Evan Lysacek Adds Gold To Vera Wang Design

USA's Evan Lysacek skates during the victory ceremony after winning the gold medal in the men's free program figure skating competition at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
AP Photo
As American figure skater Evan Lysacek spun and whirled across the ice in Vancouver Thursday night, he made an impressive figure - strong, sharp and agile.

It was a performance that earned him Olympic gold. And like the latest Oscar nominee on the red carpet, he was wearing Vera Wang.

The leather-trimmed black sequined outfit was one of five that designer Wang, a former figure skater herself, created for him to wear at the 2010 Winter Games in Canada. Wang has previously designed costumes for medalists Nancy Kerrigan and Michelle Kwan, but it was Lysacek who got the 60-year-old fashion designer and businesswoman back on the ice for the first time in years.

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The session this past fall was designed to give Wang a better understanding how Lysacek's body moves and his particular balance of artistry and athleticism.

"You wouldn't want someone to lose Olympic gold because their sleeve ripped off," Wang says in a recent interview.

Other considerations: The outfit has to sparkle like evening wear but function like workout gear; it has to stand up to the considerable wind generated by skaters' speed; and it must be show-stopping from every angle, unlike a Hollywood-starlet gown that is usually photographed straight from the front or back.

"This is more pressure than an Oscar dress in a strange way," Wang says. The costume also has to complement the music. "I have to have the music for a skating costume," she says, "and that's not the way I normally work."

Wang has a spot in the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame thanks to her costumes.