There are few occasions in this life that we can really dress to perfection – the Met Gala, if you’re some type of celebrity, or Halloween for us regular folks.
Add to this list the icy scene of the Winter Olympics.
Figure skaters and ice dancers know it takes more than a quad jump to impress the judges (although a move that involves four tricks certainly doesn’t hurt). They wear some of the most extravagant outfits you’ll see at the Olympics, although bolder doesn’t always equal better.
From campy to graceful, over-the-top to just enough, these are some of the most unforgettable looks – for better or worse – from this year’s Games.
Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha, Canada
Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha wore outfits that didn’t look very cohesive. Credit: David Ramos/Getty Images
Separately, these outfits are relatively mediocre, although Lajoie was one of the few women to incorporate pants into her outfit. Together they are downright confusing. What’s the story here? If there was a little more cohesion between her pink cheetah-print jacket and her sparkly black jumpsuit with the blue belt, their outfits might have been lovely.
Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, Canada
Piper Gilles from Canada and Paul Poirier from Canada visited Beijing. Credit: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images
In dazzling orange jumpsuits, rainbow feather appliqués dancing in the wind, Gilles and Poirier ensured their routine was memorable. The Canadian pair are known for their outlandish outfits that Elton John would have worn in his heyday – fittingly, ice dancers skated towards John in their routine. Unfortunately, they didn’t adopt his glasses.
These combinations are both garish and daring, offensive to the eyes but impossible to look away from. Of course, the duo didn’t win any medals this year, but they did bring much-needed levity to the proceedings.
Nathan Chen, United States
Nathan Chen kept things simple with his outfit for his gold medal performance, which was anything but. Credit: Antonin Thuillier/AFP/Getty Images
Sometimes less is more, and Chen’s simple outfit for her gold medal performance was an effective choice. It was Chen’s chance for redemption after a heartbreaking fall at the 2018 Games and, dancing to a medley that included Elton John’s “Rocket Man”, Chen gave an interstellar performance. The nebulous pattern on his long-sleeved t-shirt, with pops of orange and red, like an exploding star, told his story – here’s a once-in-a-lifetime skater, back to reclaim what was rightfully his , in a routine to shake the world.
Admittedly, Chen’s look resembled that of a “Star Trek” inspired football goalie, with the long sleeves and gloves, corn he smartly let his outfit take precedence over his talent effortlessly.
Katharina Müller and Tim Dieck, Germany
Katharina Müller and Tim Dieck brought Halloween to the Olympics with their takes on Harley Quinn and the Joker. Credit: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images
In a haunting routine that featured readings of lines from Jared Leto’s “Suicide Squad” Joker, this German couple dressed – and danced – as two Gotham villains, the aforementioned clownish psychopath and his muse, Harley Quinn. Dieck’s tribute to the Joker included a shiny purple blazer, green shirt and chest tattoos, while Müller wore a mesh shirt with “Harley Quinn” printed all over and pink-dyed pigtails at the ends .
Perhaps if the pair dressed as another pair of anti-heroes – Catwoman and Batman, perhaps? – they might look a bit sleeker and more stylish (plus, think about the narrative tension in this hypothetical routine). But without more frills, the costumes didn’t exactly evoke the beloved villains. Props, though, to infuse comic book-inspired playfulness into tense competition.
Misato Komatsubara and Tim Koleto, Japan
Misato Komatsubara and Tim Koleto donned costumes that honored Komatsubara’s native Japan. Credit: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Komatsubara donned a thin kimono-like purple-red robe adorned with flowers and sparkles in a nod to her home country. Her husband Koleto followed suit with an aubergine jumpsuit – fittingly, he handed over the styling limelight to Komatsubara. It was a nice variation on the flowing dresses that skaters usually wear.
Eva-Lotta Kiibus, Estonia
Eva-Lotta Kiibus brought 60s swing to the Olympics. Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
The Estonian skater stunned in a 60s-inspired sequin shift dress that was both costumed and downright stylish – a memorable and mod choice from a performer who didn’t win a medal this year.
Anastasia Shabotova, Ukraine
Shabotova’s outfit (see the beginning of the story) evoked the traditional Ukrainian dress, which for women includes an embroidered blouse and a colorful skirt. Her take involved a lot more sequins, pink appliques and a shorter hemline than the norm, but she still shone.
Yuzuru Hanyu, Japan
Japan’s Hanyu narrowly missed a medal but seduced with this dream outfit. Credit: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images
Hanyu was a cotton candy dream in this wispy top. Dressed in a delectable sky blue with sunset pink stripes all over, Hanyu looked like a Disney Prince brought to life. He narrowly missed the podium this year, but his storybook style was still worthy of a medal.
Lindsay van Zundert, Netherlands
Dutch skateboarder van Zundert delivered the chic superhero. Credit: Laurie Dieffembacq/Belga Mag/AFP/Getty Images
Now, THIS is a well-made comic book costume – not that “Spider-Man” was what van Zundert was going for. The flag of the Netherlands is also red, white and blue, so it was probably a patriotic tribute, but the ombre bodysuit whose sleeves turn into gloves was straight out of a superhero’s closet (although it may have -be had more jewels than is typical for Spidey’s combination).
Ekaterina Kurakova, Poland
Ekaterina Kurakova of Poland wore a single-collared dress on the ice. Credit: David Ramos/Getty Images
Dressed in a dress reminiscent of the one worn by beleaguered waitress Vi in ‘Grease’, Kurakova failed to land a medal for her forced routine on Meghan Trainor. It was a sweet look nonetheless, a departure from the usual bedazzled fare.
Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri, Italy
Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri’s styles were vintage-inspired. Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Braces on ice! These two are straight out of the 1930s in their vintage-inspired costumes. Guignard wears a unique silhouette in an icy baby blue while Fabbri is dressed as a newsboy. If only he had the cap to match.