The Inside Edge: Best-dressed list from BostonInternational fashion abounds on, off ice; Olympic champions get nods
It's hard to believe that the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships are over, and hard to believe that Boston managed to deliver another unpleasant snowstorm, in April no less. I hope everyone had a safe trip home.
You all saw the skating, and many thousands of you had the opportunity to see plenty of skaters and coaches in person. It was exciting to see all the international styles at the arena and hotel. At least one fan attended the events in a full, formal kimono to support the Japanese skaters. Several Canadian fans wore their love for team Canada all over, with maple leaf gear and white-and-red clothes liberally sprinkled with pins from various competitions. And of course many, many skaters and coaches dressed to impress, above all at the final banquet Sunday night.
"Sarah" found it quite challenging to take in all the fashion without "and Drew." Unfortunately, Drew was unable to attend worlds, but I am pleased to present a guest-blogger for this edition: Sam Donovan, who is currently storming through Project Runway All Stars. Sam is a big fan of skating and he is also an inventive and thoughtful young designer. He watched the event and we shared plenty of thoughts about the on-ice fashion.
For the off-ice commentary, I am indebted to everyone who helped hash over the hair, the shoes and everything else during the week. Many of you will have other opinions, and I look forward to hearing them. And my apologies to any sartorial excellence I missed seeing.
And with that, here is the 2016 World Championships best-dressed list.
With so many top skaters competing, there were too many beautiful costumes to mention. The list below includes only a few of the most impressive and successful looks.
Penny Coomes' blue stained glass butterfly dress, by Sophie Whittam, was delicious, and Nicholas Buckland's dark-blue bejeweled shirt set off both her dress and his blond hair. In the short dance, Buckland looked spectacular in white tie. Isabella Tobias and Ilia Tkachenko's black Prince Igor costumes were completely successful, from her jewel-encrusted harem costume to his long, regal tunic.
Madison Hubbell wore a new dress for the free dance, designed by Mor Lumbroso, who also printed the fabric. It is stunning -- a variegated purple and dark-gray shading to white in a flattering cut with a delicate wide band of crystals. Meanwhile, Hubbell's partner, Zach Donohue, wore a simple black costume that fit him like an oil slick on a pond.
Winners: How could they not win? Your two-time world champions, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, wore sheer illusion purple shading to red, perfect for the music. Hooray for a man not in black, by the way.
Most mysterious: The symbols painted on the right leg of Piper Gilles' free dance costume. Gilles says they depict the Rocky Mountains, a sun, a hot air balloon, arrows and "a daisy, because it's my favorite." Gilles painted the symbols herself, and they certainly add to the weird wonderfulness of the avant-garde dance.
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford's costumes for their Adele free skate worked: He wore a deep-blue shirt with black tuxedo-like trim, black belt and pants; and she was in a matching blue chiffon dress with a wide crystal collar and back. The collar was a big statement, but it worked with tiny Duhamel's outsize personality.
Sam and I agree completely about the winners here, in a category with sparse success in the best-dressed department. Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot's looks reached the skyboxes. Both costumes were red at the top, shading through wine-dark to black pants. Savchenko looked heart-stoppingly sexy in a unitard with a triangular cut-out on the back that was reminiscent of a heart. The look was fierce, and also a little bit sweet. Savchenko's white short program dress was a glittery stunner that had the audience buzzing. Getting rid of the red band from earlier in the season was a big improvement.
Sexiest costume: Javier Fernández, short program. Sam says: "Usually I balk at traditional dance costumes on male figure skaters, but I'll salsa dance with him anytime. I also love that he brought this look even into his grooming -- the hair is slicked back correctly, with the little bit of scruff."
We differ when it comes to the winner; Sam chose Mikhail Kolyada's free skate costume.
"Love this one, full stop," Sam said. "Dramatic, kind of sexy, total phoenix rising from the ashes kind of look. Plus, I love the way it plays with the [Nightmare Before Christmas] music and the choreography in his routine -- dark, quirky and lovely. Favorite look of the competition."
I, however, would award the win to Yuzuru Hanyu. His costume drew on elements from Japanese culture, and I liked the long flared sleeves over black gloves and the touches of purple, as well as the way the hem of the coat spun out when Hanyu jumped. Up close, the beading was beautiful.
We completely agree about the fabulousness of Adam Rippon's short program costume. The complicated patterns of stones on the back just takes over the arena, and Rippon could not look fiercer, stronger or more beautiful.
There were so many nice dresses in this event, it's a little hard to pick a winner. In the short program, I was taken with Zijun Li's spangled navy dress. She is the complete package. Nicole Rajičová had a very nice Juliet dress, a classic interpretation by Tania Bass in a purplish indigo with gold Renaissance bands.
Sam liked Gracie Gold's short program dress: "That dress was so whimsical and really played with Gracie's superior ability for spins and these bends she does; the red lining in the black skirt was adorable."
