’s costume screams “prom dress” (which, actually, I didn’t mind, because looking at prom dresses is one of my guilty pleasures-LOL?). Evan’s costume is fine, if borderline waiterish, but as usual, Madison is the “costume star”. I loved the sparkly draped bodice and the teal underskirt; also, the skirt was delightfully twirly and I would always stare at it when they twizzled. I have heard that Madison designs their costumes, so if she designed this one, she did very well with it. 🙂

Plus, the illusion mesh actually matched her skin, which is unfortunately rare considering that that is kind of the point of illusion mesh.

Top Three Free Dance Costumes 

  1. Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (“La Dolce Vita”)

This was as close as any team came to a perfect set of costumes this season: while Luca’s costume could’ve been more interesting, Anna’s dress is near the top of my all-time-favorite-dresses list. I’ve talked about it a lot-this was the most thorough recap of why I liked it-so I won’t bother to write it up again. Suffice to say that it was magictastical. (Yes, I made that up. #ProudDorkReturns)

2. Isabella Tobias/Ilia Tkachenko (“Polovtsian Dances”)

Tobias/Tkachenko were one of my favorite “discoveries” of this season. I kind of ignored them for most of the season but, when I saw them in person at Worlds, realized that that was a regrettable decision. Their Free Dance was fantastic, and I was going to put it on the favorite FDs list in the free skates post, but I forgot. However, I also loved their costumes, so I managed to get in a mention somewhere else. Isabella’s dress was one of the most interesting ice dance dresses this season (just to be clear, I mean that in a good way). The faux necklace things on the neckline and bodice, and the black sparkly bits, were gorgeous, impactful, and went well with the somewhat Middle Eastern theme of the program (okay, I know that Polovtsian Dances isn’t Middle Eastern, but it got the point across better than “Central Asian”!). Ilia looks fine, but Isabella’s dress is kind of the “focal point” and it works out fine because when you have a dress like that, you need to show it off. :p

3. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (“Fix You”)

I admit I am more than slightly biased towards this program, but I thought these costumes were a perfect fit for it. I once read a costume recap from last year in which the author commented that Denis Ten’s SP costume was rather simple so it wouldn’t distract from the emotion of the program, and I feel like that was the point of these costumes. This free dance might not have been quite as effective with gaudy or overdone costumes-it might have been a bit distracting because this is not a gaudy program. So these costumes fit the bill: they were simple but not bland, and I don’t think there was a single crystal anywhere on them. In a word, they were understated (as they should’ve been). Simply sublime.

Four down, three to go! Next up is what will probably be the longest post in this series, the Favorite Junior Things recap. I am planning to include a variety of things-programs, costumes, specific performances-so it might be a long one. I’m not sure when I’ll get it finished, but stay tuned. 

 

 

A Few of my Favorite Things, 2015-16: Costumes (Ladies)

So, after writing my first two season recap posts in two days, I took a break from blogging because I was going to use up the whole series in a week and then be upset that I had nothing to blog about. But now I’m back, with probably my favorite topic to blog about: costumes!

Since this is a very broad category, I’m splitting the favorite costumes segment into two posts. This one is for ladies, and the next one will be for pairs and dance. (I didn’t really like any of the mens’ costumes, so there will not be any in this.) This is structured somewhat the same as the programs posts: a certain number in each discipline, depending on how many I can remember that I liked.

Best Ladies Short Prorgram Costumes 

  1. Evgenia Medvedeva (“Melodies of the White Nights”)

This is as close to a perfect dress as I saw this season: the color, cut, crystals, and overall design were absolutely gorgeous, and it looked fantastic on Evgenia. Age-appropriate but stunning. I’ve raved about this dress approximately 95 times already and I’ve probably said it all by now…

2. Adelina Sotnikova (“Besame Mucho”)

IT HAS A FRINGE SKIRT, GUYS. Costume aside, I could not get enough of Adelina’s programs this season, and she has officially vaulted onto my top-5 list of ladies skaters (somewhere in between Gracie/Elena/Yulia/Mao). Спасибо, Adelina, for being awesome.

