NEW YORK — With the Williams sisters sidelined with injuries, the U.S. Open’s fashion quota is lacking, according to a few designers.

Oleg Cassini, a top-ranked Italian tennis player in the Thirties, said, “The sisters have put quite a lot of energy and new ideas into what women can wear. With the others, it’s helter-skelter. There doesn’t seem to be any code of dressing.”

For example, Cassini didn’t like the look of Jennifer Capriati’s star-studded Fila dress.

“I’m still comparing what used to be to what is,” he said. “Jennifer Capriati did not look like she was wearing a tennis dress. When you allow people to go on their own, there’s no uniformity.”

Cassini was hard-pressed to come up with any standouts at the Open so far.

“I can’t say there’s been one example of a terrific outfit. Some of them succeed from day to day,” he said. “It’s exactly what’s happening with fashion. It’s driven by personal direction rather than the code of dressing.”

With the exception of Maria Sharapova’s “refreshing” pink dress, Nicole Miller has not been impressed with the attire on the courts.

“For the most part, they all look too athletic. They all look like sneakers in a way with all the stripes down the sde and the obvious trim,” she said. “It would be nice to see more patterns and offbeat colors.”

Miller also suggested players wear boy-leg shorts or longer shorts under their skirts and dresses.

Courtside for Monday’s opening night matches, Josie Natori praised Amanda Liu for her navy and white classic look — a Nike top and skirt — but was less impressed with top-seed Kim Clijsters’ sky blue and white “grungy” Fila outfit.

“I like women to look like women, but at the same time they have to be practical,” Natori said. “Sometimes there’s too much overtness. At the end, they’re playing a game, not strutting their bodies.”

The Williams sisters will be missed by the crowds, even though some of their outfits are a little much, Natori said. It’s good to see more attention being paid to tenniswear, as evidenced by Diane Von Furstenberg’s Reebok designs for Venus Williams, Natori said.“In some ways, fashion is giving tennis its thunder,” Natori said. “Female players are combining their muscle with power, but they’re still trying to be highly fashionable.”

But when it comes to tennis, she still favors the classics. “I’m from the old school,” she added. “I love white. Chris Everet always dressed properly, but nicely.”

Olympic figure skater and activewear designer Oksana Baiul was also on hand for the opening-night festivities. While she was more caught up in the fanfare than the fashion, Clijsters earned points from Baiul for her attire.

“I cried when Pete Sampras announced he was retiring,” said Baiul, who is trying to make a comeback. “As for how the fashion goes, I liked the outfits accented with piping and contrasting color combinations. My favorite combo was black and white.”

USA Network’s coverage of the event has a few stylish elements. Nicole Miller has provided all of the outfits for announcer Tracy Austin, while Anna Kournikova, a special correspondent for the network, is adding her own flair.

Tennis whites were not required at Nike’s party Saturday night at Lot 61 here. Mary Jo Fernandez, Alexandra Stevenson, Ashley Harkelroad were some of the Nike-sponsored athletes who stopped by the bash, which celebrated 30 years of innovation. Along with all the other minors, Harkelroad was carded at the door and slapped with a wristband to ensure she wouldn’t be served.

To Read the Full Article
SUBSCRIBE NOW

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus