Many of us know Vera Wang as an American designer whose
trademark fashion is the bridal gown. But before she entered the fashion
industry, Wang was a figure skater who competed at the 1968 U.S. Figure Skating
Championships. When her skating dreams failed to take her to the Olympics
Games, Vera swapped her skates for stilettos and ventured into the world of
Though she had previously fallen short of an Olympic run,
Wang will have another chance to shine on the ice, at the 2010 Winter Games in
Vancouver. She will take part in designing the figure skating
costumes for some of Team U.S.A.’s top contenders, including male favorite, Evan
This is tough task, even for Wang. The designer admits,
“This is more pressure than an Oscar dress in a strange way,”
[AP] And it’s easy to see why. Skating is about more than triple
salchows and sit spins. A competitor’s overall look is a vital part
of their performance. Skating costumes must be as memorable and as glamorous as
a bridal gown, but also functional, non-restrictive and comfortable for the
skater. On top of all that, a designer must also take into account the athlete’s
music, in order to tie the whole routine together.
But Vera is no stranger to designing skating costumes.
She’s previously dressed Olympic competitors such as Nancy Kerrigan and
For an inside look what goes into figure skating costume design, check out
this blast from the past video of Vera Wang and Nancy Kerrigan. They demonstrate the creative
process for developing Nancy’s 1992 and 1994 long program looks.