Monday, November 30, 2015

ICE STYLE.....NHK Trophy 2015 Figure Skating Costumes Recap! LADIES, MEN, PAIRS

Skating Couture: Highlights of some of the figure skating costumes seen at the NHK Trophy 2015, Nagano Japan

This past weekend was the last of six events on the 2015-2016 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating competitions in advance of the Grand Prix Finals. The event was the 2015 NHK Trophy and it was held in Nagano, Japan. I've covered my Figure Skating Costumes Highlights of 2015 Skate Canada HERE, 2015 Cup of China HERE, and the 2015 Rostelecom Cup of Russia HERE, so now, of course, it's time to talk about some of the costumes from 2015 NHK Trohpy.

Let's start with the LADIES:

Top Three: (L to R) Silver medalist Courtney Hicks of USA; gold medalist Satoko Miyahara of Japan; and bronze medalist Mao Asada of Japan--2015 NHK Trophy Nagano Japan

Mao Asada Japan: I've discussed Mao Asada's Free Skate Costume HERE so I wanted to talk about her Short Program costume to Bei mir bist du schoen, a famous Yiddish song from a Yiddish musical. Her costume was a fuchsia pink number with silver diamante crystals with pink trim sewn in flower-like patterns. It also featured long sleeves and an open back. This was quite feminine and pretty. It wasn't ground breaking in its design, but the color was impacting and the high neck and open back made for a striking image.

Satoko Miyahara Japan: Gold medal winner Satoko Miyahara skated her Short Program to Firedance from "Riverdance" by Bill Whelan. She was very "Carmen"-like in this red with black netting trim costume. The design also had scrolling applique and sequins. I wasn't a fan of this. For some reason, it didn't look polished or expensive enough. I did like the hints of black contrast and the red rose in her chignon hairstyle but besides this, it was just not that interesting of a design.

Free Skate to Un Sospiro by Franz Liszt: Miyahara wore this fuchsia pink costume featuring silver and multicolored diamantes and a scroll-like front bustier design. The skirt had tiers in an ombre-like pink coloration. The look was pretty and very starting-out ballerina. Nothing spectacular about this. She looked like she was part of the Junior Skating group. I'm sure it must be difficult to make her look sophisticatedsince she is all but a mere 17-years old. But I do appreciate the beautifully tiered skirt and the fantastic skate that won her the gold!

Courtney Hicks USA: Silver medalist Courtney Hicks wore this costume for her Free Skate to Elizabeth The Golden Age (soundtrack) by Craig Armstrong and A.R. Rahman. The costume featured bright canary yellow fabrication with multicolored sequin work. There were color and style nods to the grand mustard yellow costume worn by actress Cate Blanchett in the "Elizabeth The Golden Age" film. And I did like the subtle tiara in her updo hairstyle. 

Short Program to The Feeling Begins by Peter Gabriel: I really liked this costume on Courtney. The color, the sequin work, the design. And her elegant hairstyle. She looked like a top skater wearing a chic modern costume. Well done.

Ashley Wagner USA: I've written about her Free Skate costume HERE so it was time to talk about her Short program to Hip Hip Chin Chin performed by Club des Belugas. Especially since...she changed it! Can you spot the difference between the left and the right photos above? The left is the new costume and the right is the one she wore previously at Skate Canada 2015 Grand Prix. Similar silhouettes but the new one is much more "Haute" for sure.

 Before: The previous Short Program costume was a halter neckline black number with a simple stretch chiffon skirt, featuring subtle sequin detail--and that back sequin stripe...

After: The newer Short Program costume was much more designed, more sophisticated, more FABULOUS! I loved the fringe skirt and I especially liked the degrade effect of the front torso crystals. This, kids is what a well-done, EXPENSIVE figure skating costume looks like! Very good.

