Ice Network

Donovan: Cup of China fashion podiums

Tuktamisheva wins top honors; Radionova takes inaugural 'Wagner Award'
  • Ice Network on Facebook
  • Ice Network on Twitter
Sam Donovan got a witch-y vibe from Elizaveta Tuktamisheva's free skate look -- and he deemed it a winner. -Getty Images

What tickled me most about 2016 Cup of China was that I started to see some skaters shake up their fashion choices. After winning my Weir Award for a truly bizarre free skate costume at the Rostelecom Cup, newly minted Cup of China gold medalist Elena Radionova switched to something that didn't look like it melted two minutes before she got on the ice -- and it paid off.


GOLD - Alexander Petrov (SP)

I fell in love with this look back at Skate Canada, where I gave Petrov the silver for his high-fashion free skate outfit (I still need that gold blazer). However, I felt I needed time to warm to it properly, and amongst a spectacularly uninspired men's costuming lineup in Beijing, it's burning up my heart. Kooky, culturally celebrative and (most important) complementary to his energetic routine, this piece has it all in terms of color, texture and movement. Good costuming can bring a routine to a completely new level, and this is an example of that.

SILVER - Daniel Samohin (FS)

If this kid could have landed a jump the way he landed this Two-Face-meets-Beetlejuice couture, we'd have been in business.

BRONZE - Michal Březina (SP)

Again, in a weak field of looks (with the strongest being discounted for having already been featured), this kind of polish is going to shine. He looks good, dignified even, but when I'm putting an ensemble like this on the podium, there's something to be desired in the overall execution.


GOLD - Elizaveta Tuktamisheva (FS)

Apparently inspired by Adam Rippon's gold-winning turn to Wiccan, Elizaveta would like you to know that she, too, is a witch, and you can't kill her either.

SILVER - Karen Chen (SP)

I'm not a huge fan of the dress itself, but the way her sleeves sparkled at every spin, turn, flourish and jump has me on board. Hoping for an all-over version come U.S. championships.

BRONZE - Ashley Wagner (FS)

The decidedly good ombré finally gets its moment in the sun, even if Wagner kind of stumbled in China. Seriously, Wagner has such spunk that it's always disheartening to see her get under-rewarded for her efforts, but c'est la vie -- she sparkles regardless (and imagine this with the sleeves on Chen's dress).

WAGNER AWARD - Radionova (FS)

This new award is for most improved fashion choices over the course of the season, named in honor of the ever-stylish and irrepressible Ms. Wagner. After sporting some truly kooky-couture at Rostelecom, Radionova is the introductory honoree.


GOLD - Mari Vartmann and Ruben Blommaert (SP)

God bless Germany: Two Germans, dressed up like Beyoncé performing "Formation" at the Super Bowl, skating to Michael Jackson's "They Don't Care About Us" is so iconically, touchingly oddball. This is a win for everyone.

SILVER - Lubov Iliushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch (FS)

Back at Skate Canada, these two were so close to fashion gold with their short program ensembles that I somewhat overlooked their vibrant free skate looks. I love the shocking color contrasts here, and how daring and unusual the cut of Lubov's dress is.

BRONZE - Xuehan Wang and Lei Wang (SP)

Again, due to the ineligible repeats (Yu and Zhang looked stunning as ever) and an otherwise odd assortment of looks, demure polish sneaks its way into the top three. Points for his sequined neck ruffle, however.

WEIR AWARD - Jessica Pfund and Joshua Santillan (SP)

These two probably got the short end of the stick in Beijing, but they should heed the words of Coco Chanel and "take at least one thing off" before they step out onto the ice. I know they're capable, because their free skate Evita costumes nearly netted them a bronze on my podium.


GOLD - Shiyue Wang and Xinyu Liu (SD)

I'm not sure why Wang is so intent on showing off her abs, but the portion of her dress that actually is there is stunning. I love the blue and black blocking of the chiffon, and I love how much detail is in the bodice.

But seriously, I think your dress is missing a bodice.

SILVER - Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin (FD)

I technically already gave her a silver for this dress, but I'm tight on fashion here: I love this dress for its simplicity and movement.

BRONZE - Natalia Kaliszek and Maksym Spodyriev (FD)

There were probably slightly better costumes, but none of the teams that wore them skated with the exuberance of the these two Poles in their free dance. And if you think that's a qualifier, it's not: Kaliszek's effervescent performance brought the flutter of her skirt to life and really added to their performance. The No. 1 rule in fashion is "attitude, attitude, attitude," and these two had it in spades.