[Opinion] Nathan Chen wears a fashion crime to the Olympics


Photo courtesy of The New Yorker

Olympic figure skater Nathan Chen skates in the 2022 Beijing Olympics wearing his costume designed by Vera Wang which has controversial opinions.

Ashley LoFurno, Writer

When most people think of ice skating, they think of delicate dancing on ice, artistic music and a gorgeous costume to tie it all together. Unfortunately, when an American male figure skater Nathan Chen stepped on the Olympic ice, he was wearing an atrocity of an outfit that left fans cringing with distaste, breaking all stereotypes of a figure skating costume in the absolute worst way possible.

On Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, the Olympics broadcasted the Men’s Singles Free Skate. Throughout the night there was outstanding skating accompanied by delightful music and eye-catching costumes, making the majority of the athletes’ performances enjoyable to watch. However, as the night progressed, the time for Nathan Chen to take to the ice arrived. With him being most favored to win gold, viewers were ecstatic to see him skate.

When fans saw him enter the ice in the costume he was wearing, an uproar of displeasure occured. Typically, figure skating costumes are supposed to be flashy or elegant, drowned with sparkles to catch the audience’s attention. However, Chen was wearing a boring long sleeve shirt that resembled something of a soccer goalie’s jersey and plain black pants.

The disappointment does not stop at the fact that it was an outright ugly costume, decorated with orange, purple and white specks. Moreover, the true dissatisfaction was when it was discovered that it was designed by Vera Wang. Wang is a designer, who is famously recognized for dressing celebrities such as Zendaya and Ariana Grande in fabulous dresses for red carpets. Fans wonder how such a talented designer ended up making such an unsightly skating outfit.

Furthermore, when compared to his competitors’ costumes, viewers can see that Chen’s costume is exceedingly more unattractive than all the rest. For example, the famous Yuzuru Hanyu who competed for Japan wore a stunning pastel blue costume decked with graceful flowers and just the right amount of sparkles, all tied together with a black belt. Though he may have gotten fourth place in the competition, his costume was arguably one of the best ones at the event. Compared to Hanyu’s costumes, Chen’s fell short by miles.

This is not the first time Chen has been under fire for the calamity that is his costume, as he has consistently worn lackluster costumes at several other competitions. Therefore, fans were not shocked by his bland galaxy-esque shirt, but more so disappointed that he was yet again dressing poorly.

In the future, it does not seem that Chen will ever take the route of sequins, sparkle or anything that makes a skating costume tasteful. With that being said, despite his fashion failures, Chen won gold for himself and the United States with his overwhelming talent.