Following the controversial French Open ban of Serena Williams' “superhero” catsuit (which, aside from looking cool as hell, was literally worn to keep her healthy and help avoid life-threatening, post-pregnancy blood clots), the tennis player took to the court for Day One of the U.S. Open yesterday in another brilliant sports style moment. With no replay allowed for her iconic all-in-one outfit, Williams instead opted for a piece from the Nike, Serena Williams and Virgil Abloh collaboration.
For her first game of the tournament, the Wimbledon winner walked onto the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday wearing the Off-White x Nike Queen Collection asymmetrical ballet dress. Upon arrival, she styled the piece with a custom-made black leather biker jacket from the designer, and co-ordinated tennis holdall bag with the words “AKA QUEEN” suitably emblazoned across the front.
Williams’ dress featured a one-shoulder silhouette, with a long left sleeve and a sheer sleeveless cut on the right, as well as the all-important, layered short tulle ballet skirt. Speaking about their collaboration, designer Abloh previously described how his creation was perfect for the player.
"The dress is feminine, but combines her aggression. It's partially revealing. It's asymmetrical. It has a sort of ballerina-esque silhouette to symbolize her grace," said Abloh in a press release. "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.”
Serena’s French Open catsuit, which had become a symbol of strength and resilience for the player, was banned by French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli. The official called out Williams for her one-piece, and accused of her of going “too far”. “It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place,” he told Tennis Magazine.
But being a badass dancer/tennis player hybrid clearly worked out pretty well for Serena, and the new dress may just be her lucky charm. She raced through her first-round encounter against Magda Linette of Poland with 6-4, 6-0 in 70 minutes, in a victory that even warranted a prima ballerina-inspired pose for the crowds. We love a multi-faceted sports queen.