Olympic style: Figure skating pairs gussy it up


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When I think of figure skating fashion, I always think of Amy Poehler and Will Arnett as the diabolical figure skating team in ‘Blades of Glory,’ paying homage to urban culture with Timberland boot-covered skates, gold teeth and Louis Vuitton-printed booty shorts.

And just when I was thinking how such over-the-top costuming could never happen in real life, out skated German pairs team Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy in matching harlequin clown costumes on Sunday -- their eyebrows made up into triangles, black makeup tears rolling down their cheeks and (for Szolkowy) a mime’s white frilly collar curling up around his neck, topping off a black sequined body suit with faux oversized buttons. By the end of the performance (to ‘Send in the Clowns,’ naturally), Savchenko’s glossy red lip color had rubbed off onto her delicate nose. Eesh.


But they weren’t the only pair to bring high-theater aesthetics to the ice. Ukraine’s Tatiana Volosozhar and Stanislav Morozov performed in metallic electric-blue body suits trimmed in silver racing stripes, affecting reflective twirling aliens, while Russian pairs team Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov glided (and sadly fumbled) on the ice in matching brown Native American-inspired get-ups dripping in fringe that looked like they might have been nabbed at a country Halloween shop.

Last night -- during the long program -- nothing quite as zany glided into the rink, but there was some major glitter, namely from Savchenko (the former harlequin), whose dress boasted a silly dickie-ish white top with rhinestone-peppered sleeves, and Yuko Kavaguti, who wore a glittery gold-and-red heart graphic on her tiny top half.

Superstar Chinese team Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo showed comparative restraint. On Sunday, he wore black pants and an (only slightly) spangly gray and pink button-down shirt, while she looked like a classic Olympian in a sequined purple skating dress with a pop of hot pink peeking out from the slip underneath. And last night, the real-life couple went for stately red and black -- with Shen Xue in a simple, glittery red frock, and Hongbo in black pants and a red-and-black button-down shirt.

The pair ultimately nabbed the gold, proving that the greatest theater in figure skating is always performance-based.

-- Emili Vesilind



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Upper photo: Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy perform in the figure skating pairs short program. Credit: Yuri Kadobnov / AFP/Getty Images.

Lower photo: Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov of Russia compete in the pairs free program. Credit: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images