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The Inside Edge: Toth models for Marc Jacobs

Koleto has eventful trip to Toronto; Pennington's show nears; Fontana, Zimmerman welcome daughter

A poster of Taylor Toth hangs in a Marc Jacobs store in Paris.
A poster of Taylor Toth hangs in a Marc Jacobs store in Paris. (courtesy of Taylor Toth)

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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to icenetwork.com
(04/11/2012) - Pairs skater Taylor Toth sat out last season without a partner, but he took advantage of the time off to do some modeling. Don't miss the video of Toth, clad in Marc Jacobs resort wear, skating "pairs" with Chicago store manager Andrew Weyer.

Toth, who recently announced that he has teamed up with 2009 U.S. novice champion Kiri Baga in a real partnership (read the article here), told us that the opportunity to do a photo shoot for Jacobs was first discussed last year.

"I've always had a friendship with different people in the Marc Jacobs company, and they've known that I skated," Toth said. "This last year, when I was doing a partner search, they were like, 'Do you want to come to Paris and we'll do a video, and shoot different things?' And given that I wasn't training, I was able to go there."

Toth flew to Paris for Fashion Week last January; the trip ended up getting extended, which meant Toth missed attending the U.S. championships in San Jose.

"We filmed the video footage in Normandy, and we were there for two days," Toth said. "Then we filmed a video of a pair tryout, which is appropriate given that I was actually having pair tryouts and looking for a partner."

In the video, Toth is wearing a swimsuit and spring 2012 blazer. His "partner" Weyer is clad in a bandeau top and flowered embroidery skirt.

Weyer can actually skate a bit; Toth told us that he had played hockey as a youngster.

"When we filmed the video, we had about three hours, and we had no time to practice," Toth said. "He caught on quickly. I mean, we weren't doing triple twist, but we did a few tricks."

Toth hints that there is one more surprise on the way.

"There's a few more things to come, one thing in particular that I'm really excited about, but I'm going to let it be a surprise," he said. "It's just so great that a company like Marc Jacobs is doing this with skating. To have an influential fashion company supporting skating and using skating in their campaign is great for our sport."

Look for Toth in some photographs too, including a big poster in the Marc Jacobs store in Paris.

"We shot it in front of the rental skates at a small rink in Normandy," he said.

Toth stresses that modeling is fun, but skating is his passion. He is thrilled to have found a partner. He and Baga will be training in Minnesota for the next two months while she finishes school, and then they plan to train in Chicago with Jeremy Allen.

"Today was our first day skating in Minnesota," Toth said Monday. "We're trying to get through our tests, but we don't really have a coach up here. I'm showing her how it's done, I guess you could say. Teaching her inside death spiral, all that. For the next two months, we'll be working on passing all the tests.

"Last year was the toughest year that I've ever had, sitting out, just because I so badly wanted to be skating and to be competing. I'm beyond excited about getting a start on the season and competing at nationals again this year. It's tough to watch your friends compete and do what you did. I spent the entire year being jealous. It was fun to cheer them on, but I'd much rather be competing."

Travel drama

Tim Koleto, who plans to move up to senior next season, will have a new free skate choreographed by David Wilson. Koleto recently flew to Toronto to work with Wilson, but the trip didn't exactly go as planned. Koleto, who is also a writer, takes up the story after he and Wilson agreed to work together during a phone call during the Four Continents Championships.

Here's Tim... The excitement for my first ever away-from-home choreographing experience built over the subsequent weeks. Plane tickets were bought, accommodations settled, and after much conversation, the music was chosen: Samuel Barber's "Cello Concerto in A minor."

On the Friday night preceding my early Saturday morning flight, I started to check in online. I pulled out my passport and started to type in the number when I realized a glaring issue and instantly stopped breathing. My passport expired in 2010.

I ran up the stairs in three steps and dropped my passport on the table. My mom looked at me calmly as if I was about to tell her I had run out of toothpaste.

"My passport is expired!"

