FASHION: Wimbledon 2011
Looking around Wimbledon fashion this year you can’t help but ask yourself, ‘Why is everyone getting it so right?’ It isn’t that the outfits are out of this world beautiful, but no one looks particularly bad either. Most WTA headlines have focused on the women’s tennis, instead of their outfits – shock, horror – and there have been no major faux passes on the men’s side either. Of course, this doesn’t mean there aren’t stand outs, disappointments, and a touch of ugly.
Perhaps I have been spoiled by Maria Sharapova. I’ve become accustomed to designs that remain tasteful whilst original, sexy but never without class. However, tennis dresses are a limited attire, and even the powers of Nike were bound to repeat their ideas eventually. And so whilst Maria’s current Wimbledon attire is sleek and tasteful, it lacks the originality and spark of her former designs. White and gold remain a popular Wimbledon choice, and whilst Sharapova pulls it off with flair, her dress is far from captivating. A solid effort from one of the hot favourites, but nothing to get excited over.
Tennis is relieved Serena Williams is back. Not only does she attract millions of fans to her powerful game, she looks good doing it. In her first Grand Slam since her injury and subsequent health problems, Serena has donned a simple green and white number in a cut that hugs in all the right places. She’s hasn’t neglected her off-court attire either; Serena warmed up in a long cardigan that would look just as good were she shopping. It seems Nike and Serena have managed to come out with that original idea Sharapova’s team missed.
Original isn’t always a good thing, and in Venus Williams’ case, it hasn’t been a good thing for a long time. Venus has once again made headlines with her jumpsuit ensemble, but few will be rushing out to buy her self-designed outfit. On first glance, I actually thought Venus might have it right. The plunging neckline with wide straps and a cheeky zip is modest enough to wear on-court, but so elegant it could double as a ball gown. The fabric too, looks beautiful. Unfortunately, Venus hasn’t been showing much restraint with her designs and this is no exception. Instead of a simple bottom half to offset the top, Venus has gone with full-on shorts in a playsuit style. The look is less fun and sexy and more nappy-like. Still, it’s closer to good than she has been recently, and at least she left the nude-coloured shorts and flesh-baring outfits behind.
Tignor remarked in one of his latest articles that there was only one player to be seen practising in a sweater vest on the outer courts of Wimbledon. The player needed no naming – vests are largely left to one man only, especially away from match play. However, if his readers thought this was just a taste of greater, more outrageous things to come, they would have been sorely disappointed. Instead, Roger Federer opened his tournament in a green and white garb that was largely conservative, traditional, and that most over-used adjective – classy. In breaking away from white and gold, Federer looks somehow more youthful and with greater energy than he showed in 2010. I just wish he’d wear the vest more often.
It seems like decades ago Andy Murray turned up to his home tournament in a brilliant Fred Perry vest, perfectly fitting shirt, and classic shorts. Murray showed us in that one outfit that he doesn’t have to look drab, that fashion doesn’t need to belong solely to Federer and Nadal. It was a last hurrah, however, as Murray left Fred Perry and became Adidas’ top man. Once again Murray was thrust into dull clothes that belong on the sale rack of a minor sports outlet. Once again, we were told through his fashion that Murray is a boring, dull person with an even more tedious game. And yes, once again, Murray has turned up to Wimbledon in a disappointing outfit. If you thought the all-white rule would force Adidas to discard its most tragic of colour combinations -blue and green- you were wrong. Instead, Murray’s bland white outfit is peppered with both colours, proving that even with something in between, blue and green doesn’t work. I long for the day Adidas consider Murray in their designs.
It’s hard to imagine Adidas would have neglected Novak Djokovic like they have Murray had he remained with the sportswear company. We will never know, though, as Djokovic made the wise move to Sergio Tacchini. For Wimbledon, Djokovic is wearing a well-fitting polo with subtle Tacchini branding in blue. Although I will never be a fan of blue on the green lawns of Wimbledon, it is undeniable that Djokovic looks good in his polo.
Rafael Nadal has many assets, but his armpit probably wouldn’t be most people’s top choice. It is for Nike at Wimbledon this year, as they’ve chosen to accentuate that most strange of areas in what is the lamest outfit Nadal has worn in a long time- possibly, forever. There isn’t much to say about the plain white, collarless, fitting tee and shorts combo other that Nadal deserves better. As for the outline Nike have drawn in blue around his armpit, we can only wonder if that was a misguided attempt at originality.