Okay, I kind of only put that in because wanted to show off my Russian, but of the smattering of Russian I have yet memorized-Спасибо, Вода, Да, Нет, Где, собака, молоко (water, yes, no, where, dog, and milk)-that seemed the least nonsensical. LOL.

3. Elena Radionova (“J’Taime”)

Yes, I know this hides the front of her dress, but the back is my favorite part, and none of the pictures that showed the front showed the back, so I went with the back. I love the orange beading and the flowy orange pieces of fabric coming off the back-they looked like flames when she moved. She may have had some serious costume failures this season (the watermelon dress at Worlds…), but this one was great.

4. Gracie Gold (“El Choclo”)

From the front, this looked like a practice dress, but the back and underskirt were fabulous. I am also running out of ideas. I would use juniors’ costumes for this, but I already committed to doing those in another post…gergh.

5. Gabrielle Daleman (“Mr. Paganini”)

It’s so PURPLE and SHINY…I like things that are purple and shiny. 🙂

Top Five Ladies Free Skate Costumes 

  1. Tyler Pierce (“Danse Macabre”)

I discussed Tyler’s free skate costume here and am too lazy to write it up again. Random note: there are far more good pictures of this costume floating around Google now than there were after Junior Worlds, so apparently I need to wait two months if I want any good pictures of a costume.

2. Mao Asada (“Madame Butterfly”)

Mao is basically the queen of impeccable costuming (possibly only rivaled by actual rival Yuna Kim and the famously fashionable Kiira Korpi), and this season’s dresses were no exception. I preferred this one because it was more unique-I saw nothing else like it except for that one dress that looked like a ripoff of this one. Having the entire costume made of mesh gave it lovely movement, and the butterfly appliques were a nice touch. Everything about it was gorgeous, but if I had to pick a favorite thing about it, it would be the sleeves. Mesh bell sleeves are right up there with sparkly sweetheart necklines and ombre on the list of things I am a total sucker for.

 

3. Ashley Wagner (“Moulin Rouge”)

Okay, whoever thought to put gold beading/crystals/whatever on bright-white fabric was a fashion genius. The “sparkly stuff” (don’t know if it’s crystals, glitter or beading) really stands out against the white bodice. The faux-necklace neckline was very cool as well. If a top skater wears a white dress, I will inevitably become obsessed with it-examples: Anna Cappellini’s SD dress, Rachel Parsons’ SD dress, Victoria Sinitsina’s SD dress…and this one. I would go so far as to say this costume kept the program “fresher” than it would’ve been if she didn’t change the costume. Then again, maybe it was just that I liked staring at this dress. 🙂

4. Rika Hongo (“Riverdance”)

Rika’s sadly-replaced original “Riverdance” dress was one of my favorite dresses this season. It was suitably Riverdance-y without being the “WOOHOO I’M RIVERDANCING AND THIS IS A RIVERDANCE PROGRAM SO TOP O’ THE MORNING TO Y’ALL!” kind of Riverdance-y. (It was a lot prettier when she was moving – still photos don’t show the actual color well.) The green underskirt and well-placed green crystals added a little color so it wouldn’t look too somber, but the extremely dark color made it more refined than if it had been the typical emerald-green. This season was really a breakout season for Rika in terms of programs, and her costumes-especially this one-definitely did them justice.

5. Mirai Nagasu (Selections from “The Great Gatsby”)

If you have read certain things on this blog, you probably know that I love 1920’s-themed anything in skating, so Mirai Nagasu’s fabulous 20’s-inspired free skate dress was bound to end up on this list. I loved the subtle blush color, which is not a color you often see skaters wear, and the very “directional” crystal placement (by which I mean it was clearly meant to be shaped a certain way). The crystal “straps” and the chevron pattern in the cutout were very nice touches-no detail was spared with this dress! The headband was a cute addition. Fresh and youthful without looking too young.