My mom gave me the "Oh, Tim" look all mothers seem to have ready for situations like this. We scrounged up all of my documents: birth certificate, Social Security card and U.S. Figure Skating member card (just for kicks). The alarm clock rang at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. I drove to Denver International Airport in record time, and my mother and I said our final prayers as I approached the United counter.

After an hour and a half of stressful explanations, it became evident there would be no hope of obtaining a boarding pass. The clerk changed my flight to Monday night free of charge (thanks, United!) and handed me information for a passport expediter in Denver.

I texted David and assured him I would be there Monday night under any circumstances. He reassured me that we still had plenty of time to do the free skate, and wished me good luck.

My mom and I drove all the way across downtown Denver, which at that time in the morning is a thrilling incident, and waited for the expediter to open.

He gave us a rundown of how tight things would be come Monday morning, but he gave us the guarantee we were looking for. Checks were signed, pictures were taken and instructions were spelled out.

Sunday was a ball of worry and anxiety. When the alarm rang on Monday morning, I was ready for battle.

My mom and I arrived in downtown Denver 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Papers in hand, I marched into the city building at 8:00 a.m. sharp. All I needed was someone to witness my signature for my passport application, and I would be on my way.

The guard stopped me as I asked where I could get a state witness for the forms.

"I'm sorry. All state services are closed today to celebrate Cesar Chavez day."

All those U.S. history classes I ignored in high school came flying back, and I walked out of the building before I could scream any unseemly expletives. My mom tried to calm me down, ensuring me that the post office could witness the signature. The post office, thankfully, is a federal extension. The only problem was that I needed to have the sealed application back to the expediter by 10:00 a.m., and the passport division of the post office did not open until 9:30 a.m.

We made our way to the downtown post office. My mom and I somehow convinced the postman working the counter to witness the signature and put the packet together early. I made a truly valiant effort not to glare at everyone who came to mail their packages and paced for nearly a half hour. Just as the postman sealed the packet up, I looked up to where they have framed limited edition stamps on the wall, and saw none other than Cesar Chavez smiling back at me.

Relieved that we got the packet together an hour in advance, I was finally breathing again. I took a picture of Caesar.

We handed off my packet to the expediter, and at 2:30 p.m., I picked up my passport from the expediter in a rather clandestine manner, and it was off to the airport. I arrived at the rink in Toronto early the next morning, finally ready to begin the daunting task of creating a senior free skate.

Working with David Wilson was a whirlwind and a dream come true, and I can't wait for you to see the product of our collaboration this season. David and Caroline Zhang (who was also in Toronto for choreography) admitted to me that they never thought I would get there on Monday.

All I could do was smile and ensure them that I merely took the scenic route to Toronto.

Two and three

The second edition of Parker Pennington's Skate Dance Dream show will take place in Mentor, Ohio, on April 28. The show stars Ross Miner, Sean Rabbitt, and Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt, as well as "So You Think You Can Dance" star Comfort Fedoke. Pennington says there will be 135 skaters and dancers in the show. Visit skatedancedream.com for more information.

The third edition of the Young Artists' Showcase choreography competition is about to get under way. Applications are due April 20, and the first choreography challenge is due May 4. Some well-known competitive skaters have been tweeting about the possibility of participation, so keep your eye on the website, grassrootstochampions.com. The contest ends with a show that will be open to the public, on June 27 in Lake Placid.

Beautiful baby

Congratulations to Silvia Fontana and John Zimmerman, whose daughter, Sofia Zimmerman, was born Monday, April 2, at 11:33 p.m. The birth took place at Northwest Medical Center in Coconut Creek, Fla. Sofia came in at a healthy 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and 21 inches in height.

"Silvia and I are so excited to have our little girl," Zimmerman said. "We named her after the Italian actress Sophia Loren, who is our favorite actress, plus it ties in Silvia's Italian heritage."

Agent David Baden said the three Zimmermans are already booked to perform this November in Atlantic City for an NBC TV skating special.

All the best,

Sarah and Drew
sarahanddrewblog@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/SarahandDrew