This is my rating of the best figure skating dresses and costumes in Pairs Skating. For me this year it was the most difficult choice of all. It must be difficult to come up with beautiful costumes for a pair, because many factors are involved. You have to think about beauty, comfort, harmony, about characters, etc. And also good costumes must give an impression of a pair, not of two single skaters dressed in a same way.
№10 Lubov Iliushechkina – Dylan Moscovitch
On the tenth place of my costume rankings is newly formed pair of Lubov Iliuschechkina and Dylan Moscovitch. I admire the transformation of Lubov Iliuschechkina. I have never seen her like this before. It looks like she found an inner freedom and realized her attractiveness. And, as we know, the two most important ingredients for girl to feel this way are a right man beside her and a nice dress.
I like Luba’s dress. It is simple, uncluttered, but elegant. And maybe I would have placed them higher in my ranking if I hadn’t a feeling that I’ve already seen it somewhere (look on the picture).
Dylan Moscovitch´s costume fits well. It is a basic costume “pants + shirt + vest” in dark colors that helps to focus on the girl. Nothing special, but good costume overall.
№9 Vera Bazarova – Andrei Deputat
Another newly formed pair gets into my top, and this is Vera Bazarova and Andrei Deputat.
Vera Bazarova almost always has a beautiful dress and this season is not an exception. I especially like their costumes for free program. Of course, black and red figure skating dress for tango is not a surprise for us. And it is a win-win combination of colors :). But the dress is really beautiful. Uneven hem of the skirt and the placement of lace on the bodice make her legs even longer. Openwork lace is the main adornment of the dress (and nothing else is necessary). Although the idea of openwork lace on skin-colored illusion background is not new, it is silly to deny that dress looks nice, especially on a girl-statuette like Vera Bazarova.
Andrei Deputat suite prevented them to rank higher in my figure skating costumes top. Again we see the basic gown “shirt-vest-pants”, moreover of the same color. I would add some bright details to this costume. I understand that they wanted to give partner a more powerful appearance, but I don’t like “the effect of shoulder pads” on his shirt. You can smell some retro there.
№8 Wenjing Sui – Cong Han
Figure Skating China is finally out of the fashion pit! No more acid colors, no feathers, no those “designer revelations” that we saw from Chinese ice dancers in the season of latin. This year their costumes are simple, concise and delicate. It is a good way to show that the pair Wenjing Sui – Cong Han has grown and changed over the year.
I appreciate that they tried to present Cong Han in a romantic way and with a help of costume too. Light and voluminous shirt with a delicate lace is a nice addition to the simple and austere image. His shirt has a bit of a “medieval male undershirt” look, but this is acceptable.
Wenjing Sui’s dress has no reference to the character, nor to the epoch and it seems right. Beautiful pale blue color is suitable for young skaters. Dress with thin straps has simple cut with light skirt of one shade, without complicated trim. This makes dress simple and tasteful. The only decoration is white lace, the same as on the partner’s shirt. This concept worked perfectly on me. Costumes look good together and do not grab too much attention, so we can concentrate on skating.
№7 Caitlin Yankowskas – Hamish Gaman
For the short program Caitlin Yankowskas decided to be a blonde in red. Very nice dress. Though I have seen openwork lace on the nude illusion many times. Still, even top designers continue to use this technique in their collections and they insist it is fashionable. Ok, I agree)
Red dresses by Zuhair Murad
I like how red color looks on Caitlin Yankowskas, and I like her silhouette. Ribbon on the neck looks flirty. And I like that the back is really open (no skin-colored mesh is used). Perhaps the dress doesn’t fit in the “Phantom” program, but I am happy with this. It is way better than one more replica of the dresses from the movie.
Hamish Gaman’s costume is more in the style of “Phantom of the Opera”, although it is not so obvious. White shirt with shirtfront, trousers with a high waist, and a silk scarf. And the details allude to the image of romantic hero of the past centuries. Maybe the costumes are not unusual, but they are nice.
