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What Not to Wear, Figure Skating Edition

Last week I spoke with ABC News for their story about Olympic figure skating costuming, Vancouver Olympics: In Figure Skating, Women Go Classy, Men Stay Flashy. The article asks this question: Why are men donning outrageous costumes while the women are toning it down with sophisticated dresses? It was fun to weigh-in on the discussion along with figure skating costume designers. Here’s what I had to say:

Some lifelong fans, like Julie Szabo, a figure skating blogger, think that whatever the reason, some of the men’s costumes are getting too creative.

“I think it takes away from the skating when the skater comes out with crazy costumes,” Szabo said. “So much time and effort is spent designing the perfect programs but sometimes the same consciousness is not put into the costumes.”

Blogger Szabo described the women figure skaters as trending towards glamour: “I think we are going to see the women continuing to be a little bit more sophisticated, in part because their programs are becoming more sophisticated and the costuming is a response to that.”

In case you were wondering, here’s my choice for the worst-dressed man in the competition:

Czech Republics Thomas Verner skates to Zorba the Greek.

Czech Republic's Thomas Verner skates to "Zorba the Greek".

You can read the complete article here.

7 Responses to “What Not to Wear, Figure Skating Edition”

  1. Delia Kleeb Says:

    Hi! Your post rocks and is a really nice read What Not to Wear, Figure Skating Edition! Delia Kleeb

  2. TIffany Says:

    Totally agree with Thomas Verner as the worst dressed. His pants were too high, the blue chosen for the pants made him look comical, and the bodice could have been ok if it weren’t for that fairy wing. Also, the tie belt with the tie handkerchief is awful. Too many strange ideas in what should have been a simply executed costume.

  3. Anita Webster Says:

    Agree with your assessment on the men’s outfits for sure, Julie. During the Olympics I was astonished to watch an interview with Vera Wong (Vera Wang!) on The Today Show on how she designed Evan Lysacek’s “costume” – feathers and all. What next?

  4. Anita Webster Says:

    Agree with your assessment on the men’s outfits for sure, Julie. During the Olympics I was astonished to watch an interview with Vera Wang (Vera Wang!) on The Today Show on how she designed Evan Lysacek’s “costume” – feathers and all. What next?

  5. Frances Says:

    I’m going to rock the boat here and say that Thomas’ costume isn’t too bad! It goes with his music choice, and is a refeshing change from all that boring BLACK the men insist on wearing. (At least, with the very limited coverage we received, black was all we saw!) I thought the most hideous was Lambiel’s costume for his short program. It had furry things on the shoulders! Even though it “went” with the music, it was distractingly awful. I remember in Turin, he skated to Vivaldi’s “winter” in a terrible zebra top with blue sleeves. What does zebra have to do with winter?
    Despite all that, I love looking at the costumes as much as I like watching the skating! I design and make my own costumes, and there is some wonderful inspiration out there.

  6. Sara Says:

    Yes, some of the costumes were bizarre. My real concern (though it doesn’t keep awake at night) is the awful white skates that the women wear regardless of the colour of their outfits!! Why don’t they wear black skates? Thanks for the opportunity to comment about this.

  7. Gigi Says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more on Thomas’ outfit!

    I saw Thomas for the first time back in ’99 in his home country during the Europeans, and was really thrilled when he finally hit the box a few years ago. He is clearly a hard working young man. His costumes have always been a bit dodgy though. This must be his worst. I kept expecting to see a baguette peeking out from under neath his arm (Greek? More like Paris if you ask me).

    Bad mens cozzies have been around for a long time though, let’s face it. We’ve had Ilia with his yellow cow sleeves for Blue Danube, and Alexei Urmanov’s V-necklines which seemed to go right down to his bellybutton!!

    Still, we do love a bit of dodgy cozzy don’t we? It’s just another excuse to stay glued to the TV during championships (as if we needed one!).

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