The US Open is generally considered the Grand Slam where players can truly let loose when it comes to fashion. The glittering New York skyline has inspired many patterns and sparkles, while New Yorkers have a reputation for being open-minded and creative. It's probably my favourite fashion slam, and despite style queen Maria Sharapova giving it a miss this year, there's still plenty of exciting outfits to lust and laugh over.
I don't usually get so carried away I post four pictures of one player's outfit... BUT HOW AWESOME IS THIS DRESS? I don't think it could be any better. The cut is flattering, it doesn't show too much skin but shows just enough, and the sheer fabric is to die for. The print is very original and not something we would see from Nike or Adidas. I love the length on this dress - the sheer fabric makes it seem longer than it is but prevents the outfit from looking daggy. Venus has also mixed it up by using sheer - which is a very hot trend at the moment - and a classic floral pattern which will never go out of date. Top points for the dress but...
I'm not so enthusiastic about the accessories Venus has chosen. When I first saw the giant ring she's wearing I literally thought she had broken her finger and was wearing a splint. The jewels on her wrist look like something a Bratz doll would wear, and although the nail art is Ok, combined with everything else her hand is just a glittering mess. I'm also not a fan of the purple hair and wish she'd kept it as in the promo shots above.
Luckily, Venus's dress looks so amazing I can overlook the accessories and award her high marks.
Unfortunately, Victoria Azarenka and Nike have not gone to the same efforts Venus and Eleven did. I heard about Vika's dress through the Twitter grapevine before I actually saw it and the consensus was that it was hideous. When I looked up photos this morning, I was pleasantly surprised. I like the high waisted idea and initially I thought it was a skirt and top. On closer inspection it was indeed revealed to be a dress (mistake 1). Worse, it was revealed to be just as hideous as Twitter said. This outfit would look much better if it was a high waisted flared skirt paired with a tight tucked in top.
The above picture is the outfit at its most flattering. When I saw the dress in action I realised what everyone was moaning about. Mistake 2 from Nike is that the hemline is far too long. Vika has beautiful legs but her waist is muscular and a shorter hemline would be more flattering for her curves. The longer length looks dowdy. Mistake 3, in my opinion, was the colouring of the dress. Light pink looks great when you're dry and doing minimal exercise, but as soon as you start to sweat dark splotches appear like chicken pox. I know dusty pink is in fashion this summer, but it doesn't look good on sports clothes and pink/grey is a tired combination.
Nike were close with this - if you consider only making three mistakes close - but they need to rethink their design and bear their players' figures in mind when dressing them.
The other hot favourite for this tournament, Serena Williams, is also wearing pink and grey but this time Nike have it right. Grey is the main colour, so Serena gets to avoid those rash-like sweat patches, and both colours are darker. Nike have played with different shades to mix things up, and the fit is far more flattering.
I kind of think Serena would be easier to dress than Vika as her curves are more pronounced and her waist is smaller, but it still would take some effort to get the fit right. I saw criticism of Serena's short hemline and I too am sick of seeing women wearing what resembles bike shorts and long tops. However, if the result of extending hemlines is what Vika's wearing, then give me bike shorts any day. Personally, I look stupid in any dress that isn't super short, so perhaps Serena is the same.
It's not particularly original, but I like it.
We need to talk about Caroline Wozniacki. She's pretty. She has a great body. She is being dressed by respected fashion designer Stella McCartney. Yet she is clothed in an outfit that resembles something an uninspired comic book artist would create if he was desperate for an underwater superhero. WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE?
Aquamarine Adventurer? Watery Wanderer? Deepsea Daredevil? There's a whole list of rejected superhero outfits somewhere and I'm sure this was created from one of them. That black patchy thing on the front clearly resembles Superman's undies, the cut outs at the side are probably where her gills are supposed to go, and the colouring represents every shade of the ocean.
Perhaps this outfit will give her superpowers, and she'll be able to bomb serves and forehands on her way to the US Open title. That's pretty much the only reason I can think of to dress this terribly.
