18-year-old figure skating sensation Gracie Gold, has already captivated us in Sochi, especially with a debut that helped Team USA win the bronze medal in the first ever team figure skating event. In addition to a pretty fantastic name for an Olympian, and a meteoric rise to national-champion status, Gold has been compared to Hollywood's most royal princess Grace Kelly for her classic look on (as well as off) the ice. As Gold told InStyle.com, she and coach Frank Carroll were going for an "Old Hollywood" look when planning her free program, which is set to Sleeping Beauty. "That Grace Kelly vibe is what we were thinking of," Gold says.
We chatted with Brad Griffies, who created the gorgeous blue dress Gold skated to in the team event's long program, and learned an interesting fact about who else wears his hand-sewn creations. "I do costumes for Grace Kelly's grand-daughter, the princess over in Monaco," Griffies told InStyle.com. Princess Alexandra is also a figure skater, and regularly attends international competitions with her mother, Princess Caroline of Hanover. Talk about a royal connection for someone who's been touted as the next great American skater.
Gold's dress was originally supposed to be white, but Griffies said he decided to create a blue one because, as a former figure skater himself, he says, "I feel like white can be a little plain on the ice... It's always a little better to have a little bit of color to pop you off the ice, especially when you have very fair skin like Gracie does."
The dress is dip-dyed from periwinkle to royal blue at the bottom, and because Gold and Carroll wanted a "very simple" look, the beading is simple as well. "There might have only been 1,400 (beads)," says Griffies, who made the dress in under 10 hours and provided sketches exclusively for InStyle.com.
The designer has costumed skaters in the last four Olympics, but he doesn't use mood boards. "I kind of get a vision of what I think that skater should look like," he says. As for Griffies, that vision is one of skating greatness: he saw her skate the first time in the junior division and thought, "'This girl is amazing. She could be Olympic champion someday.'"
In addition to the blue costume, Griffies says he also created an identical dress in purple. Our eyes will be glued to see which color she dons for her free program, but it look like either might be fit for skating royalty. Gold skates in the ladies' short and free programs on Feb. 19 and 20.