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What Makes Olympic Figure Skating Dresses So Special?

They're basically mini pieces of haute couture.
What Makes Olympic Figure Skating Dresses So Special?
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/kaetkiss,larkynaustman,boostbrazilofficial
They're basically mini pieces of haute couture.

The Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics are over, but we’re still not over Olympic figure skating. Apart from the athleticism and artistry, the outfits are another reason to tune in to the sport. 

What’s so special about these figure skating dresses anyway? 

First, not a lot of sportswear gets to be adorned with a massive array of crystals. Second, a figure skater’s dress can tell you a lot about what's coming next, such as the theme for their routine. For example, if the skater is wearing a red ensemble, you can bet she’s skating to Carmen. Third, these dresses have the performance capabilities of the world’s tightest sports bra while still looking like a tiny piece of couture. Lastly, they can cost between $1000-$5000. For the ultimate fit and artistic expression, one needs the assurance of superb craftsmanship because judges will deduct -1 points (That is equivalent to a fall. Yikes!) to the skater if they deem the outfit too garish or if the embellishments fall onto the ice. 

Now that we know how much work and thought is given to these aerodynamic sparkly outfits, here are some of the runway-reminiscent looks we spotted at the Olympics: 


Maia Shibutani 

Ice dancer Maia Shibutani skates to a Latin beat with her brother, Alex Shibutani, in a bedazzled fuchsia-orange number. The bold color choice is sure to make any routine extra memorable. 


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Carolina Herrera SS 2018

Evgenia Medvedeva

Evgenia chose a maroon-hued embellished dress to portray her character, Anna Karenina. Oftentimes, costumes are based off their movie counterparts such as this one

Giambattista Valli SS 2018

Larkyn Austman

Going the minimalist route is something to seriously consider when deciding on a skating dress. Here, Larkyn wore a sexy little black dress for her program music, Mein Herr from Cabaret

Altuzarra SS 2018

Xiangning Li

When you’re skating to instrumentals, fairytale dresses are the way to go. Here, Xiangning Li skates like a dream in cotton candy pink.

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Preen SS 2018

Kaetlyn Osmond

A tight bodice with embellishments and a tiny skirt instantly reminds us of ballet costumes. You can tell right away that Kaetlyn is skating to the Black Swan judging from the design of her dress. 

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Zuhair Murad Haute Couture SS 2018

Isadora Williams

Isadora Williams performs to the soulful ballad, Hallelujah, in a shimmering lilac dress. The pastel tone and the uplifting vocals of the song goes perfectly well with her gorgeous skating. 

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Giambattista Valli Haute Couture SS 2018

Bradie Tennell

Skating to the soundtrack of Cinderella, the live-action movie, Bradie's costume was a no-brainer—a mini version of the iconic ballgown worn by the fairtytale heroine. 

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John Galliano SS 2018

Kailani Craine

Retro tunes need a retro-inspired dress. Kailani Craine decided to skate in a '40s-looking sheer pink collared dress to a medley of hits by Ella Fitzgerald


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No.21 SS 2018

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