February 21, 2014

SK8R Girls (and Boys)

I watched the finals of the women’s figure staking event this evening, and calling many of these girls women is a stretch. The youngest only just turned 15, and several others were barely older than that.

The New York Times had a great critical piece about how the skating has changed from performing to competing. It’s all about the jumps and not the artistry like it was. I remember watching the skaters trace out their compulsory figures on the ice and the judges dusting the path with a broom to see how clean their lines were. image

The outfits are so gaudy and garish, and as the Times says, “What’s the deal with grown women wearing skating dresses that look as if they were found on the sale rack at the tiara store? It’s as if competitors were still on the junior circuit and hadn’t made a commitment: beauty pageants or skating.”

I liked this outfit because it was so understated and classicimage compared to these.image

I would think that the weight of the rhinestones would weigh the skaters down significantly.image

And the men’s costumes weren’t much better!image

It’s hard to look masculine in illusion netting. imageimageimage

And then there was this pair, who looked like they were skating in their hoodie/footie pajamas.image

What did you think of the costumes?

15 comments:

  1. Hi Meg, You hit the nail on the head. It's not just that these costumes are so creepy (which they are), its that they are choosing ones that are so ugly, and beyond that tasteless. Also, unlike apparel for most other sports, the look of these clothes is utterly disconnected from their function.

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    1. Did you see the US half-pipe uniforms? They looked like bags of rags. Apparently, the designer found an old patchwork quilt, scanned it in and then made the fabric from that. But the fact that all of the boarders wear their clothes about five sizes too big, doesn't help.

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  2. http://www.buzzfeed.com/emofly/things-youre-thinking-during-figure-skating?bffb

    For you!

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    1. Thanks for starting my day with a laugh. It's horrifying, isn't it?

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  3. Tacky ballroom dancing/toddlers in tiaras costumes, with a heavy dose of slut thrown in. And that's for both sexes. Yes, Boy and I agreed last night while watching the "women's" finals that calling these girls women was a real stretch. The Korean silver medalist's costume was elegant, we thought. The others? Not. I will always hold out Vera Wang's dress for Nancy Kerrigan when she competed as elegance personified, and the standard by which all modern figure skating costumes should be judged. I remember when they were required to do the compulsory figure eights, too. At least when the network showed it. The Olympics is not so much about sport these days, with everything having become so pumped up and extreme, and flashy. This year's Wnter event seems more like a reality show than a sporting event. Reggie

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    1. I agree 100%. Heavy dose of slut. I liked the Italian girl's dress, but thought it would have been much more elegant if the back wasn't entirely open... and then held together with a transparent strap.

      Apparently, the compulsory figures, from which the sport gets its name, were dropped from the Olympics in 1992. Guess we weren't paying enough attention. From an article in the NYT: Opponents of the move argued that compulsory figures were needed to teach skaters basic skills. They warned that abolishing them would turn skating into jumping contests and might cause more injuries..... Which is exactly what happened.

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  4. I still have fond memories of Michelle Kwan's pale blue Vera Wang-designed costume. Oh, so lovely.

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    1. Vera Wang totally knew what to do, since she'd skated competitively. These skaters look like cheap cruise-ship show-girls.

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  5. I am with you on the skaters "costumes" + help + where is vera wang? xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. If Ralph can design outfits for the US Olympic Team, then so can Vera!

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  6. Bob was watching while I read and I would look up and see dreadful outfit after dreadful COSTUME. The rest of the Olympics is about form and the sport -WHY THE CRAZY COSTUMES?

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    1. I think that if someone came out in an elegant, spare outfit, it would be such a relief!

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  7. The costumes don't bug me that much. They are all that Lycra swimsuit stuff for freedom of movement, and the rhinestones and bling remind me more of Cirque de Soleil. But I read a series of articles in the NYTimes this morning about the convoluted, shrouded in secrecy judging for the ice dancing, with analysis of why the Russian girl won the gold instead of the supposedly more artistically superior who ended up with the Bronze. The Times writers complained that current scoring "favors mathematics over artistry" even though, by their own explanation, the Russian winner skated a more technically challenging, athletic routine.

    I think the problem with figure skating is more serious than just questionable taste in costuming -- it's a crisis of identity. Are the skaters competing in the Olympics as athletes, or as artists? Ice dancing to music is so much like ballet and of course we all admire grace and artistry in dancing, but the Olympics is an athletic competition and the gold medal SHOULD go to the strongest athlete. It's too bad there isn't a separate venue for ice dance as an art form, like ballet (and no, the Ice Capades is not what I mean). Let the art critics judge artistry, and the Olympic judges can go on judging athleticism and technical difficulty. And the fashion police can judge them all. ;-)

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  8. Best skating costumes of all time: Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov. Come to think of it, best pairs skaters of all time. I fell in love with them while they were falling in love with each other. Broke my heart, they did.

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