Ice Network

Donovan: World championships fashion awards

Chen rewarded for patriotic look; Osmond reels in top ladies honor
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Posing with the American flag following his title-clinching performance last week in Milan, Nathan Chen earned the highest men's fashion honor from Sam Donovan at the 2018 World Figure Skating Championships. -Getty Images

All is well that ends with Nathan Chen wearing a gold medal, at least in my opinion. Unless, of course, you skated in the final groups of the men's or ladies free skate at last week's world championships, in which case there's a better-than-decent chance the competition did not end well for you.

Anyway, despite some notable absences (and invitation refusals), worlds ended up being a nice mix of surprise features from my season-long short list, to go along with some reliable favorites. Let's go.


GOLD -- Kaetlyn Osmond (SP)

Funny anecdote: I added Édith Piaf's "Milord" to my gym playlist the morning of worlds and tweeted at Kaetlyn about it, to which she responded that she'd be skating to it for the last time in a few hours. You obviously didn't need to know that, but it does make me all the more happy to see Kaetlyn's Piaf extravaganza retire in golden glory now that she's topped the world podium. No other costume has stayed this fresh and fabulous for this long -- nor peaked at just the right time. Bon chance, Kaetlyn's Édith Piaf number!

SILVER -- Ivett Toth (SP)

Ivett Toth is cooler than all of us. Figure skating can occasionally become one note with its costuming and music choices (I mean, come on, how many renditions of Carmen and Moulin Rouge! have you heard over the years?), so a 19-year-old in a studded motorcycle jacket skating to AC/DC will forever be a welcome deviation from the norm. Let's hope next season she gets inspired by David Bowie -- then we'll really be in for it.

BRONZE -- Satoko Miyahara (FS)

In stark contrast to Ivett, Satoko absolutely perfected the traditional ice princess look with this delicate Madame Butterfly dress this season. Gorgeously detailed in a way that is both decadent and demure, this strikes a perfectly pretty balance for bronze.


GOLD -- Nathan Chen (Awards Ceremony)

Listen, I am not above a certain level of stunt queenery, and given the lack of any true fashion at this year's worlds (missed you, Adam!), seeing Nathan Chen draped in an American flag with a world championship gold medal around his neck will certainly suffice for the most stunning look on any of the boys this go 'round. This is a look I wouldn't mind seeing from him again -- just in case you're reading, Nathan.

SILVER -- Keegan Messing (FS)

Perhaps sporting the best actual look of the entire competition, Keegan has looked great in this dapper ensemble all season. A cute play on English gentry costuming that matches his innate chipper-ness as a performer.

BRONZE -- Mikhail Kolyada (FS)

This look has spent the entire season languishing on my short list for the fashion podium, so given Mikhail's success at worlds, I thought it would be appropriate to shuffle him into a matching bronze-medal spot. Not that he doesn't earn it on merit alone -- a brilliantly bedazzled, evocatively Elvis jumpsuit (with a perfect belt) is bound to score points from me any day.

WEIR AWARD -- Max Aaron (FS)

Max Aaron is wearing my former retail manager's cardigan for his free skate, and I have so very many questions. As a side note, if Max retires this year, I will probably die a little inside for want of his incomprehensible sartorial splendor. One more year, Max!


GOLD -- Vanessa James & Morgan Ciprès (FS)

I love that these two have a style that transcends typical figure skating costumes. They always wear clothes with a sense of sensuality and athleticism that somehow walks a very fine line between fashion and performance wear that I respond to strongly. If I saw them walking down the street dressed like this, I would love them all the same. (Bonus points for Morgan's fist pump.)

SILVER -- Aliona Savchenko & Bruno Massot (SP)

I'm giving their fabulous free skate costumes a bye for this competition since they won my gold at the Olympics -- not that it stopped them from coming to claim their gold here. In any case, these are chic little flapper numbers that probably worked flawlessly as post-competition celebration looks. Bruno may come off a little simple, but Aliona balances him out with her bountiful plethora of bangles and headbands.

BRONZE -- Kirsten Moore-Towers & Michael Marinaro (FS)

Very simply, this dress on Kirsten is ridiculously pretty. Michael is doing basically nothing on a sartorial level here, but Kirsten's dress is the kind of dress dreams are made of. Drop the hem to the floor and I could see Emma Stone walking a red carpet in that gorgeous thing.


GOLD -- Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker (FD)

Full disclosure: I decided not to include Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron in this wrap-up, given that they have topped every list I have included them in. Regardless of that, Kaitlin and Jean-Luc would definitely have given the French some fierce competition for this top spot. I have said all season that these two were really the French skaters' only competition, sartorially, and they showed that off to great aplomb at worlds. I love the romanticism at play here, and the otherworldly ethereality of Kaitlin's dress, which moves almost like it were made of clouds. Bravo, you guys -- and congrats on your first worlds!

SILVER -- Madison Chock & Evan Bates (FD)

Another reason I omitted the French team was so I could feature more of this season's stunning looks, like these two shimmering numbers from Madi and Evan. If Gabriella's dress did drag, it would look like Madison's, and I love that. Also to love: the deep blue of Madison's dress, and the matching blue rhinestones with which it's embroidered.

BRONZE -- Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier (SD & FD)

As Mikhail Kolyada said: "Ideally, we all should strive to be like the ice dancers." I think he meant the costumes, because this is always the most difficult field to narrow down. They all look amazing all the time, so much so that I almost had a tie for bronze. Nonetheless, Piper and Paul eked out their own spot, but for both performances. There's a very quirky, modern vibe to their choices that really melds well with their effervescent personalities and performance styles.

For the free in particular, with their James Bond performance, they really convey the sensuality adherent to the Bond character but with a unique polish that takes it away from seeming contrived or unoriginal. Love the chartreuse of Piper's dress as well.

And with that, I look forward to whatever is on deck for next season! Bon chance to you all!