But for the free program to Rachmaninov they have chosen stunning costumes! Simple, yet at the same time so elegant. They looked “expensive”. Beautiful deep blue color gives nobility to their look. And I don’t know why, but skaters tend to skate to Rachmaninov dressed in blue.
Hamish Gaman was brave enough and decided to put on blue trousers instead of standard black. It is right decision, in my opinion.
Caitlin Yankowskas dress just fascinated me! Nothing superfluous. Crystal decoration is distributed well: on the neck in form of necklace, on cuffs and on the back-side. The back is just gorgeous! A row of shining buttons on the mesh (of the color of a dress) is still a trend in wedding and evening fashion. You can fall in love with this dress. They would be higher in my fashion ranking , if their costumes for short program were more creative.
№6 Yuko Kavaguti – Alexander Smirnov
This year Yuko Kawaguchi and Alexander Smirnov were so beautiful in their skating, that it does not matter what costumes they wore. But it would be just unfair to ignore this aspect of their performance. It is no t a secret that every woman has her own ideal length of skirt. Yuko Kawaguti found her ideal length for competition dresses. Not only it suits her, but also does it highlight her among others. Compared to girls in short skirts, Kawaguti looks more mature, more refined and aristocratic. For the short program Yuko had several dresses made in similar style in pale blue shades. The difference was only in transparency of skirt and neck cut. I can’t even tell which version I like more – they are both beautiful. If we take a closer look, we will see delicate finishing and applique on the bodice. But unfortunately on general plans it is unnoticeable. The dress is tender and looks vintage.
But Alexander Smirnov’s costume could have been more sophisticated. By itself this suit is ok, looks good on Sasha’s figure. Beautiful symmetrical trim adds shine and elegance, and even a touch of historicism to the whole look. But in my opinion, it falls out of the general stylistic concept. A deep plunging neckline on the super-tight shirt…..oh yes the program was to Meditation :)
Costumes definitely contributed to the hypnotic effect that their free program makes. Deep blue looks elegant and at the same time they are not too dramatic nor dark. It helped to create the right mood before the music started. Yuko Kawaguti’s dress has something demonic… Maybe it is the decoration that adorns the bodice and sleeves like frosty pattern, or the design of the neck. The dress is not suitable for everyone, and not for every program, but in this case it is a precise hit.
Talking about Alexander Smirnov’s costume, I agree with choosing one color for both skaters. With a closer look on a shirt we can find an interesting finishing – resembling a rope, or even a snake – something magical again. Perhaps, if we consider costumes alone (not in context of performance), they will not seem so beautiful and we may notice some flaws. But particularly in this program in conjunction with this music, these costumes look amazing.
№5 Meagan Duhamel – Eric Redford
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Redford is a pair that needs to be careful while choosing characters and costumes for their programs. Meagan Duhamel needs to be careful with proportions and decoration. Many design tricks so beloved by skaters can look ridiculous and tasteless on her. This season, she clearly wanted to re-try the lyrical image and put on a “girly” dress. And her designers dealt with it.
The waistline on a dress is in the right place for Meagan. I also like the skirt cut. And in sleeveless dress she looks better. I know that many people think that it’s better to cover the muscular arms with sleeves, but in this case sleeves can be insidious. Tight sleeves will only emphasize the muscles, and wide sleeves will add unnecessary volume and make the silhouette look disproportionate. Choice of color is appropriate (although not ideal for Meagan Duhamel). The idea of bodice design reminds works of the designer Elie Saab, but the execution could be better. It looks good from distance, but not so good at close look.
Elie Saab dresses
Eric wears usual (for pair-skaters) dark costume. I don’t know why in figure skating designers don’t like men and usually put them in the girl’s shadow. Good dark trousers, right cut: not too baggy and not too narrow, and the shirt of the same color. There are some Swarovski crystals to add some brightness into this monotonous costume.
