Hey sports fans!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am a self admitted “rink rat” so a lot of this blog will be about figure skating and hockey, however as an ex-figure skater, ex-varsity athlete and a sports fan in general, I usually have thoughts and opinions about alot of different sports I follow, so visit often!
This blog entry is all about Yuzuru’s competition costumes. I did not include any exhibition or show costumes because there are simply too many to discuss. I may blog about some of those later, but for now, I’m just going to focus on competition outfits only.
LP: Phantom of the Opera (POTO)
The long awaited costume for POTO was unveiled at the Cup of China (CoC). The red, white and black was striking!! I loved it. Even with so many other skaters that have used the POTO music in the past as well as this current year, there was still great anticipation for this costume. True to form, Yuzuru came out in an outfit that really complimented his lean body lines, and made a “wow” statement. Unfortunately the CoC would be the only time fans would see this costume. It was replaced with a new version once his team discovered that they could not get the blood stains out of the original costume from the crash with Han Yan. Shown here is a “before” crash and “after” crash image of the original POTO costume. Good images of the original POTO costume without the head bandage are a bit harder to find.
The new POTO costume debuted at NHK Trophy to mixed reviews. During the warm up when Yuzu was wearing his sleeveless warm up jacket, I noticed that his arms were not black and white. That was my first hint that a costume change had been made. When Yuzuru removed his warm up jacket, it was a surprising moment, in fact I’m sure I said “whoa” aloud. Personally I was left scratching my head wondering how this new costume related to POTO at all. However, by the time Nationals rolled around, I had grown to appreciate this new blue, gold and white costume. It’s still very “Yuzu”, but after seeing the original costume, the new one seems a bit dull in colour. If I had to pick a favourite POTO costume, I would select the original red, white and black version simply because it has more of a “wow” factor.
I am not a big fan of this piece of music, but I think the choice in costume matches it very nicely; light and airy. From it’s debut in an ice show prior to the start of the competitive season, it appears as if Yuzuru and his team might have changed or re-did the top. The original top was lighter in colour. I’m not 100% sure that they remade the upper part of the costume, but the newer one is definitely darker blue in hue, and I don’t think the difference could be entirely attributed to lighting. I truly love Yuzu’s use of the thick waist belts on some of his costumes. (example: Hana Ni Nare, Chopin). I’m having a hard time deciding if I like this costume. However, the sparkles on the shirt are a nice touch and adds some much needed shine to the outfit. It was interesting to see a video showing Yuzu going in for costume fitting and talking about the shirt feeling weightless until the sparkles were added. He really provided interesting feedback to the tailors on what he wanted, such as the sleeves initially being too droopy and how it would impact the look of his movements during the program.
LP: Romeo and Juliet v2
This costume sure looked nice with a World Championship Gold Medal hanging on it. Unfortunately, we never see the Olympic Gold medal and this costume together because they only had the flower ceremony at the rink following the win. Johnny Weir helped design this costume. Yuzuru picked the stones which represented his favourite colours. Some fans refer to the top ruffle as a boob skirt which I honestly didn’t notice until I read that. If I compare this R&J costume to the R&J costume during his 2011-2012 season (shown below), I would have to say I like the original R&J better. However, this is his Olympic winning costume so I’m sure it will be etched forever in a lot of peoples’ memories as it is mine.
SP: Parisian Walkways
This also is a version 2 outfit. In 2012-2013, the top was black. I love this outfit for it’s simplicity and style. The Sochi colours were blue, and it was like a sign that great things were going to happen to Yuzuru when they changed the shirt to blue. I’m happy that while Yuzu made the colour change, he and his team did not change the design of the shirt. The costume fits the music and choreography very nicely. It is casual yet sexy.
LP: Notre-Dame de Paris
It’s interesting to note that in a lot of his one piece costumes, the left and right sleeve designs do not match. This is a small detail that I look for each time I see a new Yuzuru costume. While the actual skating program itself was not one of my favourites, I did like the design of this costume. Over time I even grew to like the white ruffle down the right side as it provided some continuity to Yuzuru’s favoured fluffy cuff on his left arm.
SP: Parisian Walkways
Parisian Walkways outfit number 1, the original. While I liked the switch to the blue shirt for the Olympics, the black on black original version had a little more rock ‘n roll to it. The shirt is nice and fitted and shows a very slim and athletic Yuzuru. I am curious to know what made them change the colour of the top. I guess we will never know.
LP: Romeo and Juliet
This is the original Romeo and Juliet costume. It is one of my favourites, most likely because I love the program associated with it as well. It has a youthful appearance, like a young Romeo, yet strong aura to it that matches the magical moment before the popular footwork sequence.
SP: Etude in D sharp minor (aka Blue Flame)
The colours on this costume are so rich and vibrant!! I am glad Yuzuru chose a picture of himself in this costume for the cover of his early autobiography. The deep blue colours jump out on the white ice surface and grab your attention. I think this is the first of a couple costumes where Yuzuru starts wearing mis-matched coloured gloves.
Since I will never be able to pronounce the name of this program, I just call this outfit the “one with the shoe laces on the shoulder costume”. This is one of my least favourite costumes for Yuzuru. It didn’t have the flair that his costumes normally do, but then again, this was early on in his career.
SP: White Legend
I like this costume because it doesn’t seem as plain as the shoelace costume above. The black and purple go well together and the feathers are done in a elegant way. It would have been easy to overdo the feathers and make this costume a joke, however in my opinion whomever designed it did a excellent job. Again, the sleeves don’t match, and I like this about Yuzu’s costumes.
By now have you noticed that every one of Yuzu’s one piece costumes have a asymmetrical line to the upper body design? If not, I invite you to scroll up to the top and take a look at all of the one piece costumes again. I think that this design is very complimentary to his body line and I hope he keeps this detail in his future outfits as well.
LP: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
The only thing I like about this costume is the appearance of the waist belt. I don’t think there actually is a belt, just the glitter design which appears to be a belt. Not a fan of baby blue for Yuzuru. He looks much better in the rich blue of the Blue Flame or the Parisian Walkways costumes.
SP: Mission Impossible II
You don’t see short sleeves on mens competition costumes that often but given that Yuzu was 14 years old, it is a very youthful look. I much prefer the regular black pants that he normally has with his costumes to these shiny ones. They have a plastic like appearance.
I’m really not going to say much about the early years’ costumes. I think Yuzuru was simply adorable as a young skater, even with his mushroom haircut. Here is a collection of photos taken from the twitter account of the Yuzuru Stamp Collection. If you have the stamp collection, you will know that all of the photos are fantastic, and don’t have the advertising box as shown in the pictures below.
And last but certainly not least, Yuzu’s Woody costume. I don’t know what year this is but if you have a chance to see the video of this performance, it’s so adorable!! You can see Yuzu’s natural talent from such an early age.