It’s always a fierce competition when figure skaters take to the ice at the Olympic Winter Games, but the fashion is just as fabulous — especially in the commentators’ booth. With the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing in full swing, Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir are back to reclaim their title as sports commentating’s most glamorous duo, and they’ve got suitcases full of sparkling ensembles to prove it.
But what exactly goes into creating their signature coordinated looks? According to Johnny, “it’s a process.” Long before the Olympic torch is lit, the longtime friends, who live on separate coasts, are sending each other photos of outfit inspiration and ideas. Ahead of the 2022 games, BravoTV.com chatted with the former Olympians and got the play-by-play on how they make their looks so memorable.
Bravo: What is your collaboration like leading up to the games?
Johnny Weir: When we’re packing, I will send pictures of looks that I’m putting together. But really all that Olympic magic happens when we’re together because we can really see the clothes up close. We can figure out how to elevate the look of the booth whether it’s [by] matching or having a theme or playing with colors. We love doing that because it adds another level of entertainment to people.
Tara Lipinski: We definitely bring so many suitcases that we have many, many options to mix and match. And [we] try to pair together outfits that we think suit the event that we’re covering… We’re lucky to work with brands and lines that sometimes will send us clothes and give us looks. But most of all, at the end of the day, it comes down to Johnny and I.
Is there a goal in mind when you’re creating looks?
TL: Our first and foremost goal is to make sure that we bring in as many viewers to the sport of figure skating so they know what it is that we love so much about our sport… The outfits are just the flourish… [Johnny and I] both love fashion and we grew up in a sport where, you know, it was important for us to think about what we wanted to present ourselves as — as athletes and artists… How can we entertain and bring some sparkle to the broadcast? For us, it’s fun.
JW: When you tune into one of our broadcasts and you see us on screen, we want you to be immediately entertained. Whether you’re laughing at us or not, we just want you to be entertained. That’s what we do.
How do you inspire each other?
JW: For me, it’s very important that Tara makes the initial decisions about what [sartorial] direction we’re going on the day because there is far more pressure on women in entertainment than there is on men… So I let Tara take the lead, just because I think I owe that to her… I want her to feel beautiful and powerful and comfortable. And then I bounce off of that.
TL: He’s the perfect gentleman… I’m so lucky to have that friendship along with a work partnership… The thing I love most about Johnny’s style is that he is never afraid to be anything else than what he is and what he feels in the moment… He did that during his time as a competitor, where he didn’t care what people said. He just was unapologetically himself. And I think that not only inspired but opened many doors for athletes to come that you don’t have to fit in some box.
Any style differences that are important to consider?
JW: I tend to be a little bit more on the dramatic side with my hair and my styling than Tara is.
TL: I love color and I love playing with texture… Fit is important… I’m not the tallest person, so things can’t really overwhelm me.
How does the host city factor in?
JW: The host cities definitely inspire me. I’ve been lucky enough in my life to travel all over the world. China in particular I’ve toured extensively. I’ve competed there and I’ve spent a lot of time there. So I have a nice inventory in my head of what is stylish in China, what people there enjoy wearing, and how they pay tribute to their culture and their traditions… I will have a few broaches and things that were gifts from my Chinese fan group that I’ll wear.
Any other traditions you like to uphold?
TL: A lot of times [for] the women’s event, we’ll wear gold… I think that tradition started long ago where [Johnny] was like, “We must wear gold for the women’s events, in your honor.”
—Reporting by Laura Rosenfeld
Catch the Winter Olympics on NBC and Peacock starting February 3.
Bravo’s Style & Living is your window to the fabulous lifestyles of Bravolebrities. Be the first to know about all the best fashion and beauty looks, the breathtaking homes Bravo stars live in, everything they’re eating and drinking, and so much more. Sign up to become a Bravo Insider and get exclusive extras.