After Serena Williams wore a catsuit at this year’s French Open, the tournament’s president Bernard Guidicelli suspiciously enacted a new “dress code” for the following year. It felt like a direct response to Williams’ catsuit, which she wore to help with blood circulation and ward off the blood clots she’s struggled with since giving birth. And yet, Guidicelli said (via AP News) that the ensemble went “too far” and that “one must respect the game and the players.” Sure, Jan. In response to the catsuit ban, Williams turned up at the US Open in a tutu, because that is how you make a sartorial clapback.
According to InStyle, Williams’ look at Day 1 of the US Open included a Virgil Abloh-designed bodysuit, a black tulle tutu, and fishnet tights. How’s that for a “dress code” Mr. French Open president? The entire outfit was a collaboration between Nike and Abloh’s Off-White label and featured signature details, like her name written across her sleeve and on the soles of her shoes. Abloh shared an epic photo of her on his Instagram and captioned it: “Willing to design dresses for her for life.”
When the French Open president implemented the dress code, Williams was very diplomatic, but the rest of the tennis world wasn’t as kind. Legendary player Billie Jean King tweeted: “The policing of women’s bodies must end…Criticizing what she wears to work is where the true disrespect lies.”
We hope Williams continues to bring her signature flair to the court, and as Nike tweeted: “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers.”