“Hungary” For Gold: Bits and Pieces of Jr. Worlds (pt. 3)

Wow, what a competition!

This year’s Junior Worlds was full of surprises from start to finish. From dramatic comebacks in the men’s and ladies’ FSes to the Year Of Small Federation Champions to THAT ISU BIO and, most recently, a decisive victory by yet another powerhouse American ice dance team (it’s like the Russian ladies and I LOVE IT SO MUCH!), it was an event unlike any other and I’m sure I will come away from this with very fond memories of the craziness that went down here.

So, in the Grand IceNetwork Variety Post Tradition, I am closing the “Hungary” For Gold post series with a best-dressed analysis. 🙂 There will be one costuming winner in each segment of the competition-ladies SP and FS, men’s SP and FS, SD and FD, and pairs SP and FS-and winners in a few other random categories. (The skater’s placement is indicated in parenthesis.)

Best-Dressed in the Ladies SP: Marin Honda (1st) 

Marin Honda may have won the Junior World title, but that isn’t the only thing she won this weekend: she’s also the winner of the best-dressed award for the ladies SP. 🙂 I love the multicolored skirt (which seems to be designed to look like a flower, and looks awesome when she spins) and the pale pink color is very flattering on her. Very delicate and feminine, which went perfectly with her “Spring Sonata” short program.

Best-Dressed in the Ladies FS: Tyler Pierce (6th) 

It is a bit hard to see the smaller details on this dress in the picture (the only one I could find that was okay-quality and showed the dress in full), but wow, this is one intricate dress. It must’ve been extremely labor-intensive to make all those little jagged cutouts on the bodice, not to mention hand-applying the crystals (and there are obviously a lot of them)! But I think my favorite thing about it is actually the sleeves. For some reason, I am obsessed with colored mesh sleeves, and the grey mesh under the black fabric looked absolutely stunning. Also, the neckline is perfection. The whole thing is stunning, and as “Danse Macabre”-ish a dress as you could find.

Best-Dressed in the Short Dance: Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons (2nd)

As is usually the case in ice dance, Michael’s costume is fine and suitably non-crazy, but it’s Rachel’s dress that catches your eye-and it’s gorgeous. The gold sparkly stuff (is it glitter or crystals? I’m not sure) looks amazing on the white chiffon, and the illusion mesh sleeves actually match her skin!!! The mock turtleneck was a nice touch. Really, everyone should be getting their costumes from whoever made these.

Best-Dressed in the Free Dance: Marjorie Lajoie/Zachary Lagha (

In addition to fringe skirts (see below), I am a total sucker for elaborate tutus (two words: Elena Ilinykh) and these costumes were really nice. Zachary is basically wearing your average paso doble SD costume (they’re skating to Don Quixote). But, again, it’s the girl’s dress that’s meant to catch your eye: the lacing on the sleeves was extremely cool and like nothing I’d ever seen before, and the tutu looked like it had sparkly butterfly wings on it…which somehow worked.

 

Best Dressed in the Pairs SP: Bryn Hoffman/Bryce Chudak (8th)

As you can probably tell from the costumes, this was a “Chicago” program, and these costumes are, indeed, very “Chicago”-y. The fringe skirt on Bryn’s dress looked really cool in flight (did that sound as weird as I think it did?) and the sparkly geometric details on the bodice were a fun touch. Bryce was wearing suspenders, which I will only accept in 1920’s-themed programs (which this was…obviously), but otherwise his costume was a bit boring…oh well. The pairs short didn’t have any particularly fantastic costumes, IMO, so I had to pick something and these were the best I could find.

