Creating the Concept

When I am doing commentary on synchronized skating, I want to see harmony between the 3Cs as I like to call them: Concept, Choreography and Costume. Like so many other fans, when I see the team hit the ice in competition, the first thing I notice is the costume and then I try and guess the music. It’s a fun first way to gauge how important a complete concept is to a synchronized skating team.

Concept. What does this mean to me? In my mind, it’s a way of harnessing the potential of the music, theme and the choreography so that it translates all the way into the audience and up on to the judges’ stand.

Coach Jennifer O’Brien on creating the concept and why it’s important: “Synchronized skating is not just a sport but also an art form. It appeals to two major senses, hearing and sight. To disregard the importance of design is a critical miss step in the big picture. Design is important but so are colour, texture, line and fit. We can’t dismiss the emotional qualities that the dress encompasses for the skaters as they are portraying a character on the ice.”

I remember a Spiderman program that Leaside Skating Club’s Team Leaside Junior performed in 2012. Dress Wright Synchro’s owner and chief designer Deanna Wright came up with the idea to use a crocheted spider web and have it cover the back opening of the dress. Genius. Memorable. The perfect accent on an already great dress which reflected the theme of the program to the max.

The coaches definitely know what they would like the outfits to express, and the importance of listening to the coaches is a priority for Deanna: “We each have our individual talents but by listening to the coach’s vision for the program it can spark ideas that neither of us had considered. Together we are stronger. “

It doesn’t matter the level of the synchronized skating team; being competitive means paying attention to the details. The concept is what your synchronized skating team is all about. I think that everything to do with pushing out that idea has to match from the 3Cs as I mentioned but also anything else, like accessories to your team’s outfits off the ice that can help support your narrative for the season.

The team at Dress Wright Synchro is ready, willing and (more than) able to take your vision and create a ‘wearable reality’ for your synchronized skating team’s concept.


This video is from ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships in 2017 which took place in 2017 in Mississauga, Ontario. Team Spain’s SP delighted me with a fun dress surprise – bet you’ll like it too!


Deanna says that the dress is a large part of the overall concept for a synchronized skating team’s look over the season. The Dress Wright Catalogue has lots of inspiration and shows that great concepts don’t always have to be custom! Check out pages 16 – 34 for a great selection of dresses to suit many themes. (

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