Costumes for the free program I liked more. I believe that brevity, simplicity of silhouette and the absence of eye-catching parts is the best solution for this pair. Looking at these costumes, I don’t have a feeling that they “try not to be themselves”. On the contrary, these costumes only emphasize the strengths of their skating – speed, power, some rectilinear of their movements and choreography. The costumes are simple but stylish. This time I won’t even complain about dark and boring clothes for Eric. It is suitable for this program.
Megan dress is beautiful, stylish and elegant. Despite its simplicity, and no reference to any particular character or epoch, I still can feel some oriental flavour. I also see some oriental motifs in “one shoulder” style and ornamentation on the belt. So for me this dress fits to “Samson and Delilah” part of their program especially good. Also I want to say that translucent lace inserts are popular among many famous designers.
Zuhair Murad black dresses
№4 Cheng Peng – Hao Zhang and Xiaoyu Yu – Yang Jin
On the fourth place there are two Chinese pairs. Their costumes seem alike to me, and I cannot choose who I like more.
Cheng Peng and Hao Zhang’s costumes look traditional for the pair skating, but details bring some modern notes. In this pair partner has not gone beyond the “classic figure skating suit” too. But in his suit, he looks dignified. Details like colored cuffs, buttons and collar bring some brightness into this white-black ensemble, and help to harmonize costumes. I also want to praise his belt, it is a slight addition to the look, not just a thing “to hold the pants”.
I like the color of Cheng Peng’s dress. It has depth and some nobility and it looks great on ice. I like dresses with sleeves. Translucent sleeves of the same shade with the dress not only give neater appearance to arms, but also help to emphasize movements and make them more expressive. Deep neckline with lace trim makes the dress flirty. It may be an attempt to bring some kind of sexuality in her image. Well, this is OK unless the back is open. You should be careful with nudity in dresses. But my favorite part is a belt. It makes the image more modern.
At the same stage placed debutants of senior competition – Xiaoyu Yu Yan Jin. Usually I don’t criticize juniors for their costumes. But with the transition into seniors you have to comply with the high level of competitions. It often happens that in the first season in seniors skaters do not differ with good costumes. But this pair was not only able to show themselves well in terms of sports achievements, but also coped with “stylistic challenge”. I especially want to mention their costumes for the free program.
I like the color scheme with blue and turquoise colors. This shade of turquoise is quite self-sufficient. You don’t need a difficult cut trim for your dress or strew dress with rhinestone to look expensive. Dark lace finishing on the edge of the neckline and some silver crystals is enough to look elegant. And I can say that the neckline with laces this season was a “thing” of Chinese national team :) Ok, remember it and look who will use it next season.
I like Yan Jin’s wide shirt with drapery. It looks less formal and fits to the romantic style of the program. The decoration on the shoulders made of the same lace as on girl’s dress is a little thing to link the costumes together. But on a dark shirt it doesn’t seem flashy and looks appropriate and unobtrusive.
№3 Ksenia Stolbova – Fedor Klimov
On the third place I put Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov. Many fans don’t like their costumes for the short program and called them “Pandas” but I want to plead for them. They look modern and memorable. Fedor Klimov’s costume is pretty simple, but it has some Chinese elements. More complicated costume will look too cumbersome and too theatrical in comparison with Ksenia Stolbova’s suit.
Which I just loved! Needless to say, it is pretty bold. Although Ksenia Stolbova has already showed us before how amazing she can look in jumpsuits. Her top, that mimic an armor, looks stylish and even slightly futuristic. A challenging work, a difficult cut, but all done accurately. The militant front side of the top is closed, but the back creates the impression that the top holds just on two clasps … looks spicy. In this costume Ksenia looks at the same time like a computer game heroine and like a model just from the catwalk. Perhaps, these costumes are controversial. But they stand out among the rest and I always appreciate when someone tries to go beyond the usual.
