Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Women's tennis fashion--Australian Open 2006

So has anyone else looked twice at some of the outfits female tennis players at this year's Australian Open (currently underway) are sporting? Nike's dress for women with little to no breasts is particularly curious. I have seen both Maria Sharapova and Karolina Sprem wearing it--in different colors. I thought it was cute at first but then the more I thought about it, the more it seemed quite infantilizing. I see that the high empire waist baby doll style is coming back this season but the combination of the style and the color choice (pinky/purplely and light blueish) make them look like baby doll pajamas. In their alleged cuteness they simultaneously suggest a naive sexuality that is apparently sexy--especially when very long, tanned, toned (and of course hairless) legs emerge from underneath these outfits. Of course Nike's line is available to the public and I wonder how many women will be buying up these dresses for their weekly doubles matches the club--and of course how silly most of them will look in them. On another fashion note, it appears high fashion has come to the courts in Melbourne. Another "Russian beauty" not nearly as famous as Sharapova, is wearing Stella McCartney on the court. I guess Nike, Reebok, Adidas, etc. are just not couture enough for Maria Kirilenko. It could be a whole different corporate game if the players opt for designers rather than big-name companies. Of course if the big-name companies are smart they will just hire some of these designers (i.e. Tommy Hilfiger for Reebok or Donna Karan for Adidas). Maybe the tennis court will be the new catwalk.

PS Well a little research prior to this post would have gone a long way. Kirilenko is signed with Adidas which has a relationship with McCartney who has already designed several lines of sport performance design for other sports including swimming. Check out the 2006 spring/summer line--some of it is really cute though the pictures don't provide a whole lot of close-up details. I don't know where one buys it though. Now I wonder which designer and which sportswear company is next...

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