Melbourne Fashion Week has hit town ahead of its scheduled date of 14th March, with the arrival of 128 budding champions, fighting for the Daphne Akhurst Trophy & the LTB Fabulous Frock Award.
As the first Grand Slam of the season unfolds Down Under, back in the UK, under duvets, blankets, coats, scarves, hats, gloves and water bottles, we can admire the summer style from the comfort of our winter home.
With defending champion Serena Williams out of the tournament with a foot injury, the field is fairly open. Keeping the William’s title spirits and fashion finesse up is Venus Williams, once again in one of her unique EleVen creations. The dress, which has been described by some as akin to the Argentinean football colours, is striking blue and silver/white horizontal stripes.
Luckily, Venus is tall enough to carry off the look that would surely show off any ‘vertically challenged’ players’ extra Christmas weight. The dress which she marched comfortably through to the second round was rather short and thus required a lot of time adjusting, almost as bad as Rafa and his tight shorts. The zip detail down the front gives it an edgy look, something we’ve come to expect of the American star.
Maria Sharapova, one of only two former champions in the draw (Justine Henin is the other), has a completely new look for 2011 – new contract for Head rackets, new Nike shoes, New Tiffany earrings designed by Frank Gehry and, as with all slams, a new stunning dress.
Maria who takes inspiration for her outfits from street style, is sporting fresh colours – grey mixed with orange. If you’re wishing to splash out on the earrings, it might be wise to save up first, the leaf shaped set costs a mere US$2,850!
The 2004 Australian Open champion Justine Henin is once again in her favourite separates. White adidas shirt and skirt with red and green collar/sleeve detail, reminiscent of the Italian national flag.
Green is a big colour on both the men’s and women’s tournaments. Kim Clijsters outplayed former world number one Dinara Safina in a full on green Fila rather unflattering ensemble. However, Kim’s track top in navy, white and green was smart as she was interviewed by Jim Courier post match.
Even Andy Murray, perhaps green with envy for Rafa and Roger’s slam titles, has turned up in green adidas outfit, quite radical for the Scottish ace.
Although Dinara didn’t get to stay on court for long, (Kim trounced her love and love in less than 45 minutes), she was wearing a rather cute Sergio Tacchini outfit. Smart white separates were finished off with a black and gold trim.
Stella McCartney’s tennis muse and top seed Caroline Wozniacki wore a new creation that I haven’t quite figured out yet whether I like or not. Reminiscent of a ballet dress or a slip you would wear under another dress, the light white adidas dress with a pleated skirt is surely feminine but looks paper thin.
Jelena Jankovic is pretty in a plain pink dress from her Chinese Anta collection. The Serbian number 7 seed has only played two matches so far this season so she will be looking to improve round by round in Melbourne.
So, who deserves the LTB Fabulous Frock Award for the first Slam on 2011? I have to say, its been a tough call. Caroline’s ballet number is growing on me and resembles the ballet-esque styles of former tennis fashion queen Suzanne Lenglen. Maria’s grey and orange creation is sophisticated and flattering.
However, on this occasion, I am going to award the LTB Fabulous Frock Award to our very own Anne Keothavong for her purple Wilson dress. The black, white and blue lines are striking and elongate the body, thus suiting shorter people who want to give off the illusion of being taller. Shame Annie couldn’t make it to the third round but well done on getting so far through the qualifying.
I didn’t think there was a dress that was deemed Frumpy (what were you thinking) Frock but then I saw Venus’ second dress (she seems to be doing this a lot at the slams) and I thought to myself – Venus, what WERE you thinking of? I’m not quite sure what inspired Venus on this occasion but the mustard half dress half vested dress with patterned detail on the skirt is bizarre. Who knows what she’ll wear next.
Until Paris, goodbye tennis fashionistas!! Mwah!