The Inside Edge with Sarah and Drew - Feb. 9

Hughes, Goebel talk fashion preferences

Sarah Hughes wears a Herve Leger dress at a movie premiere in Manhattan.
Sarah Hughes wears a Herve Leger dress at a movie premiere in Manhattan. (Getty Images)


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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to
(02/10/2010) - We're ready for the Olympics to start right now, but since we have to wait until Friday we got in touch with a couple U.S. Olympic medalists. To talk about fashion. Naturally!

Since she graduated from Yale last May, it seems like 2002 gold medalist Sarah Hughes has been everywhere. She's been seen at galas, benefits and receptions for, among others, Abilities Sports Night, the Greg Wolf Fund, Kids for Kids, ALS and the Ice Theater of New York as well as the Today Show, a Michael Douglas movie premiere and the New York Times Great Children's Read.

You may have seen Sarah last month in Spokane at various events and medal presentations.

"I was there Wednesday to Monday," she told us. "Ten pairs of footwear."

One of Sarah's favorites is a pair of gold Prada peep-toe pumps: "I saw a picture of Lindsay Lohan wearing them and went to the store to see if they had them. They had to send them from Italy. It was the last pair they made!"

On February 1, Sarah was featured in a three-page fashion shoot for the New York Post, putting an Olympic spin on the upcoming Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Lots of pictures and a video are online if you want to have a look []. Sarah was thrilled to see the fashion closet for the shoot, even if some of the clothes she was asked to wear were a bit outside her comfort zone.

"Neon pink mesh tops or purple spandex pants aren't something I would ever have chosen but it looked cool once I put it on," she said, laughing.

Sarah told us she wasn't very into fashion when she was competing, but now that she is invited to so many events, she needs to keep her closet stocked with nice things.

"When I was competing I spent so much time being fitted and having people critique what I was wearing," she said. "Now I have a closet full of different things because lots of times these events come up at the last minute and you don't want to miss something because you don't have something to wear!"

"I like stuff that's easy to wear and comfortable," she added.

These days, Sarah is partial to Dolce & Gabbana, Herve Leger, BCBG, and J.Crew. When she was competing, Tania Bass and Jef Billings made most of her costumes, with input from Sarah herself. We mentioned that we had really loved the pale lavender Jef Billings dress she wore for her free skate in Salt Lake City.

"I did like my Olympic dress a lot but it didn't fit right so it wasn't comfortable at all," said Sarah. "Jef's in L.A., and we did it all between nationals and the Olympics, so we didn't have much time, because we changed 30 seconds of my long program music. So we just sent my measurements and he never fit it to my body. He sent one of his assistants to Colorado Springs so I could try on the dress, and she made all these adjustments. Underneath the skirt there's a lot of leg showing! I couldn't bend over, especially because I knew all my brother's friends at college were watching."

Tania Bass started designing for Sarah eleven years ago, and they often worked closely together.

"I was very picky about what I wore," said Sarah. "I wouldn't skate in anything I didn't like. Sometimes I would go out on a limb and try new things. I tried an empire waist one time but I didn't really like how it looked." Sarah will be in Vancouver for the ladies competition, although she wasn't ready to disclose exactly what she would be doing apart from saying it was "some TV stuff."

Keep your eyes open for a piece she wrote for the Wall Street Journal, too. She has plans to attend law school at some point, but other than that, she's enjoying living in New York City.

"One of the things I like best about it is that you're free to just be whoever you are," she said. "People use fashion as self-expression and whatever you wear is who you want to be. When I walk down the street I see things you would never think would work together. No one is going to look twice if you wear something off-key.

"Life is such an adventure. I never know what's going to happen!"

Next we got in touch with Timothy Goebel, 2002 bronze medalist in Salt Lake City. We asked him about any special memories from the competition.

"The day after I won my medal I was in Park City for the Today Show," said Tim, "At what had to have been 4:00 am. All of the other U.S. medalists up to that point were there and we were on as a group. It was really special because I had met a lot of them at pre-Olympic team-building events, and to be able to share that experience with them was really great."

Tim also shared his memory of watching the ladies competition in a VIP suite.

"Michelle's family was in there," he said, "Tom Collins, the Cohens and various other skating people. It was a surreal atmosphere -- being happy for Sarah and sad for Michelle. It was a lot to process."

Tim and Sarah share a love of fashion as well as Olympic medals. Tim said he was quite the "fashionisto" when he was competing.

"If a designer had a store on Madison Avenue, I was all about it," he said. "I would like to note that I abandoned Fifth Avenue as the shopping Mecca before it became so strip-mall-y with its NBA store and Juicy (not so) Couture."

Tim said his favorite stores back then were Emporio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada. "Of course, whenever in NYC, I also made my obligatory trip to SoHo to buy jeans at D&G."

"Possibly my most ruinous couture habit: luxury gifts," he went on. "I got Mom Hermes, Birkin and Kelly bags (both black, silver hardware), basically the entire Cartier Trinity collection (sans the watch, which I think is Cartier's worst piece), and various other high-end baubles. My mom could open a second-hand bag shop that would even make Decades envious."

Tim's divo days are over for the moment though, as he's working toward a mathematics degree at Columbia. He said he'll graduate this spring.

"Now that I am in school and would look ridiculous being all dressed up to spend the day trapped in the wretched old Math library, I am a huge fan of Oakley," he told us. "And an even bigger fan of their outlet, Oakley Vault. Who knew you could get sweatshirts and jeans for $20? I do, however, pair my new discount duds with Louis Vuitton or Prada shoes."

As for on-ice wear, Tim said his two favorite costumes were his short program costume from 2002, which is in the Olympic Museum in Park City. "It was designed by Cedric Balian in Los Angeles. His son, Pierre, skated for the US for many years, and now represents Armenia."

Tim's other favorite was his 2005 Champions on Ice costume for his Adagio program, designed by Del Arbour.

If we can track down any other Olympic fashionistas, we'll pass on their thoughts as well. Until then, we're excited to watch all the drama from Vancouver, and we'll hope to talk to some brand-new medalists after the flame is extinguished. Enjoy the Games!

Sarah and Drew
@SarahandDrew on Twitter