Alena Leonova Russia: Alena skated her Free Skate to Summertime performed by Carmen McRae, Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley, In Other Words by April Stevens, Sing Sing Sing performed by the Andrew Sisters in this fun costume above. I liked the bias-cut plaid in the torso/midriff and how it continued onto the skirt. The rest of the costume featured a gathered top with crystals, a red rose at the waist, gloves and arm feathers. This was fun and appropriate with the music.

Short Program to Smile performed by Nat King Cole, Overture - Unveiling the Statue (City Lights soundtrack) by Carl Davis, Terry's Theme (from Limelight soundtrack) by Charlie Chaplin: I also like Leonova's Short Program costume. She always has a knack for making a statement when it comes to her costumes and this little number was no exception. The minute I saw her on the ice I thought "Charlie Chaplin", and lo and behold, that's what she was skating to. I think that's a good thing.

Anna Pogorilaya Russia: Anna skated her Short program to Bolero for Violin and Orchestra by Walter Taieb and Vanessa Mae wearing this wine-red costume. The design featured nude illusion sections with red pieces intertwined. The costume was VERY Anna and very daring. 

Mirai Nagasu USA: Mirai skated her Free Skate to The Great Gatsby (soundtrack). This was the perfect costume interpretation of that film. There were Art Deco-like sequins, flapper-like details, the 1920's headpiece. The costume itself was pretty stunning and I also loved the crystal wristbands/cuffs. 


Yuzuru Hanyu Japan: First off, Yuzuru did AMAZING!!!! His Free Skate at this past weekend's 2015 NHK Trophy was EVERYTHING! Now, back to the costumes...Yuzuru skated his Short Program to the same music he skated to last season Ballade No. 1 op. 23 in G minor by Frederic Chopin but his 2014-2015 Season costume was slightly different. See if you can spot the difference. The top photo is the newer version which he wore at the 2015 NHK Trophy. In the newer costume, his cummerbund is copper as opposed to black and the top/blouse is a more subtle ombre shading and features panels (on the midriff side and sleeves) of gold. 


Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford Canada: Gold medal winning Pairs couple Duhamel and Radford skated their Short Program to Your Song by Elton John, performed by Ewan McGregor. I loved the bright red color and the criss-cross gathered draping in her costume's torso. I also liked that Eric's shirt and tank matched hers and especially his crystal buttons. Oh and can I add, HOW HOT does Eric look with that five o-clock shadow??!! Welcome to the beard club darling.

Free Skate to Hometown Glory by Adele: Great multi jeweled neckline piece on Meagan's costume and I loved the gathered halter neckline detail.

Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres France: James and Cipres of France skated their Short Program to Hometown Glory by Adele. Now, I love a unitard/jumpsuit. Especially a good one. And this one on Vanessa is a fabulous one. I like the heavy sequin neckline and wrist detail as well as the faux leather shoulder and high-hip accents. And yes, Morgan looks hot in his costume. All that faux leather strapping and criss-cross belting is very Leather Bar Lite. And I likey.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss World 2015 National Costumes Highlights from Dances of the World Auditions

Costume Couture: National Costumes from the 2015 Miss World "Dances of the World" auditions (Clockwise, top to bottom) Miss Bahamas, Miss Myanmar, Miss Venezuela, Miss Turkey

All Photos here and below courtesy of

The 65th Annual Miss World Beauty Pageant kicked off last week in Sanya Hainan Island, People's Republic of China. The finals of the 2015 Miss World will be on December 19th. Coincidentally, the other International beauty pageant "biggie", the Miss Universe 2015 pageant finals will occur the following day, December 20th--in Las Vegas Nevada USA. So, in terms of beauty pageants and beauty pageant followers, that will be a big weekend! For this year's Miss World, over 100 contestants from all over the world are vying for the coveted title (minus Miss Canada World who was not allowed to enter China).

Costumed Auditions: Events leading up to the Miss World 2015 Finals on December 19th began last week with one of the first ones being the Auditions for the "Dances of the World" where many of the contestants donned their National Costumes---it's become a fun version of the traditional National Parade of Nations. Some of the contestants might change their costumes for the Final night but here is a sneak peak at their national costumes via these "Dances of the World" auditions...

