CROWD PLEASERS: An array of newsmakers was on hand to check out Serena Williams’ abbreviated catsuit at Monday’s opening night match at the U.S. Open. Spike Lee, Caroline Rhea, Liev Schreiber, Vanessa Williams, her husband Rick Fox, Robin Givens, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former mayor David Dinkins, and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly were there for the 21-year-old’s showdown with Corina Morariu. Bruce Springsteen nixed a surprise visit at the last minute, leaving Tony Bennett and Queen Latifah to entertain the crowd.
This story first appeared in the August 28, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Williams kept things jumping, and warmed up in her bodyhugging number with a black leather jacket and pink sneakers — all compliments of her sponsor Puma. She crowned her braided blonde hair with crystals.
Commentator Tracy Austin called the shots for the USA Network in a decidedly more conservative look. Her tangerine suit was one of 17 designed by George Simonton for the event’s coverage. When they met for the first time Monday night, he told her she could keep three outfits. Her reply? “Armani gave me 10,” referring to the Italian designer’s generosity when he outfitted her a few years back.
BOOK OF THE MONTH: First there was Andrew Morton’s Diana tome and now no one in London can resist commenting on Ken Wharfe’s just-released book on the late princess Diana — not even the Queen. Newspapers in London are reporting that Queen Elizabeth is “deeply concerned” and “very perturbed” about the effect the book, “Diana: Closely Guarded Secret,” will have on Prince William and Prince Harry. The papers said Prince Charles and the Queen talked about the book’s implications several times over the weekend, and Charles is currently trying to block the book’s serialization in The Sunday Times of London. A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman declined to comment. The book, written by one of Diana’s former bodyguards, gives details of the late princess’ love affairs, her mood swings and her late-night, holiday trysts while her young sons lay sleeping. Wharfe is currently on tour in the U.S. promoting the book, which is published by Michael O’Mara Books.
FENDI’S SOFT CELL: Fendi is no stranger to the movie world, having provided wardrobes over the years for such iconic film directors as Luchino Visconti and Federico Fellini, as well as a fur donned by Gwyneth Paltrow in “The Royal Tenenbaums.” But now he’s moving into modern accessories — at the Venice Film Festival next month, the designer will offer over 1,000 cell phone cases to celebrities attending the international competition. The transparent, plastic case will sport the double-F logo on the strap.