Best-Dressed in the Pairs FS: Anastasia Mishina/Vladislav Mirzoev (2nd)

I was originally going to go with Borisova/Sopot’s costumes for this, but after actually writing it up I realized I had way too many criticisms of them and my little blurb sounded like a really long backhanded compliment. (However, I came up with an analogy that compared Dmitry Sopot’s shirt to the Nazca Lines that I felt that warranted a mention, so I’m mentioning it. 😉 ) I went with my safer option instead (these), and I realize now that I like them a lot more. Vladislav looks normal and nothing on his costume could be compared to oversized Peruvian petroglyphs, so that is a costuming success in my book. And Anastasia’s dress is very fun: a green fringe skirt and  a sparkly spandex bodice with a one-shoulder neckline sounds like it should be a major costuming misfire, but looks surprisingly great. Sassy and shiny and very 20’s-ish (if you haven’t already guessed, I love all things 1920’s in skating-fringe skirts, ice dance Charleston and Finnstep SDs, you name it…)

Best-Dressed in the Men’s Short Program: Deniss Vasiljevs (8th)

If I had to design a costume for a “Puttin’ on the Ritz” program, it would probably look somewhat like this. Very snazzy. 😉

Best-Dressed in the Men’s Free Skate: Daniel Samohin (1st)

I like men’s costumes to be interesting and colorful and fitting to the program without being weird or crazy. This is interesting, colorful and fitting to the music without being weird or crazy, so I obviously liked it. For some reason I particularly like the red satin collar and back of the vest. I legitimately have no idea why…also, any costume that manages to incorporate a cravat without making the skater look like a bad Mozart impersonator is doing something right. 😉

The Takahito Mura Award for the Best Costume That’s So Weird It Works: Maria Golubtsova/Kirill Belobrov (18th) 

I am glad I decided to watch the earlier groups of the FD despite the fact that they didn’t have any medal contenders in them, because if I didn’t, I would’ve missed these gloriously literal costuming disasters. This Ukrainian team whose names I can barely spell skated to the Super Mario Brothers soundtrack-as you probably guessed already-and apparently someone thought they needed to wear the most literal costumes imaginable. And they remind me of one of the reasons I love ice dance: in what other sport would you ever see someone competing with a rhinestone mustache on their chest? I almost can’t believe this exists, but it is for the good of humanity that it does. :p

Best Costume Featuring Bad Modern Art: Kevin Aymoz (9th)

As I once said of Ruslan Zhiganshin’s FD costume: “Give me one good reason you should ever have a face on your shirt.”

Actually, I am not sure this is even a face. It’s more like an eye and some weird squiggly lines…

I am officially out of ideas for awards to give here, so I’m going to wrap it up. Hope y’all enjoyed this post and the Junior Worlds series in general. 🙂 

Introducing the FS Fashion Series + The best and worst costumes at Cup of China

Every figure skating fan watches the sport for different reasons: some love the technical side and the athleticism, some enjoy the drama that often accompanies skating, some like to follow the fascinating personalities involved in the sport, and some enjoy skating during the Olympics but really don’t care about it the other three years of every quad. But nearly every group of fans agrees on one thing: costumes are a big part of the appeal of skating. While gorgeous, drool-worthy costumes can enhance one’s enjoyment of a performance, it can be even more fun when an unexplainably strange outfit appears in a major event. Costumes are one of the main things that set figure skating apart from other sports, and I think that’s why they are of so much interest.

So, as they’re certainly one of my favorite skating things, I decided to start a series focusing on the best and worst costumes at major events-beginning with Cup of China. (This will cover ladies and dance, as that is all I watched of CoC.)

DANCE 

BEST: Hawayek/Baker-Short Dance

United State's Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker compete in the Pair's Ice Dance Short Dance program during the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating held at the Capital Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Friday, Nov. 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Perhaps a bit much on the skirt (that much tulle is a bit overwhelming), but I loved the concept of these costumes. They’re fairly traditional ballet costumes (as they should be in a Nutcracker program)-I happen to like that. That shade of pink looks gorgeous on Kaitlin, and I liked the ombre bodice and gold details.

