She’s an expensive creature the Altuzarra woman. Just look at her in that rich tobacco suede shirtdress. Evenwhen she adopts a touch of seersucker pastel gingham, it’s done so in a lean pencil skirt suit and comes over as more pristine than picnic, because well, everything is this woman’s wardrobe is pristine: from the series of lattice leather vests and pencil skirts (meticulously bonded and grommeted together by hand and worn with nothing underneath but a monied suntan) to those silky shirt dresses with slits up to there (few could execute such slashes without proceedingsturning unsavoury).
Altuzarra is expert at dressing his woman. Those shirt dresses are a favourite of his, so too those wrap-around skirts with ribbon streams and ties, and disrupted blanket stripes on slubbed linen car coats. “Rosemary’s Baby and Barry Lyndon were the starting points for this collection,” reveals the designer. “I became interested in the idea of a sinister and undone prettiness and romance, ill-fated and doomed.”
Certainly there was a romance to his series of wafting eveningwear; wisp-thin and sail-like in volume in a manipulated ikat print, and elsewhere, slithers of black silk slip dresses were trimmed in tiny dangling seed pearls; Altuzarra said he wanted to evoke ideas in 17th century jewellery and adornment.
Roland Garros French Open started last weekend here in Paris and I am already getting excited about that final on centre court! After watching Federer winning on a screen under the Eiffel Tower along with thousands of other people picnicking in the sun the excitement of the tournament has increased significantly for me.
Having worked at Wimbledon for the last four years as a ball girl turned court coverer the Roland Garros seems a completely different competition. The first and maybe most obvious is the choice of outfits that the players choose to wear. At Wimbledon the players are made to follow extremely strict rules such as:
1) Competitors must be dressed in suitable tennis attire that is almost entirely white and this applies from the point at which the player enters the court surround. 2) White does not include off white or cream. 3) There should be no solid mass or panel of colouring. A single trim of colour around the neckline and around the cuff of the sleeve is acceptable but must be no wider than one centimetre (10mm).
Even Roger Federer himself last year has some telling off as the soles of his all white shoes that matched his all white outfit had too much orange on them – naughty. Seems a little extreme but it does make the tournament more about the tennis. For the Roland Garros tournament in Paris it is all about the fashion from Serena Williams’s penchant for bright geometric headbands to Thanasi Kokkinakis’s full-throttle neon get-ups. Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova are also two tennis players who became almost as famous for what they would wear on the court as they were for their stellar performances. While Kournikova favored short, tight, and midriff baring outfits, Sharapova designed all of her uniforms, adding menswear elements and Swarovski crystals. Venus and Serena Williams constantly present outlandish outfits that demanded attention on the court—red and black lace dresses and sparkly catsuits, to name a few. And although in abiding by the longstanding rules, the sisters wore whites at Wimbledon, they still found a way, through revealing cuts and embellishments, to make their uniforms stand out.
2015 Grand Slam Tournaments
09/01/2015 Australian Open – Melbourne, Australia (Hard) | Prize Money Aus$ 17,768,600
25/05/2015 Roland Garros – Paris, France (Clay) | Prize money € 13,008,000
29/06/2015 Wimbledon – London, England (Grass) | Prize money £12,568,000
31/08/2015 US Open – New York, USA (Hard) | Prize money TBC
Even if you’re not going to Wimbledon this year, popping to Paris for Roland Garross or taking a well deserved city break for the US Open, you can bring the tennis action to you – through your wardrobe choices. They don’t all have to be overt tennis references. Think about adding a dropped-waist dress into your repertoire or an umpire-style jacket, a pleated skirt, a hoodie and of course some shorts.
As long as you look the part no one will ever know if you can actually play the part!
As with any sweeping trend, this one started with Rihanna. During the Fall 2014 shows, the pop songstress’ first true show season tour de force, Rihanna arrived at the Dior presentation in Paris in a showstopping slipdress paired with thigh-high stockings, dripping diamond jewelry, and donning a red furry coat to match her crimson lipstick. It was a look that caused a minor Internet riot, though while many freaked over her sultry style, the element of her outfit that really took off was the Dior So Real mirrored sunglasses perched on her visage. The reflective and bridgeless specs became an overnight sensation. Editors bought them, bloggers styled them, and Rihanna fans at home coveted them. A year later, and the style is still one of Dior’s most popular, stocked by many retailers in a variety of colours.
Knowing Donatella Versace’s love of balls-out rock, thinking back to the Versus show in New York and St. Vincent’s storming performance at the after-party, it’s easy to assume that what Donatella was a direct reflection of her recent experiences. Straightforward silhouettes, bold color, and no embellishment added up to her strongest collection in a long time. She didn’t need to fanny around with eveningwear. That’s what couture is for. Instead, she offered a starkly modernist, color-blocked, crystal mesh take on cocktail dresses (the kind of cocktail that will carry you through till dawn—and a lifetime of regret).
True, the crystal mesh was a slam dunk in the vein of vintage Versace, but the real achievements of this collection lay elsewhere: in the comparatively quiet sophistication of the prints, the Warholian reconceptualization of the house’s Medusa signature, the motif of rings artfully dissected with real metal. And in the hyper-athleticism of pared-back pieces bifurcated by angular graphic sashes. Or in the peculiar, naive energy of sharp black tailoring defined by oversize white stitching. It was like there had been some kind of overlay on Versace, a sensibility that was slightly to the left of the label’s tradition. Slinky sexy, yes, but also fiercely don’t-give-a-damn physical.