Moving onto the men, Novak Djokovic continues to look excellent in Uniqlo. This particular outfit actually reminds me of something Roger Federer would wear, with its punchy black and red combo with the fitted polo. Novak's skin colour is perfect for red and he looks even more tanned and glowing than usual. Quick, someone get this man a skincare endorsement!
The only thing I'm wondering about is his hair. Is Novak trying to style his hedgehog-like mop? Is that the beginning of a side swept fringe I see appearing? I'm not sure how I feel about this... it's a bit too Verdasco for my liking. Then again, it could just be the sweat. It'd take A LOT of hair gel to tame that boy's hair!
Yup, he's certainly looking pretty cool this US Open.
9/10 (I'm not completely sold on the shoes)
My favourite lollies are Licorice Allsorts. They're sort of a mixed bag of different colours with no real pattern to what goes where. It's a combination that works with candy; you don't need lollies to look trendy they just need to taste good. It doesn't work so well with tennis outfits. You can't, for example, just grab a pair of red shoes, a grey pattered headband, a few blue wrist bands, some plain grey shorts and a boring white tee and expect it to look good. It will look mismatched and terrible EVEN if you put it on someone with a really nice body like Rafael Nadal.
Did Nike put any thought into this outfit AT ALL? Or did they just think that Nadal's abs and butt would do all the work for them??? Granted, Nadal doesn't look as terrible in this kit as say, Andreas Seppi would, but the fact that I can actually imagine Seppi in it says it all. And what's with the weird dot pattern on the back of the shirt? Did Nike think Nadal would be so bored with the competition he'd be playing join-the-dots on changeovers?
It's just not good enough for the tournament favourite. It's a lazy and uninspired outfit.
Juan Martin del Potro is wearing pink and doesn't he just look so pretty in it? The shade he is wearing is about as masculine as pink gets; it's a bright, fiery pink that looks almost red when wet with sweat. Nike have teamed it with a baby blue headband and it's a very original and sweet colour combination. Isn't he just so beautiful?
Unfortunately, Nike didn't stop at the shoulders. They decided the perfect shorts to offset this daring colour combination would be CHECKERED OLD MAN GOLF SHORTS. BECAUSE WHAT COULD BE SEXIER THAN CHECKERS IN BLUE AND GREY? Worse still, the wrist bands match the shorts not the headband and the shoes are a hideous mix of all of the above colours, which means delPo is pretty much wearing one kit on top and a completely different one down below! Personally, I would have chosen white shorts and wrist bands that match the headbands (seriously it's tennis fashion 101) and picked some white and baby blue shoes.
I don't understand what Nike is doing. It's like one person is designing the top half and another bottom half and the two people hate each other so they refuse to communicate. It's just a disaster.
5/10 (it is literally half good)
I've decided not to review Roger Federer this time, and it's not because he's the seventh seed (!) but because I'm sick to death of the blue Nike keep putting him in. So this is my form of protest. Instead we will look at Andy Murray, who Adidas have finally made look decent.
Unfortunately, Muzz is dressed in the same colours as Novak and Novak looks better. Murray's skin tone isn't quite as nice as Novak's, his outfit isn't quite as bright, and the design isn't quite as classy. It's a shame because this outfit would get higher marks if it wasn't in direct competition with Novak and Uniqlo. So what's wrong with it? Well the stripes across the front are baffling. I know there is a lot of pressure on designers to create original and bold designs, but this looks like someone has taped the top together with black electrical tape. The red is almost a shade of orange, and I'm not really a fan of indecisive colours (like bluegreen). The blue on the wrist bands annoys me too.
But I'm nitpicking; overall I'm a fan of this outfit and think it's a big improvement from what Murray has been wearing.
So that wraps it up. Who did you like best and who just looked god awful? Is there anyone you wish I'd reviewed instead? Radek Stepanek perhaps, or Lleyton Hewitt? Let us know in the comments below!