Ice Network

Donovan: 2017 European Champs fashion podiums

Icenetwork fashion critic gives marks to Kostner, Bychenko, French teams
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The best-dressed pair in Ostrava, according to Sam Donovan, was Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès. -Getty Images

A note before we get into the European championships: I strongly considered going to Ostrava, Czech Republic, for this event (given my current proximity) but ultimately decided against it. I am both thankful and regretful of this decision. On the one hand, so many skaters; on the other, so many Russian skater drag queens. Missing out on the chance to see/burn Anna Pogorilaya's free skate prom dress will haunt me for the rest of my days.

Onward.

LADIES

GOLD - Carolina Kostner (SP)

Carolina Kostner is the human embodiment of Athena, and You. Can. Not. Kill. Her.

But seriously, this kind of Versace warrior badassery is how you come back from a (largely unjust) two-year suspension.

SILVER - Helery Hälvin (SP)

Out of left field, we have Ms. Hälvin in this striking canary yellow number that icenetwork is going to fire me for picking, given Helery's 15th-place rank. (Editor's note: Despite us having to use this slightly-out-of-focus screengrab, Sam is still employed by icenetwork.) However, the glow and sparkle of this piece were unmatched at this competition -- even by the gorgeously icy glow of Evgenia Medvedeva's short program look (which, after I saw this stunning piece, landed off the podium in fourth).

BRONZE - Laurine Lecavelier (FS)

As it turns out, I can be swayed by performance; after initially giving Ms. Lecavelier my Weir Award at Trophée de France, the energy and pizazz she threw into her free skate at Europeans proved enough to garner her a place on the podium. I expect big things (and more tearaways) from her in the future.

WEIR AWARD - Anna Pogoliraya (FS)

I will personally make Anna a new costume for worlds if she promises to torch this one.

MEN'S

GOLD - Alexei Bychenko (SP)

My Billie Joe Armstrong crush is alive and well in this American Idiot-era pop punk ensemble. Now if only Alexei had skated to "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," the fantasy would have been complete.

And again, full marks for the exposed tattoos.

SILVER - Graham Newberry (FS)

On occasion (i.e. always), I judge the men's costumes by how much I want to steal and wear them (see also: Kevin Aymoz's sequin sweatshirt moment in the free skate), and Graham? In the wise words of RuPaul, consider this one stolen.

BRONZE - Javier Fernández (SP)

This is merely a shout-out to Fernández' flawless styling on each of his looks. I laugh out loud every time I see this goatee, given that he has to grow it out for every competition. Props for commitment, Javier.

PAIRS

GOLD - Vanessa James/Morgan Ciprès (SP)

The judges can keep underscoring these two all they want -- they are flawless examples of skating fashion excellence in my book. Vanessa's black dress alone is one of the best looks this season.

SILVER - Natalia Zabijako/Alexander Enbert (SP)

Is there a reason so many skaters just seem to give up on their free skate looks after killing it in the short? I say this specifically…

BRONZE - Zabijako/Enbert (FS)

...because Natalia and Alex have killed it in both of their program looks all season long, seemingly without breaking a sartorial sweat. I rarely award double medals (unless you're Ashley Wagner), but these kids have to pat themselves on the back for bringing it all season long -- and looking good while doing it.

DANCE

GOLD - Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FD)

There are some events where I merely have to look at the lineup to make up the list of candidates for my podium, so thanks to Gabriella and Guillaume for making my job extra easy. Again, these costumes really add to the breathtaking, heartbreaking spectacle that is their free dance. Such a joy to watch.

SILVER - Papadakis/Cizeron (SD)

I also recognize that I just said I rarely do this, but I love that Gabriella switched out her (admittedly gorgeous) white short program dress for this stunningly fluid royal blue with gold trim number. It brings a liveliness to the team's short dance, while the white conjures up a more sober feeling. I do wish Guillaume's blazer was cut in the complimentary or matching hue, but as they say in France, c'est la vie.

BRONZE - Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (SD)

Still one of the most charming costumes of the season, but it's hard to compete with sheer, French perfection -- especially when Papadakis' new and improved skirt has the same flourish and spin as Cappellini's polka dot frock.