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Slam Style Seeds: Fashionable French Fancies (Part II)

While the top ATP players may have breezed through the opening rounds, the stars of the WTA have found things a little more difficult in heading to the second week of Roland Garros. Five of the world’s Top 10 are left fighting for the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen — who will reign victorious come next Sunday?

Part II of Slam Style Seeds explores Nike’s colour palette déjà vu, the lithe all-black ninja army of Y-3 for Adidas, and a sparkly sequin dress to put Beyoncé to shame. See who made our Best and Worst Dressed list in our edit below and check out Part I to see how the ATP faired in this stylish war.

Best Dressed

Maria Sharapova

Channeling Breton stripes inspired by French fashion maverick Jean Paul Gaultier — though this outfit wouldn’t get clocked at a Sailor Moon convention — the reigning French Open champion has been carving her way through the draw in a signature Maria Paris Tunic that features a micro-pleat skirt and striped side panels. It’s been fairly chilly in Paris over the past week, hence why Sharapova has decided to sport a charming Breton Printed Baseline 3/4 top in nautical shades of white and blue legend.

Completing her look is a pair of NikeCourt x collette shoes in Sharapova’s typically favoured Zoom Vapor 9 Tour’s imprinted with a hidden insole quote, “I am not the next anyone, I am the first Maria Sharapova.

Ana Ivanovic

Adidas debuted their Y-3 line — in collaboration with Japanese designer, Yohji Yamamoto — during the lead-up to the French Open this spring. On the clay courts of Paris, the likes of 2014’s runner up Simona Halep, 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic and hometown favorite Kristina Mladenovic have been donning pieces from the collection, designed with texture and performance in mind.

The Roland Garros Y-3 On-Court Dress lands itself on our Best Dressed list this week for its form-fitting silhouette, clever mesh overlays and chic colorway of all black — oh, and let’s not forget those Japanese flower print ball shorts and bandanas of course.

Petra Kvitova

The Czech leftie looks fighting fit since her comeback this spring, already cleaning up a Premier clay court title at the Mutua Madrid Open in the lead-up to the French Open. This Nike two-piece outfit consists of a striped Summer Advantage Cool Tank featuring a racerback design in shades of hot lava and fuchsia glow, along with a merrowed-hem Summer Victory Skirt in similar complimentary shades, is somewhat flattering given Kvitova’s new svelte silhouette.

That being said, a fair few Nike girls — nay clones — have been sporting the matchy-matchy outfit at this year’s championships. So whilst Kvitova may have made the Best Dressed list this year, it’s not without apprehension — given the sea of hot lava and fuchsia glow we’ve come to witness.

Exhibit A:

Nike certainly needs to step up their game and provide a little more variety.

Angie Kerber

Given Kerber’s successful clay court campaign prior to the French Open, it’s surprising we don’t find her in the last 16 at this year’s championships. The German was outpunched by the feisty Spaniard — and last year’s quarterfinalist — Garbiñe Muguruza, in a well contested three-setter.

Still, her Adidas All Premium separates were a winner in on-court style, with a two-piece outfit in flash orange and night sky — detailed with skirt pleating and mesh neckline that provided a perfect marriage with the rich red clay.

Alizé Cornet

As is customary with most Slam Style Seeds roundups, we thought it would be best to include a Frenchwoman to cap off this week’s Best Dressed list.

And who is more deserving that the often animated (and slightly dramatic) Alizé Cornet? Whilst she’s been entertaining her home crowd with tumbles and emphatic victory reactions galore, the former No. 11 has been seen sporting Lacoste’s spring line in shades of laser blue that works beautifully against the clay. Cornet’s tank features a keyhole cutout along with a contrast quarter-zip entry with bonded binding, paired with a pleated skirt and matching visor.

Worst Dressed

Serena Williams

The top seed’s 2014 US Open dress and 2015 Australian dress decided to consummate their relationship. Four months later, the 2015 French Open dress was born.

While Nike is usually successful at capturing the world  No. 1’s vibrant off-court style and penchant for risqué designs, this year’s offering is just in bad taste. Williams began the week covered up in a Baseline 1/2 Zip top in Nike’s familiar fuchsia glow shade, and when paired with what was believed to be a rehashed leopard print skirt from last year, the overall look drew critics’ attention. Serena was quoted at the Australian Open saying that we would be seeing “a lot of back” this season, yet the spaghetti strap design — successful in zingy yellow down under — looks a little clumsy on Serena’s frame this week.

One redeeming element to the American’s outfit is her shoes, though rarely sold for retail, which have been reworked into a peach and fuchsia colorway.

Victoria Azarenka

Another Nike victim at the French Open — unsurprisingly so — was Victoria Azarenka. The Belorussian is used to being dressed in some fairly polarizing designs, and this week’s offering was the rebirth of the former No. 1 in shorts. We’re pretty tired of repeating the word fuchsia glow in this post, but Azarenka decided to go all out and wear the color on every spec of clothing. She donned a Printed Baseline 3/4 top, similar to Sharapova, in Nike’s secondary colorway printed with hot lava stripes. Nike completed Azarenka’s outfit was a pair of Summer Ace Court Shorts in, you guessed it, fuchsia glow.

But there may be a fan after all. Following Azarenka’s dramatic third round loss to Williams, the two exchanged pleasantries in the locker room, with the two-time Australian Open winner quoted saying:

Followed by a nod of approval from the American herself.

It seems the two are a match made in bad-taste heaven…

Agnieszka Radwanska

Raise your hand if you’re disappointed that we didn’t get to see Radwanska’s dress sparkle in the Parisian sunlight!

Alas, the dress that cost the lives a thousand sequins failed to make it past the first round, but perhaps we’re all the more grateful for it. Lotto have a knack for debuting rather interesting designs for the Pole to don at Roland Garros.

Remember the peony garden dress of 2014?

When the images of Radwanska’s dress emerged online, we assumed it was a hoax. But low and behold the Lotto Women’s Lux Diamond Dress was fully realized in technical sequin-like fabric. Unfortunately for Radwanska, she didn’t quite live up to Lotto’s Rihanna-style tagline, “shine bright like a diamond.”

Misaki Doi

Though we give a nod to Misaki Doi for wearing a brand as exclusive as Srixon — favored widely on the professional golf tour — that still doesn’t mean we appreciate their design efforts for the Japanese left-hander. Doi’s steel embossed separates were certainly welcome between the sea of neon Nike brights and sickly Adidas yellows, but this combo fails to impress thanks to both a rather shapeless silhouette and a gaudy pattern.

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Where else would Kuznetsova rank in our Slam Style Seeds roundup other than on the Worst Dressed list? Her brand sponsor, Qiaodan marketed on basketball legend, Michael Jordan have triumphed and failed spectacularly when kitting out the Russian at the slams over the past few seasons. Kuznetsova’s slam separates this week were particularly unflattering, more so than usual. And that’s mainly due to an ill-fitting pleated skirt with unfortunate contrast piping directly above the crotch region. Add a peplum tank on top of that and what results is an awkwardly proportioned tennis outfit. Still, the shade of turquoise is pretty.

Who made your best and worst dressed lists? Sound off in the comments!

About Christopher Prince (36 Articles)
Fashion writer by day, tennis reporter by well also day but it's night given the time difference. You know when you wake up like dis, and you're flawless? Yeah that's me. @cosmicvoices

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