South America, Central America:

Miss Brazil World Catharina Choi: Festive, very Rio Carnival-like costume with bright Igor Stravinsky "The Firebird"-like styling. She said it is inspired by the birds in her country. Of course it is. I could definitely see Catharina in a Carnival float in this costume.

Colombia Maria Alejandra Lopez: I love this bright, fun costume worn by Miss Colombia World. It was designed by Edgar Perez and represents a "fantasy" creation of the Queens of the Barranquilla Carnival. It shows images of different representations of the Colombian people, the bright carnival-like colors and the shape of the oversized skirt hints at the iconic Colombian Sombrero Vueltiao (Vueltiao Hat). Very impressive.

Ecuador Camila Maranon: Camila's costume is very traditional in terms of its folkloric styling, featuring the yellow, blue and red of her country's flag.

Venezuela Anyela Galante: Anyela's costume--also folkloric in its design--was inspired by Teresa Carreño, Venezuelan pianist, singer, composer who was a very influential figure in her country. The gown is very intricate with hundreds of sequins, pearls and layers upon layers of gathered trim--in fact 500 meters of "bobbin lace" (encajes de bolillo). The costume was designed by Venezuelan designer Nidal Nouaihed.

El Salvador Marcela Santamaria: Marcela looks quite chic and serene in her national costume featuring an emerald green tiered skirt, lace edge trim, a lace mantilla headpiece, golden midriff, ivory lace top section and lovely depictions of native women in the bottom tier of her skirt. I especially love her very model pose.

Chile Fernanda Sobarzo: Fernanda wears a Chilean costume worn at traditional Cueca dances. The dress has a full skirt with petticoat underneath; a wire satin ruffle hem; waist sash and bow plus her handkerchief as the finishing accessory. Oh, and lots of flower details. Somehow, I am not sure if those suede platform pumps are normally utilized in this dance, but I give her a pass: she's a beauty queen. She needs heels!

Panama Diana Jaen: Miss Panama World's costume represents the popular Pre-Columbian style seen in lots of Latin American beauty queens national costumes. This particular one has to do with a story of a local woman who would kill any of the Spaniards who came to her native land looking for gold, the tale is entitled "El Salto de la niña de Puerto Pilón". Diana says that the costume weighs A LOT (understandably); the headdress alone weighs a supposed eight pounds. 

Nicaragua Stefania Aleman: This Pre-Columbian Nicaragua National Costume was designed by Jeff Manzanares,  The mask on her hand represents the Güegüense which was declared a cultural heritage site by UNESCO in 2005. With this outfit, Stefania presented the dance of the 'inditas', representing the mixture of Spanish culture and native Nicaraguan culture. Also represented on the outfit is El Toro Huaco which is a dance and a legend from the province of Carazo, Nicaragua.

Guatemala Maria Jose Larrana: Maria Jose also wears a Pre-Columbian type costume with feathers, sequins and a very impressive headdress. I especially like her accompanying makeup and not too distracting gold heels.

Belize Jasmin Jael Rhamdas: Miss Belize World's costume features the colors of her country's flag as well as a sequined half-moon and depictions of ocean "flora and fauna" and corals from her country. I like it for the most part; if only she would have not worn black hot pants...and instead a blue sparkle pair of shorts that matched the rest of the costume. I also think the gold heels were a little distracting. I suggest that she should have done silver, to match the half-moon.


Belgium Leylah Alliet: The colors of the Belgium flag are incorporated into this mermaid-shaped design with sequins and feathers for Miss Belgium World 2015.

Slovakia Luzja Strakova: Luzja's traditional Slovak costume represents the celebration and pride of the Slovakian people. The main focus of her outfit is that hat, which is a playful interpretation of a traditional Slovakian wedding hat. She says that her costume took over 1 year to make and every detail was handmade!

Czech Republic Andrea Kalousova: Andrea also dons a traditional costume with the flowered headpiece.

