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The Inside Edge with Sarah and Drew - Worlds wrap

Goebel looks back at worlds; best-dressed awards handed out

One of the co-authors of the article, Drew Meekins, sits at his computer at the world champs.
One of the co-authors of the article, Drew Meekins, sits at his computer at the world champs. (Rei)

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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to icenetwork.com
(03/30/2009) - We're back home, and we're sorry the amazing week at the 2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships is over. A few last thoughts, and then it's on to the fashion awards!

Tim Goebel looks forward and back

Tim Goebel has taken the time to check in with us every day throughout worlds. As always, we find his comments insightful.

"Congrats to Evan [Lysacek] on a great comeback and his first world title," wrote Tim. "He clearly was the best of the night, and it's good that he was rewarded for it.

"Brandon [Mroz] looked very solid. I am sure we will see great things from him the next several years.

"Jeremy [Abbott] looked like the season caught up with him. After the back-to-back wins he had at the finals and nationals, I think it was a critical error for him to go to Four Continents. Had he gotten some well-deserved rest, I'm sure that we would have seen the Jeremy we saw all season."

Incidentally, Tim felt that Tomas Verner should have won the bronze medal over Brian Joubert. We've been bugging Tim about the whole quad question for a while, and it's not surprising that the Quad King still feels it's going to play a crucial role.

"The quad may not have been the determining factor at worlds this year, but I'm sure it's going to be critical going into next season. There were a lot of big errors in the event, and the weird pops and messy falls are very costly with the GOEs [Grades of Execution]. With fewer mistakes, there would have been some huge technical scores put up. I can't see being able to get on the podium at events next season without putting down a long with a quad-triple and two solid triple Axels."

On Sunday morning, Tim was up early studying for exams and pondering the ladies competition.

"What a thrill for Yu-Na [Kim]," he wrote. "She is very special. Everything she does has such quality and ease. Her landings are light and effortless. Yet, she jumps with power and speed. Brian Orser has done a phenomenal job with her.

"Joannie [Rochette] has great strength but a softness that makes her skating look easy. I'm so happy for her that she made the last little step to earn her place among the elite ladies, and she is just where she belongs. The top few ladies are scary good. ... Vancouver is going to be war for them."

Tim has said several times that the men's event will be the highlight of the 2010 Olympic Games.

"The top four ladies are really in a class by themselves, and beyond that its a free-for-all. The depth of the men's event should definitely produce some huge scores and some surprising finishes."

The battle of the curses

It's well known among skating fans that the last reigning world champion to win the men's gold medal at the Olympics was Scott Hamilton in 1984. Twenty-five years later, we are on the brink of the seventh Olympics since then. Evan, however, is probably glad to know that every American man who has been world champion going into the Olympics has won, hence the other "curse." We couldn't begin to make a guess about how this one will play out, but one string or the other is about to break.

We also noticed that none of the reigning U.S. champions were the highest finishers in their events in L.A. It certainly points to the depth of the U.S. team at the moment!

Final count

Olympic champion total for the week: 14 in all, with the addition of Dorothy Hamill.

And now, here it is -- The 2009 World Championships International Best-Dressed List!

On-ice

Pairs

• Second runners-up: Meagan Duhamel and Craig Buntin's aqua-and-black short program costumes. Not beautiful, per se, but interesting.

• First runners-up: Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker's orange, red and black long program costumes. They fit their style and storyline without being overly obvious. The hot colors suited Keauna and Rockne's striking coloring, and the blend from orange to red in Keauna's dress added a sense of movement to their already blinding speed.

• Winners: Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison's Carmen costumes -- black velvet, black lace, red rhinestone accents. Gorgeous, classy, perfect. And we liked the little tassels on Bruce's jacket.

Ice Dancing

• Honorable mention: Scott Moir's white compulsory dance shirt with layered flat ruffles -- very fall 2009, and very different from everyone else.

• Shouldn't work, but did: Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier's 1920's original dance costumes for "The Entertainer." A perfect match to music and style.

• Runner-up: Virtue and Moir OD. We loved her cranberry-fringed flapper dress with beautiful, intricate, beaded detailing and his elegantly simple, formal deshabillé was sexy yet restrained.

• Winners: Meryl Davis and Charlie White's new original dance costumes. Charlie went with the stunning White-tie that works so well for him, this time paired with a fuchsia waistcoat. Meryl wore a teal-fringed flapper dress -- a gorgeous color, stunning with her coloring and beautifully complemented by Charlie's fuchsia.

