Vancouver Olympics: In Figure Skating, Women Go Classy, Men Stay Flashy

Vancouver 2010: Olympics Highlights

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?'"

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Collaborating with Famous Designers

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."

Johnny Weir's Fashion on Ice

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"

Women Skaters Cool on the Ice -- And In Their Clothes

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.

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