In the free program Ksenia Stolbova proved that she can look luxurious even in a simple costume. I was amazed with this dress! I associate this shade with the twilight (time of the day, not vampire saga). There is something mysterious and feminine in this color. Beautiful lace adds charm and vintage. This dress is a bit insolent, in a good way. It like she says: “This dress emphasizes all dignities of my figure. I can afford a transparent lace skirt and a complete lack of decoration and I still will look wonderful.” And a special thank you, that Esmeralda’s costume has no attributes of traditional figure skating gypsy costume. There are no frills, no black and red skirts and no rose in hairs!
With all my delight to Ksenia’s dress Fedor Klimov’s costume could have been more interesting. But amid Ksenia who looked modern and luxurious, he looked a little strange.
№2 Qing Pang – Jian Tong
Costumes of Chinese pair Qing Pang and Jian Tong are one of my favorite. They definitely came up with the best costumes for the short program. I’m impressed by their simplicity and brevity. And deep blue color again! Can this color be called the color of the season in pair skating? Deep blue looks amazing, especially in combination with Qing Pang’s porcelain skin. She looks noble.
Simple dress, with a minimum of decoration, and on the back is an interesting double strap. Jian Tong also wears simple suit of the same color that Qing Pang’s dress. Stand-up collar, wide sleeves adds romantic and into the image. Elegant and beautiful costume. What can I say, beauty is in simplicity.
Maybe, costumes for their free program looks old-fashioned, like from a bygone era. But they suit to the program and their skating. After all, about Pang and Tong we also can say that they are from a bygone era, and no one else shows us such skating now. And costumes just stressed this distinction from others. We can see openwork lace on nude illusion. This idea recently become popular among skaters. Sleeves-wings looks romantic. Jian Tong’s costume is quite simple, without a dark blue decoration on the shoulders. In these costumes they reminded me themselves in 2010. But it was a pleasant feeling of nostalgia and a regret that their era of pair skating is gone forever.
№1 Vanessa James – Morgan Cipres
And the winners in my rankings is a French pair Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres. Mostly due to the fact that the partner did not remain in the shadow of the girl. Costumes for the short program to tango Roxanne were in traditional colors – black and red. But this is not vulgar. Partner is clearly a fan of ballroom dancing, or rather their Latin American program. His deep plunging v-neckline and a shirt studded with rhinestone shouts out loud about it. Even in black costume partner doesn’t get lost on the background of the girl! You can even argue about who exactly is the diva among this two.
On Vanessa is a simple dress, but with two-layered effect, a bright red skirt hides black layer – looks great in motion. I like the decorated top – emphasizes shapes and looks sexy. The back is open, but we really can see the effect of the naked body, nude illusion can’t compete with it (no matter how quality is it). Looking at these guys, I always think that they spent entire stock of crystals, designed for the entire French team. But the paradox is that, as I said before, on them it does not look vulgar.
And if the costumes for the short program may be called just good, costumes for the free program are just gorgeous! Yes, I know that they kept this costumes from the last season. But in my opinion this year they did not have any competitors in terms of costumes. These are real costumes! Not just a dress for girl, shirt and trousers for a partner!
Looks like they tried to make changes, but the only change actually made is new costume for Morgan Cipres. This one is more complex, it has the effect of vest top with a plunging neckline, standing shoulders and collar. To me it looks like something balletic! Perhaps without knowing it’s “Angels and Demons”, I would suggest that pair is skating to Swan Lake. Morgan didn’t agree to be in the shadow of the girl! Finally, one of the male pair skaters took his appearance on the ice seriously, preferring really interesting costume with a lot of details and not just pants and shirt.
Vanessa’s dress is flawless! First, she can afford to wear a white dress and not be worried about the fact that it could look not bright on the ice. Second, with her beautiful figure she can not be afraid of looking fat in white. Dress with a fabulous finishing! Very fine work! Crystals are pasted on the nude-illusion, intertwined in intricate pattern and they are creating the effect of the sleeve. Finishing of the dress echoed finishing on the partner’s costume and they looked like a continuation of each other and gave us immediately an impression that this is a couple. Bravo!