BEST: Chock/Bates-Short Dance

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Because Chock/Bates’ short dance was not a story/narrative program with characters to portray, they could’ve done pretty much anything with their costuming and, provided it wasn’t atrocious or tacky, it probably would’ve made sense. I really liked what they decided to go with. Yes, they probably could’ve shown up at prom in these, but I liked the colors, they moved very well on the ice, and there was just enough bling. 🙂 Interesting to note that Madison designs their costumes herself-I think these were a job very well done.

BEST: Chock/Bates again-Free Dance 

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Another excellent costume for this team-Madisom & Evan really hit the costuming mark this season! Evan’s costume is rather meh (at least it’s not encrusted in swarovskis…), but Madison’s is fabulous. I am a complete sucker for ombre, and I also loved the one-shoulder neckline. This was actually the second FD dress she’s had this season and I definitely like it better than the last one. I really hope they don’t change their costumes again because these ones are great!

THE ACTUAL BEST :P: Cappellini/Lanotte-Free Dance 

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I unfortunately couldn’t find a picture that fully showed these costumes (that’s why I used two-to show different angles), but take my word for it: they were some of the best ice dance costumes I have EVER seen! I absolutely loved Anna’s dress, and I usually hate black dresses because they’re usually boring-but this one wasn’t. The crystal-work was sublimely done and added a lot of interest, as did the “belt”, sweetheart neckline, and flared skirt. Luca’s understated costume was a fine complement to Anna’s: it wasn’t the stereotypical “I only wear black” men’s costume, but basic enough not to distract from Anna’s dress, which deserved the complete and undivided attention of the audience. :p I cannot wait to see these again…*heart eyes*!

WORST: Wang/Liu-Short dance

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Again, there were no good pictures of these costumes, and this is a screenshot of the YouTube video of their SD, taken on my iPhone-but even that should show the glaringly bright orangey pink color. ‘Cause a waltz year ain’t a waltz year until somebody shows up in neon. 😉 (Also, that side cutout needs to go.)

WORST: Ilinykh/Zhiganshin-Free dance 

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Give me one good reason you should ever have a face on the back of your shirt.

LADIES 

BEST: Mao Asada-Free Skate

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Mao is, in my mind, consistently one of the best-costumed skaters, and this dress was no exception. Lavender is a great color on her (and she’s had at least three lavender dresses I can think of), and I really like purple, so of course I was going to like this dress. 🙂 I really like that it’s made out of mesh-it gives it a much airier feel than other materials would, and it moves well (especially the bell sleeves, which are gorgeous). The butterfly appliques were a nice touch as well. The ombre effect on the sleeves and skirt were yet another cherry on top-there was really nothing I didn’t love about this dress

BEST: Hannah Miller-Short Program

It may have just been that I loved this program, but I thought Hannah’s Indian-inspired purple dress was just perfect for it. The gold details were a fun touch.

BEST: Zijun Li-Short Program

Zijun is another skater who always has beautiful costumes. I thought this one was particularly nice. The sparkle-factor was through the roof and I liked it! 🙂

Also-surprise! I found a gif! #WhyAreThereNoGoodPicturesOfAnythignFromThisEvent

BEST: Elena Radionova-Short Program

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Peach is one of my favorite colors. Elena is one of my favorite skaters. She happens to look amazing in peach. Of course I liked this dress. 🙂 The longer skirt really worked (it usually doesn’t) and the flowiness of the dress gave it a lovely, ethereal quality.

THE BEST: Rika Hongo-Free Skate

I will forever love the skater who made a Riverdance dress that is Riverdancy without being tacky, and Rika has done just that! A great dress to back up a great competition! I love the triangle thingies on the skirt and the flower appliques at the top of the bodice.

WORST: Courtney Hicks-Free Skate

Courtney, I love you, but this is hideous. Mustard yellow is nobody’s friend.

WORST: Nicole Rajicova-Short Program

This dress has one too many cutouts.

WORST: Zheng Lu-Free Skate

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Something about the cut of this dress was just not flattering.

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