The Inside Edge with Sarah and Drew - March 4

Olympic fashion, diamond rings and junior worlds

Figure skating costumes get made fun of, but, really is this any better?
Figure skating costumes get made fun of, but, really is this any better? (Getty Images)


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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to
(03/04/2010) - We almost can't believe the 2010 Olympics are over, and we don't know where to start. Well, actually, we do know where to start: Costumes! We weren't in Vancouver, to our chagrin, so all we can do is comment on what we saw on TV and online. That doesn't stop us from having opinions...

First of all, every four years everyone who usually ignores figure skating feels inspired to sound off with plenty of opinions. This usually includes some gratuitous shots at skating costumes. We would like to point out many other sports involve over-the-top, very shiny, occasionally silly, costumes. They can call them uniforms, or whatever they want, but let's just stop a minute and consider the gleaming gold Japanese speed-skating costumes and the Australian short-track racer dressed as a character from Tron. Not to mention their tights. And then there's Shaun White. Let's not go there.

Here's the Vancouver 2010 best-dressed list:
Some costumes really worked, and some really didn't. It's funny that none of the U.S. men brought out a new outfit for the big show, after showing up with different costumes at practically every competition all season. We give an "Improved," medal to Evgeni Plushenko for ditching his free skate costume from earlier in the season and rocking the red and black rhinestone vest he wore at the Games.

We agree on the winner here, though: Patrick Chan. Both of his costumes fit him beautifully and were interesting yet not outré. The short program picked up on the patchwork meme that's been lurking around the edges of fashion for the past year. The long was formal and yet, ever so slightly, edgy.

The Canadians keep on winning, as Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir sweep this category. From their compulsory Tango costumes, with Scott's velvet cut-out sleeves and Tessa's full-cut skirt, to the glorious Flamenco styling of the original dance, to the lovely and perfectly cut white Mahler free dance, these two may have won the all-time beautiful award.

We tried and tried to come up with winners here, but we have to say that none of the costumes really captured our imaginations. We're not sure why.

Runner-up: Laura Lepisto, for her short program dress. Brown and fuschia/lavender! We loved the colors, the cut, everything. The Finns are such great designers. We wish we could remember who designs Laura's costumes, although we think we recall that she and her mother do them.

Stunning Kiira Korpi's free skate dress might have won this category if not for the zipper up the front, which confused us.

Winner: This has to go to Queen Yu-Na. We have already praised her short program dress, so perfect for her Bond Girl persona. And the free skate dress, the color of blue heaven, with chains of starry rhinestones on the back and a stunning crystal choker collar, transported us along with the delirious crowd at the Coliseum.

Kudos to Ralph Lauren for taking on the daunting task of designing winter sportswear. We are thrilled with such an iconic, high profile designer supporting the Games. As for the clothes, well, just like sport, fashion has its ups and downs.

We loved the chunky knit off-white sweater worn at the opening ceremony and the wool hat, with a cute moose knitted into its pattern. Both of these pieces captured a very classic and traditional part of American fashion, a perfect style for our team in Vancouver.

We see where Mr. Lauren and team were going with the blue-and-red-trimmed jacket that was part of the opening ceremony look. But the flair at the bottom was all wrong, especially on men. Not cute, or flattering.

And although we were very nervous and unsure about the white pants, which can be disastrous, in all the wrong places, on many people, it ended up being OK. After all, these are Olympic athletes, with, well, Olympic legs, and so it worked out fabulously.

Olympic diamond rings
All the Olympic figure skaters are having a little trouble adjusting to real life after two weeks of excitement! We've heard a lot of mumbling about post-Vancouver depression. Evan Lysacek is busy with Dancing With the Stars, of course, and Johnny Weir has been all over TV this week, so they're busy.

We have been dying to talk to everyone about their experiences. The first person we caught up with was Jeremy Barrett. And the first thing we wanted to know was, what was his favorite piece of USA swag? The athletes take home bushels of clothes of almost every sort.

"Well, as far as the clothing goes, we got so much of it that we don't really know all that we have," said Jeremy. "We mailed a whole suitcase full of stuff home so I am not really sure what is in it. It will be like Christmas when I get it!"

But Jeremy is sure what the best souvenir will be.

"My favorite will be the Olympic ring that we all get, and of course most of the figure skaters upgraded it with diamonds," he said. Well, of course they did.

Did he bring home any of the famous red mittens?

"We did not get any," he said. "Unless it had USA on it I didn't want it."

What was his favorite part about the opening and closing ceremonies?

"Definitely marching in, both times. Marching in front of 60,000 people is pretty crazy."

Jeremy told us that he, and a lot of the other figure skaters, hung out a lot with some of the aerial skiers. He didn't get to watch them flying forty feet in the air, though.

"It was one of the main events that I wanted to see but unfortunately I did not get a chance," he said. "But they were a lot of fun to hang out with."

Jeremy and Caydee Denney will be competing at the world championships in Italy later this month. Is it hard to come down from all the excitement and get back to work?

"I think most of us are in the post-Olympics depressions," said Jeremy. "We were all very sad leaving the Olympic village, but we made sure to hit up the cafeteria one last time. All I have to say is, 24-hour free McDonalds!"

Missing junior worlds
Ah, but just because the Olympics are over, that doesn't mean the season is over! The U.S. Synchro championships are on as we speak, and junior worlds is coming right up. Fans were sorry to hear that Ashley Wagner and Ross Miner withdrew; they'll be replaced by Kiri Baga and Keegan Messing.

We called Ashley and Ross just to check on them. Ross, speaking from a physical therapy table, said "My ankle just wasn't healing quickly enough to be really ready."

As you may recall, Ross sprained his ankle doing a triple Axel shortly before the US championships. He is back on the ice this week, doing double jumps, and hopes to progress to triples next week and get back to full strength soon after that.

Ashley told us she was fine; "I just wanted to give a deserving junior the opportunity," she said. She is back to training her four-minute long free program and assured us that she'll continue to skate next season.

Ashley will be starring in the Colonial Figure Skating Club's "Ice Crystals" show, benefiting Sherry's House, on May 1 in Boxborough, Massachusetts. Call 978-263-3450 for tickets.

Back to real life for us, too,
Sarah and Drew
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