The fashion world of male figure skating is particularly fraught, having a much-mocked reputation for sparkly unitards, not to mention Johnny Weir’s fur debacle. But World Champion Evan Lysacek, whom we profiled in this week’s magazine, has paired up with designer Vera Wang to try to create a more fashion-forward image for the sport. Wang, a former figure skater herself, who also designed costumes for Nancy Kerrigan and Michelle Kwan, has taken Lysacek on as her newest ice skating muse. She designed the sleek mock tuxedo he wore during his World Championship win.
We visited Wang’s showroom during a fitting with Lysacek, in which he tried on two different outfits: one, a black unitard with silver bejeweled snakes, and the other, also all black but covered in subtle sequin stripes and anchored with feathers near his hands. “Evan has such a great eye,” Wang told us, as she studied Lysacek, standing with his arms outstretched. “It’s much more complicated than you’d think,” she said. “You have to make sure he can move and bend and all the pieces stay anchored on.” Lyacek was flanked by two tailors, pinning another snake to his costume. “Vera’s been such a good mentor to me, and she knows so much about skating,” said Lysacek. “As far as our style, we kind of have the same aesthetic and taste in clothing, the same thought about movement and character. We almost had too many ideas. These are the ones we started working on when we first started together, and now they’re now finally ready,” he said.
Wang tries to attend Lysacek’s competitions herself to make last-minute adjustments, but if she can’t go, she sends one of her trusty tailors. “My worst nightmare is that something goes wrong with the costume that makes Evan fall or get distracted,” she said, which is why the tailors spend extra time securing the feathers to Lysacek’s sleeves. “If I have to wear something, I’m going to wear something a top designer would do for me,” said Lysacek, gazing proudly at Wang. Johnny Weir’s “Poker Face” routine can’t quite top that.