England Natasha Hemmings: Natasha's costume has color hints of the England flag but at the same time, gives nods to English Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

Gibraltar Hannah Bado: Very traditional. Very Gibraltar.

Italy Greta Galassi: Greta's national costume looks a bit more "Sound of Music" Austria, Swiss Alps as opposed to Italy but she might be vibing the Northern part of Italy, I guess. She's more schnitzel and less pizza.

Hungary Daniella Kiss: Daniella's costume is very representative of the Hungarian national dress with the national colors. She says that she performs a typical Hungarian gypsy dance in this.

Ireland Sacha Livingstone: Sacha's costume is iconic Irish Celtic dance-inspired. I think its quite cute, down to the correct lace-up "Ghillie" slippers.


Bahamas Chantel O'Brien: Chantel is dressed as the straw doll. Together with straw, her outfit is also made with flowers, which can be found all over the Bahamas. There are details such as shells and a burlap finish which gives it a very wavy look. 

Curacao Alexandra Krijger: Miss Curacao World's costume blends colors of her island's flag as well as historical reference to the Dutch ships and the Curacao fruit of laraha

Haiti Seydina Allen: The colors of Haiti are exemplified in this costume of Miss Haiti World. The design features a knot-tied top and multicolored godet skirt and lace sleeves.

Jamaica Sanneta Myrie: Jamaica, Usain Bolt and his iconic "pose" are well represented in this costume worn by Miss Jamaica World Sanneta Myrie.


Gabon Reine Ngotala: Reine's costume is like a high-fashion version of a traditional Gabon national ensemble. Great colors, lovely leaf prints and I love the asymmetry of the top section--as well as headdress and fan. I just wished she wouldn't have worn those black heels; they distracted from her costume.

Asia and Oceania----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Turkey Ecem Cirpan: Ecem is six feet tall, and if that isn't enough, she wore this gorgeous costume showing the artistic tile work. This "costume" is EVERYTHING!

Vietnam Tran Ngoc Lan Khue: Miss Vietnam World's costume is a traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai traditional ensemble of long tunic with side slits and accompanying wide-leg palazzo-like pants.

Thailand Thunchanok Moonnilta: Thunchanok's national costume is inspired by the Northern region of Thailand. All of the materials to make the dress as well as the elaborate headpiece were crafted by the people of Northern Thailand, and represents the fusion of Lanna and Thai cultures. 

India Aditi Arya: Aditi's costume is an Indian costume with crop top and pleated skirt. She definitely looks like a Bollywood actress...during a dance number.

Kazakhstan Regina Vandysheva: Regina went a bit traditional with her a-line shaped costume and coat.

Korea Jun Eun-ju: Miss Korea World's dress is a combination of the old traditional Korean Hanbok but the addition of cutouts on the sleeve represents the modern Korea. On the skirt, there is a quilt, which represents the Joseon Dynasty. 

Myanmar Khin Thein Myint: One of my favorite "Miss World 2015" costumes; the colors, the design; the mixing of traditional and fantasy. Super Fabulous.

Australia Tess Alexander: Tess' look is the same costume worn by last year's "Miss Australia World" Courtney Thorpe. The outfit was designed by Julie Sulfi of Belluccio and was inspired by the Women's Land Army, paying homage to the women who worked in agriculture during World War II.

Guam Aria Perez Thiesen: Aria's straw skirt, flower head crown and shell accessories pays tribute to the Chamorro Dance of Guam. I think this is both fun and very traditional. She's very pretty by the way!


Fiji Brittany Hazelman: Brittany's costume represents Fiji’s diversity and elegance and the traditional values of Fijian people, according to her. The patterns featured in her costume represent the people of Fiji and their unique rituals, as well as the diversity of the population.

Can't wait to see the "Dances of the World" segment during the "Miss World 2015" Live Finals on December 19th. The show will be aired in the US on E! the morning of December 20th--the same day as "Miss Universe 2015".