Fashion: US Open 2011
It’s the final fashion post for the year, which is a little bit depressing but also means the Australian Open is right around the corner. For this series, I’ve reviewed the first outfit each player played in. So it is possible some of them look better than I’ve reviewed. In the case of a certain few, I certainly hope this proves to be true. Let’s start with the women, but hold out for the men (trust me, it’s good).
You cannot accuse Venus Williams of following the crowd. Her self-designed line tries to create trends, not copy them. Her outfits are much like her tennis, always pushing the boundaries and never holding back. Because of this, Venus is never going to please everyone. For this year’s US Open she’s put on hold the flesh-baring outfits and skin coloured tights, and expanded on her ideas using lace. The front of her black dress is cut beautifully at the neckline and flares out at the waist, complimenting her slim figure and long legs. However, when she turns around the dress completely changes. A white lace back sits in heavy contrast and is completed with a pink zipper running down the middle. Personally, I can’t stand the white. It looks like she cut a piece out of a wedding dress and tapped it on the back with a strange pink zipper. Were the lace black, I might have a different opinion. Perhaps Venus could release the dress with a black back – somewhat of a high street look for the masses as opposed to the couture look she favours*.
Maria Sharapova likes grey. So much so, that grey has been a staple in her Grand Slam wardrobe this year, featuring at both the Australian Open and US Open. This time it may be too much of a good thing as Sharapova’s outfit looks a little bland. While Sharapova looks good in almost anything, the cut isn’t particularly flattering over her chest and the grey fails to stand out at the year’s most glamorous Grand Slam. Had I been the Nike designer, I would have made more of a play with the hot pink that lines the edges. Pink as a feature colour would have given this outfit much more spark and complimented Sharapova’s blonde hair and skin tone nicely.
It only took this long for Stella McCartney to get it right. After dresses that made Caroline Wozniacki look too fat, too short, too skanky, and too pale, Stella and her team have finally churned out something along the lines of perfect. Wozniacki’s dress flatters her figure perfectly, flaring out at the hips, not the waist. The cut is simple but well executed, and the details subtle. The clean white dress compliments Wozniacki’s tan and stands out at a Grand Slam that encourages experimentation with colour. Overall this is absolutely a dress that suits Wozniacki, and I have no doubt it will sell to the general public as well.
She’s back and better than ever – and I’m not just talking about her tennis. Serena Williams’ derriere was the main talking point at the ESPYs, where she showed off a tight dress. She appears to be going for a similar look with her US Open night dress as the splits at the back draw attention to her favourite asset. Unfortunately, the dress doesn’t stop with the detailing there, and instead the splits continue all the way around, giving her a legs a strange look. The top half of the dress almost gets it right but it could do without the thick black lines, which make Serena’s shoulders look bigger than they ought. The colour, however, is beautiful, giving the dress a little bit of a hit and miss look for the usually sublime Serena.
Roger Federer has been a little rebellious in his fashion choices recently, picking bright colours and ditching his trademark collar. I have never been a fan of the no collar look, but before writing this I decided to do some research on how Federer has fared with and without a collar. The evidence was overwhelmingly pro-collar. Since Federer has ditched the collar, he hasn’t won a Grand Slam, he has dropped to number three in the rankings, he has lost from two sets to love up for the first time in his career, and he has turned thirty. When Federer donned a collar, he won 16 Grand Slams, held the number one ranking for a very long period of time, never lost from two sets to love up, and wasn’t thirty. For this year’s US Open, Federer is wearing a collar. So I don’t care that the grey is a little boring, that the red collar is something we’ve seen before. I don’t want him to mix it up or try new, vibrant colours. Roger Federer has gone with what works: a flattering polo in a dark, classy colour. And a collar.
If Rafael Nadal were the bragging kind, he could easily wax lyrical about how well he suits colour. No matter how heinous the colour Nike creates for him, (pink, orange, pink and orange together), Nadal still comes out looking better than most. For the US Open, Nadal is wearing white peppered with bright yellow, and black shorts. Now I’m not sure the white t-shirt was the best look, (wouldn’t he look more intimidating in all black and yellow?), but the yellow is perfect. Nike also seem to have done some work on their fitting, as Nadal’s shirt looks to be the right size. It seems Nike has finally found the perfect mix of colour and class.
Christmas has come early for the folks at Adidas; Andy Murray has been decked out in a bright red shirt with just a hint of lime green. Thankfully, Adidas have spared Murray the Giraldo-like look of red shorts and instead have put him in black below the waist. They couldn’t resist dolling up the shoes, however, creating a frightening mix of red and black. Up top, you’d think the red and black theme would continue for some kind of ugly consistancy, but instead, Adidas decided to mix it up with white. Murray’s wrist bands are candy-cane red and white, whilst his white hat was likely chosen from the back of his wardrobe. Clearly, Adidas threw together whatever they could find for their number one player. Either that or he three it together himself. Unlikely this outfit will find itself wrapped under many trees come December.
There are many times I read a magazine like Frankie and wish I possessed the wit and way with words their writers do. It seems that these writers find their tongue when faced with horrible circumstances and manage to make their readers laugh out loud. I don’t possess this wit. When faced with something that terrifies me more Maria Sharapova’s second serve, I get a little lost for words. So when I caught a glance of Fernando Verdasco I was stuck with my mouth open for a fair few minutes. My fingers froze up, I lost the ability to type, all similes and metaphors flew out of my brain. His outfit is so hideous I couldn’t fathom what was going on. Is his top playing checkers? Are his shorts soaked in blood or have Adidas entered a competition for colours that clash the most? Are those laces really orange, or has the top blinded my colour vision temporarily? Most of all, why not continue the theme with the hat? Or did Verdasco have to go digging in the back of his wardrobe too?
That tops off US Open fashion for 2011. Some of the usual stars haven’t shined quite so bright, and others have gone back to basics with great results. Adidas has failed once again to make anyone look good. Adidas have actually failed to make anyone look good all year. May I suggest a change of team for 2011? Either that or Andy Murray needs to go running back to Fred Perry fast, before he gets put in blood red shorts.
*Any Given Surface wishes Venus Williams all the best in her battle against Sjogrens Syndrome. It’s a tragedy when people are stopped from doing what they love due to circumstances outside of their control. I’m sure that if anyone has the fight and determination, not to mention support, to push this disease to the side, it is Venus. All the best to her.