We loved seeing Mirai Nagasu's Pat Pearsall dress one more time. Sam: "Gorgeous choreography, gorgeous dress that highlighted the choreography and gorgeous spirit in her performance. I really loved how much beading was on this dress -- I don't think enough skaters understand how gorgeous the sparkle of beading is during their twirling on the ice, but Mirai gets it."
We agree on the winner here: Ashley Wagner. This was her competition! In the short program, Wagner borrowed Marissa Castelli's dress once again, and once again she delivered a great program in it. This little black number must be the luckiest dress in the world, having now been worn to great effect by Castelli, Kirsten Moore-Towers and Wagner.
Wagner's white Elena Pollack free skate dress sparkled like a diamond in front of the sold out, delirious crowd, and it beautifully set off her red hair. And then, to top it all off, Wagner wore a lovely sapphire-blue number by Jan Longmire for her exhibition program Saturday. It's a great color on her.
Best costume malfunction: Ukraine's Anna Khnychenkova. When her hair ribbon came undone during her third jumping pass, she caught it before it fell to the ice and flung it into the audience. She lost a point for "costume failure," but she gets points in our book for sang-froid.
Best use of purple on a man -- the Drew Meekins Award. This must go to Cizeron. Drew checks in from Colorado with an emphatic, "Oui."
The one and only Johnny Weir. It would not be possible to describe the looks he wore all week -- and besides, you saw them. Weir has admitted that he dresses as public performance, and it really works.
Victoria Sinitsina's gold sneakers. Want.
Scott Dyer's Louis Vuitton man-clutch. "I'm very proud of my man-clutch," said Dyer.
The Louis Vuitton gray scarf worn with panache by both Rippon and Gold.
Ashley Cain's elaborate floral gold cuff.
Best man bun
Maxim Trankov. Well, practically the only man bun. Skater hair tends toward classic rather than trendy.
Best hair -- the Charlie White Award
The blond division is full of candidates, including Kaitlyn Weaver, Gold (whose hair always looks wonderful) and Tatiana Volosozhar. For the men, a shout-out to Yuzuru Hanyu, whose cute haircut so suits his heart-shaped face.
The winners: Maia Shibutani, she of the loveliest locks, and, ta-da, Alex Shibutani. His haircut is perfect down to the final hair. The ShibSibs get another medal!
Men: Christopher Dean, debonair and so put-together in a gray Next suit.
Women: Tatiana Tarasova, with her hair perfectly coiffed, very nice makeup, a killer fuschia scarf, and all sorts of statement capes. She looks good.
Dentist Rafael Quintanar, who saved a gallery of his looks all week a la Douglas Razzano.
Cutest: The little boy sweepers, in their tiny suits with their little ties that matched the girl sweepers' costumes.
Prettiest: Gosh, Gold is breathtakingly lovely in person.
Most beautiful: Miki Ando. She's a mom, and she's a goddess.
Most gorgeous: Matteo Guarise. Yes.
A shout-out to elegant coach and choreographer Carol Lane, in Joe Fresh, everything neat and striking. Winner: Marie-France Dubreuil, flawless at all times and in all places. The white jacket and black pants in the kiss and cry, the beautiful hair -- Dubreuil turns heads, wherever she is.
A nod to Michael Solonoski, entirely chic in a gray Zara jacket and a scarf he bought at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Rippon is a perennial, by now; he dresses carefully and beautifully, and always looks wonderful.
The winner reflects the international nature of the event: Misha Ge. Ge picks out his looks with care, over time and over continents. When we talked Saturday he was wearing pants from Japan, a jacket from Korea, a sweater from the United States and a scarf from China. His red and black ensemble was fun, young and wonderfully coordinated right down to the jewelry. It's also nice that Ge doesn't reflexively go for pricey labels; he says he likes to find things that look expensive but don't cost too much.
There are plenty of fabulous divas on this list. Weaver looked stunning all week. Wagner is also impeccably turned out, even coming back from practice. Gilles has an intriguing sense of style.
Winner: Chock. How this woman can look perfectly put together even under an umbrella in the pouring rain is beyond me -- and she always looks spectacular, to be honest. For our tour of Harvard, Chock wore a cute hat, a lovely scarf, a long draping coat, nice little boots and an Yves Saint Laurent bag. She accented with touches of deep crimson -- Harvard's color -- including her hat, her lipstick and her partner Evan Bates' jacket.
Lynn Rutherford contributed to this section.
I might have missed one or two, but here are the Olympic champion sightings for the week:
Alexei Urmanov, with his student Deniss Vasiļjevs at hotel March 28.
Hanyu, at practice March 29.
Volosozhar and Trankov, checking into the hotel March 29.
Lipinski, doing TV commentary March 30.
White, working the Ice Desk March 30.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, working with CBC March 30.
Tenley Albright, talking to Castelli on the concourse March 30.
Dean on the bus March 31.
Hongbo Zhao at the practice rink March 31.
Ekaterina Gordeeva at the Ice Desk April 1
Sarah Hughes, with her sister Emily, on the concourse April 2.
Button, signing autographs at the hotel at midnight April 2.
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