Men

• Runner-up: Denis Ten. His unitard of black pants with black details blending into a white top went perfectly with his breathtaking free skate. Is this kid really only 15? It was one of the highlights of the week, made even better by his emotion afterward, as he kissed the ice. Anyway, he looked as beautiful as he skated. We'd maybe prefer the look without the black gloves, as they cut off his line a bit.

• Winner: Taking the costume award along with the gold medal, Evan Lysacek had the best costume of the night. We've already discussed the elegance of his midnight blue velvet tux, and the way it fits him so perfectly. And it was nice to see someone skate without gloves, particularly since dark gloves would never be worn with a tux.

In fact, about all those gloves. It seems like practically all the guys are wearing them now. Yes, for certain costumes, they do extend the line, and they sometimes work very well. We thought they looked great on Johnny Weir's costumes last season, for instance, but sometimes we would really prefer to see hands at the ends of people's arms. And as for the short gloves worn with short sleeves, or with a sleeveless dress, well that just almost never works. For instance, Ana Cecilia Cantu's little black tux dress was cute, but the black gloves with white cuffs just didn't make sense. Too often, it looks as though the skater forgot to take off their warm-up gloves, and sometimes we wonder if that's what actually happened. Don't do it!

Ladies

• Honorable mentions: The black catsuit worn by Belgium's Isabelle Pieman. It didn't quite work, but it was quite a look. Viktoria Helgesson's pale-yellow short program dress, so similar to her platinum hair, also gets a nod. She looked like a jonquil on the ice. We didn't really get the hairstyle though, with the bangs lacquered into a sort of bun on her forehead. She's a beautiful girl.

• Most improved: Carolina Kostner, who went from, frankly, worst-dressed in the short program, in a swing and a miss by Roberto Cavalli, to a near home run in the long. We always think he makes the skirts too short for her mile-long legs, though.

• Second runner-up: Fumie Suguri's pink short program dress, with the sweeping lines reminiscent of Japanese brush strokes. We've been trying to think of the right word for the color -- medium pink, nearly peach, but not quite. Pear blossom, maybe. And we liked her spiky bun.

• First runner-up, in a very very close contest: Laura Lepistö's long program dress. The bold, lilac-and-peach paisley pattern in rhinestones over the spangled, black chiffon skirt was, in a word, stunning.

• Winner: The Finns go one-two, as Susanna Pöykiö's midnight blue short program dress, with silver/pewter bands and royal blue polka dots outlined in rhinetones, wins the week. The severe cut of the skirt, so unusual in skating costumes, made the dress stand out even apart from the magnificently designed details.

Off-ice

Ladies

• Runner-up: Aliona Savchenko, who looked very trendy and cute all week -- very L.A. -- with the Paris Hilton/Nicole Richie look going on.

• Winner: Karen Kwan, who always looks good. Although she'd look good in anything, and she could probably wear a burlap bag and still look fierce in it, she was absolutely stunning when we saw her in the hotel lobby, wearing a fitted, red, floor-length gown. She wins hands-down.

Men

• Runner-up: Maxim Trankov. His urban style may not have been entirely our taste, but he really had one! In his baggy, fashion-forward jeans, a graffiti'd t-shirt, black hair and piercing blue eyes, he looked like a vampire, which apparently is an "in" look due to the Twilight movie.

• Winner: Evan Lysacek sweeps the awards this time. We saw him signing autographs -- in all black, of course -- with a very dark tan, looking chic and sleek. His hair was wild and loose and looked fantastic and sexy, much better then the slicked-back version he wears on-ice.

Coach, female

• Winner: Shae-Lynn Bourne, whom we saw in a black suit with three-quarter length sleeves and white blouse in the hotel lounge. She looked modern, sleek and sexy.

Coach, male

• Winner: Nikolai Morozov, in a clean-cut black suit and black tie -- very elegant and formal.

Other Awards

Best-dressed Olympic champion: Tara Lipinski, bohemian-chic in a cute, baby-doll top.
Best fur: Tatiana Tarasova's embroidered and appliquéd black fur coat.
Best shoes: Agent Tara Modlin's blinged-out open-toed stilettos, covered in clear Swarovski crystals.
Best hair: Maria Mukhortova wore her crown of intricate braids all week -- an interesting choice, and a unique one.
Best buttons: Johnny Weir.

And with that, we're back to normal life. It was an amazing season! We have plans for a lot of interesting interviews coming soon, including Jeffrey Buttle and Alissa Czisny at the "Ice Chips" show in Boston next weekend, so stay tuned.

Sarah and Drew
sarahanddrewblog@gmail.com