The Internet is comparing Johnny Weir to Stanley Tucci’s Crayola-colored Hunger Games character, Ceasar Flickerman.
In response, the professional figure skater turned Olympic commentator posted a video clip of Flickerman on Twitter captioned, “I get it. Mommy loves it.” Talk about a good sport.
But really the similarities between Flickerman and Weir, who shares his on-air duties in PyeongChang with BFF and Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski, really begin and end with the sky-high pompadours.
Weir’s personal style—an electric, genderless mashup of Liberace frilliness, ’80s power suiting, teen Goth, fetish, and New Romantic—is defiantly oddball, but always supremely polished.
“It’s Liberace meets Prince with a hefty dusting of glitter,” contends New York City–based fine jewelry writer and editor Kareem Rashed, adding, “It’s refreshing to see that kind of individuality and genuine love of style on something as conventional and widely broadcast as the Olympics.”
Too true. Though Weir sounds like a traditional talking head—critiquing a double lutz or triple salchow with professional unflappability—his sartorial zaniness has upended our long-held notions of what an Olympic commentator should look like and wear. Surely he’s the first NBC Sports commentator, male or female, to wear a chest harness on prime time.
Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, he in a Chanel jacket and Erickson Beamon necklace (Image: @taralipinski)
“I applaud Johnny Weir’s fashion experimentation,” says Khanh Tran, a Los Angeles–based style writer for The Hollywood Reporter and C magazine, among other outlets. “He reminds me of a high-fashion Goth kid parented by Liberace and Elizabeth I, Queen of England. You’ve got black ruffles by Anne Fontaine, an ivory Giambattista Valli blazer with a splayed lapel, shoes from Rick Owens and Dries van Noten…and everything in between.”
Perhaps most impressive, she adds, is “that it doesn’t matter whether the piece was designed originally for a man or a woman to wear as long as he likes it and it looks fabulous.”
The commentator’s daily ensembles typically hinge on a fabulous blazer or coat, tight pants (often leather), and buttoned or wide-and-cropped tops. But his style swag is truly communicated through offbeat jewelry and accessories. Okay, those and his transmutable hairdos.
So far, Weir’s jewelry looks have included a handful of commanding and bejeweled Erickson Beamon necklaces and bibs; an intricate silver Erickson Beamon chest harness; a glittering palm-sized brooch with a black center stone (see photo at top); a colorful and layered beaded Joomi Lim necklace look; a diamond-bezel gold watch; and chunky, blingy rings in various shapes.
And even after all that, you have to believe Weir is saving his most show-stopping pieces for the women’s figure skating finals. He’s told reporters that he and Lipinski packed a combined 20-plus suitcases of fashion for the 2018 Games.
Johnny Weir in Joomi Lim necklaces, with Tara Lipinski (Image: @taralipinski)
Of course, “he’s already set the bar so high!” says Rashed.
Tran agrees, adding, “It’s smart that he’s keeping the focus of the camera on his neck, looping chunky necklaces around his shirt collar. He’s also clever in stacking rings on his left hand, which he uses to hold his bedazzled mic.”
What’s coming up for the women’s finals? More bold Erickson Beamon? An oversized Chanel Camélia pin? A curveball vintage jewel?
Rashed suggests Weir don a David Webb totem necklace, a Nikos Koulis jabot, or any “really bold jewelry design—the kinds of things that most celebs don’t go for,” adding, “Why not go all out and do a tiara? If anyone can pull it off, it’s Johnny Weir.”
(Top image: Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir in the commentator booth in Korea; image: @taraandjohnny)