The first Saturday in May is nearly upon us and we all know what that means — another Kentucky Derby and another outlandishly stylish getup by onetime Olympian, current NBC Sports reporter Johnny Weir. Johnny and bestie Tara Lipinski, also of former figure skating glory, will once again lug their seven suitcases to Louisville to act as fashion and lifestyle experts for the network’s coverage of the two-minute, 142-year-old pony show.
Though the majority of equestrian society will be sipping mint juleps decked out in pastels and fascinators, Johnny’s outfit will be all about the wearable tech — i.e. a robotic brooch that gallops and lights up at your command. Yes, those of you with an unquenchable thirst for sartorial domination can tweet using the hashtag #WatchMeNeighNeigh (will that meme never die?) and it will be just as if you were trackside with Johnny and Tara, pulling on his lapel in the flesh.
“Without actually being able to stand in people’s living rooms, we want to bring the action as close as possible and oftentimes that comes through people’s handheld devices,” explained Weir. “I, myself, am still fascinated by a fax machine, [so] I’m not quite sure how via Wifi or Bluetooth this horse is going to run and light up, but it will is what I’m told, and it’s going to be super cute and super fun. Whether people are loving my look…or if they want to annoy me, it’s kind of up to them. I’m open to all, just please interact with us on social media.” Oh, the power.
Non-giddyapping aspects of Johnny’s ensemble will include another Kerin Rose Gold-fashioned headpiece in vibrant colors, inspired by “a regal My Little Pony. I’ve been planning since last summer on what my hat would be this year,” Weir shared excitedly. From Tara, expect a custom Mark Zunino dress and Christina Mora hat.
That’s not all, folks. After Weir and Lipskini and the rest of the NBC Sports team finish Facebook Live-ing, Snapchatting, Periscoping, Instagramming and Vining the May 7 festivities, you can find them at the Rio 2016 Olympics reprising their commentator roles — in more subdued but equally fabulous fashions.
“Brazilian fashion is so sexy, and they’re very…light on clothing I would say, so that turns into a whole new world of dressing. So as fashion addicts, that really is exciting for us, and we’re already looking for ways to incorporate Brazilian designers and Brazilian style not only in [our] dress, but [also our] hair and makeup [and] into what we’re doing because we’ll really be bouncing around everywhere.”
To all this we say, let the games (virtual and otherwise) begin.