Weir designs his costumes himself, and, according to the NBC Olympics Web site, he plans to pursue clothing design after he retires from skating "so he can 'conquer the world through fashion.""
Weir said during an NBC interview that when he gets into his costume he wants to feel ready to skate.
"When you put your costume on it's like, 'I am ready for this competition,'" Weir told NBC. "This is who I am, I have turned into a swan or a beaver or a rocket scientist."
And some figure-skating costume designers hope that Weir's style is where competitive skating design is heading.
"Johnny's costumes are outrageous but they are also gorgeous," Bass said. "Johnny is so well-loved that people don't look at what he is wearing as disgusting, which is a big change for the better. Once we get over this fascination with crazy costumes, it will be like, 'What's the big deal?'"
The American Evan Lysacek, who broke Russia's two-decade winning streak by taking this year's gold medal in men's figure skating, collaborated with the famous designer Vera Wang in the creation of his costume.
Can we expect a new trend in which male skaters work with couture designers? Bass and Billings say they don't think so.
"Evan's costumes were beautifully made and they fit the music, but I don't think we will see Seventh Avenue designers designing for the ice anytime soon," Billings said. "The difference with Vera and why she is successful is because she used to be a skater herself. Vera knows what she is doing from a mechanical standpoint and she is an exception."
Bass said that even "accomplished designers don't know everything that applies to dressing skaters. Only a designer that has specialized in the discipline can do it"
During the 1992 and 1994 Olympic games Nancy Kerrigan, who received bronze and then silver, went against the "Flash Dance"-inspired costumes of the '80s by wearing simple, short dresses designed by Vera Wang. The trend continued in 1998 with both Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan, winners of gold and silver respectively, wearing low-key blue dresses. In 2002, Sarah Hughes won gold in a short purple dress with some rhinestone detail on the top. By 2006, the bright pink fur, extravagant details and big hair inspired by Oksana Baiul were long gone.
"Girls used to have beads and feathers all over their costumes," Billings said. "But now we are seeing more tasteful costumes and costumes that look more like clothing."
Blogger Szabo described the women figure skaters as trending towards glamour: "I think we are going to see the women continuing to be a little bit more sophisticated, in part because their programs are becoming more sophisticated and the costuming is a response to that."
Bass predicts costuming for both genders will eventually strike a balance between simple and the flashy.
"Skaters spend hours and hours perfecting their skating and all people do is laugh at the costumes," Bass said. "We will find a middle where the costumes will still be different and special, but also tasteful."
In the end, said Billings, what matters is how the skaters themselves feel in their costumes, regardless of what the public thinks.
"I have always felt that the worst costumes can end up at the top of the podium and some of the best can still come in last," Billings said. "If the skaters feel like they look good, then they will skate good."