Serena Williams has responded to French Open officials criticising her clothing at Roland Garros in the most Serena Williams way possible. By playing her opening match of the US Open in a tutu. And winning in straight sets, no less.
Earlier this week, French Open officials stated that certain outfits would be banned next year, including Williams’ catsuit. You know, the one inspired by Black Panther, the one that she said made her feel like a warrior, and was made out of compression fabric that helped her body deal with life-threatening blood clots when she gave birth.
“I believe we have sometimes gone too far,” French Tennis Federation president, Bernard Giudicelli said. “Serena’s outfit this year, for example, would no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place.” The only disrespect I see is the French Open’s policing of women’s bodies, but sure.
Williams herself has said she’s not too bothered by the catsuit ban, because “obviously, the Grand Slams have a right to do what they want to do,” she said at a press conference at the US Open on Saturday. “I feel like if and when, or if they know that some things are for health reasons, then there’s no way they wouldn’t be ok with it. So I think it’s fine.”
Williams said, “When it comes to fashion, you don’t want to be a repeat offender.” So she did what any queen would do.
She took to the court at Flushing Meadows in a black, one-shoulder tutu. Unsurprisingly, Williams' fans are big supporters of the tutu. Williams herself appeared completely unfazed by the French Open remarks, beating Poland's Magda Linette, 6-4, 6-0.
The tutu was designed by Virgil Abloh for Nike’s new Queen collection. Abloh, an American designer and artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collection has been collaborating with Williams for this new collection for Nike.
“So the dress is feminine, but combines her aggression,” Abloh said in earlier this month. “It’s partially revealing. It’s asymmetrical. It has a sort of ballerina-esque silhouette to symbolise her grace. It’s not about bells and whistles and tricks. It’s just about it living on the body, and expressing Serena’s spirit with each swing of the racket.”
According to Williams, “when I teamed up with Virgil and he pulled out his tutu, I was like, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for." Us too.
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