Johnny Weir should have more important things on his mind than the trim on his costume. But those few inches of fox fur caused a furor from animal-rights group PETA, forcing him to switch to faux fur. Weir explained:
I made this decision after several threats were sent to me about disrupting my performance in the Olympic Games and my costume designer, Stephanie Handler, was repeatedly sent messages of hate and disgust. I do not want something as silly as my costume disrupting my second Olympic experience and my chance at a medal, a dream I have had since I was a kid.
This isn’t the first time Weir’s costumes have made headlines. He described his 2004 "Dr. Zhivago" outfit – a white and blue creation – as an "icicle on coke," much to the horror of the conservative U.S. Figure Skating Association. For that quote and other sound bites that referenced cigarettes and cocaine, Weir received an official reprimand.
His short program outfit from the same year – which he called a "sad tuxedo" – employed some techniques you’d see on "Project Runway." The fabric was ripped and burned so that it looked as if it had been "to hell and back."
And who could forget his 2006 short-program outfit to skate to "The Swan"? Since props aren’t allowed in competition, Weir’s right glove was painted orange to resemble a swan’s beak, and his shirt had a feather pattern. He even named his costume "Camille" after "The Swan" composer Camille Saint-Saens. The outfit was one of the most creative ever seen on ice, and certainly one of the most memorable. It even inspired Jon Heder’s peacock costume in the skating spoof "Blades of Glory."
The self-proclaimed fashionista dares to wear what he wants. His short-program outfit in Vancouver featured a corset, ruffles, sheer gloves, and a pink lace. In addition to entertaining the crowd, it showed off plenty of "man cleavage."
That’s Johnny Weir for you: He makes a statement with both his clothes and his comments.
- Johnny Weir
- costume designer