Ice Network

Donovan: Olympic Winter Games fashion podiums

Rippon, Nagasu shine in PyeongChang; Savchenko, Massot earn praise
  • Ice Network on Facebook
  • Ice Network on Twitter
Team USA's Mirai Nagasu and Adam Rippon were rewarded by Sam Donovan for their exemplary wardrobe selections at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. -Getty Images

It wouldn't have been the Winter Olympics without a fair share of drama, so thank goodness these particular Games served it up in spades. From broken costumes to breaking into the history books, the fashion played a pivotal role in making these Olympics one to remember. Now, let's hand out some hardware!


GOLD -- Mirai Nagasu (FS)

Oftentimes, fashion is not about the garment alone, but the moment in which that garment was worn. Mirai Nagasu may not have won a medal in the individual event, but she instantly made this dress iconic when she became the first American -- and third woman overall -- to land a triple axel at the Olympic games. I have always loved the subtle cultural shout-out to her parents' homeland of Japan in this costume, and I think it's beautiful that she was able to sartorially represent who she was in that moment.

SILVER -- Kaetlyn Osmond (SP)

I have been praising hosannas for this picture perfect Édith Piaf salute from the newly-minted Olympic gold (team event) and bronze medalist for nearly two years now, so I'm glad to see that she finally has the competitive hardware to match her fashion standings. Now Kaetlyn can finally take off that chic little ribbon and replace it with a pair of glittering medals.

BRONZE -- Kailani Craine (FS)

This is the one time I make you dig, icenetwork, I promise! Kailani has been this close to medaling for me several times this season, but has missed the podium each time. But something about the Olympic lights made it impossible for me to ignore this explosively shimmery frock -- possibly the most intricately beaded of the season. This has touches of Ashley Wagner's legendary Moulin Rouge costume from the 2015-16 season that make it feel ever so slightly derivative, but I love that she didn't hold back on the color, as the rich blue tones really make the look.


GOLD -- Adam Rippon (FS)

I won't lie; I cried watching Adam's free skate. The image of Rippon, living his truth in front of a world at a crossroads, skating so serenely is the kind of hope all young gay men need to see that their vision of themselves is worthy and beautiful. This costume showcased that serene self-assuredness quietly, and beautifully. Again, if you need a reminder of just how gorgeously this costume radiates in motion, I strongly encourage you to watch Adam's free skate again.

SILVER -- Yuzuru Hanyu (FS)

I doubt it will be much to Yuzu's chagrin that he missed out on gold on my podium, given that he made history by defending his title in this bold, eye-catching number. I'm not even entirely sure how the shoulders stay up like that, but it's fascinating to look at. What I really appreciate with his look, however, is the tunic-like quality to his shirt that flares up like a skirt when he jumps. It really shows just how quickly and perfectly he rotates in the air. Again, I highly recommend a second look.

BRONZE -- Dmitri Aliev (FS)

I mean, if you're going to run into a wall at your Olympic debut, you may as well look good doing it. Airy, light, creative, and quietly different, Aliev made a soft statement in his free skate look that makes me excited to see what he'll continue to do as he grows. Plus, it's got some sparkles.


GOLD -- Aliona Savchenko & Bruno Massot (FS)

What an actual moment for the queen herself, laid out in her full royal regalia. With Bruno acting as an obvious complementary figure, Aliona absolutely shines in her Lisa McKinnon couture creation. The way the solid blue ombres into the white, which is then adorned with sequins is gorgeous, and I love the high collar -- a very strong trend from this season that Aliona masterfully exemplifies here. It's absolutely my favorite pairs costume of the season. (Also a favorite of mine were her and Bruno's gorgeous new short program looks, which just barely missed the cut.)

SILVER -- Vanessa James & Morgan Ciprès (FS)

Vanessa and James' thing is to present an overt sexuality in a chic-to-death kind of way, and they absolutely kill that here. Vanessa's costume, with its crisscrossing leather strap details aplenty, really creates a gritty sensuality to their piece, and brings it new level -- exactly what you want a costume to do. (Also, her hair was absolutely on point for these games.) Morgan is doing his job as a cute and complementary male presence, but it's truly Vanessa doing the lifting this time around -- pun intended.

BRONZE -- Xiaoyu Yu & Hao Zhang (FS)

It was a tough choice between Yu and Zhang's free skate and short program looks for the bronze, but ultimately, I ended up choosing their free skate looks because of how charming I find their Star Wars riffs. Xiaoyu really does look like a figure skating version of Rei, while Hao plays a convincing part as a part of the First Order. Just charming and chic -- a difficult pairing to get right that these two manage with aplomb.


GOLD -- Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron (SD)

I know it broke, but these costumes are far and away the most stunning on the dance circuit this season. I gave myself a break from their (admittedly gorgeous) free dance costumes to focus on how stunning Cizeron and Papadakis look in their short dance costumes. Gabriella's fringe look is easily the most high fashion of the entire short dance, with an unexpected colorway and a super-cute beaded waist band, while Guillaume upped the sex appeal by showing a little chest hair with a deep "v" to go along with his newly more sheer costume.

SILVER -- Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani (SD)

These two have absolutely stolen my heart in a number of ways, but had me from the beginning of this season with these magnificent short program looks. Again, Alex works as a perfect subtle complement to Maia's absolute showstopper of a free skate costume. Maia really looks like a Phoenix erupting into a tornado of sparkles, with perfectly matched pink and orange tones. But really, the winner here are all those sparkles -- and us for having gotten to watch these two all season.

BRONZE -- Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (SD)

I finally got around to liking Scott and Tessa's outfits, just as they look like they're going back into retirement. But earnestly, these are just a whole bunch of gaudy, tacky fun. Black, sheer, full body cheetah print, adorned with what I can only imagine are shattered gold mirror pieces have never looked so good -- and that you can almost say the same for Scott's costume is a feat worth commending itself.


I thought I might take this Olympic opportunity to finish off a little differently than I used to -- by putting every category head to head, and effectively picking an ultimate podium for the season. Enjoy!

GOLD -- Adam Rippon (FS)

I mean, best costume of the season, hands down. Emotional, lyrical, and perfect for what he aimed to accomplish.

SILVER -- Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron (SD)

This is in silver position almost as much for causing drama as for looking gorgeous -- and isn't that the best way to land on a podium?

BRONZE (TIE) -- Mirai Nagasu (FS) and Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani (SD)

I couldn't leave out the newly iconic triple-axel get up of Mirai, but the Shibutani's effulgent cha cha realness is easily top three of the season. I doubt either would mind sharing the bronze medal on my overall Olympic podium.