Besides fighting with the Australian sun in who will shine brighter and force spectators to put their shades on faster, the new Nike collection is also perplexing us tennis fashion enthusiasts with some major tweaks their top representatives Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova have made to the planned Australian Open designs.
Let's first see how Serena describes her new dress in a nutshell:
One peanut and I'm going to break the dress, so I try not to eat that much.
The five-time Australian Open champion won her first official WTA match of the season in just 61 minutes, defeating Alison Van Uytvanck in the first round on Margaret Court Arena, and while her solid performance was no surprise, her back-revealing dress sure was. Both the advertised version of Serena's Nike Spring Slam Tunic and the item available at retail don't have the back that is open that much and especially not that much that the cut goes all the way towards abs. Other features such as the spaghetti straps and contract hem with small splits stayed the same.
Serena has now officially announced in her post-match interview that Nike is parting ways with boring designs (and, truth be told, we saw quite enough of them in the recent past years), and is going for more adventurous styles, that will concentrate on bold back designs, something that has been a major trend in women's tennis fashion since last year (browse through my 2014 Fashion Retrospections and you'll see a wide variety of back designs in all brands).
Throughout the years we went for a more conservative look. This year we really wanted to bring out a powerful woman and a strong woman, like I said. You can be beautiful and powerful at the same time. So what we at Nike wanted to do was to focus on beautiful back. So kind of a lot of my outfits this year are really based on the beauty of and the shape of the back, which a lot of people don't think about.
On the other hand, Sharapova decided to tone down her Nike Spring Maria OZ Premier Dress, which originally has a bold cutout at mid-back, while she shrunk it considerably for her Australian Open 2015 opening victory against Petra Martic on Day 1.
Victoria Azarenka made no major fashion surprises in her juicy first-round match-up with Sloane Stephens, wearing her Nike Spring Advantage Printed Tank, but she did make a slight switch, not opting for the printed Nike Spring Victory Printed Skirt, rather for a bright solid piece. Have you noticed?
Last year we also had some personal modifications in the Nike club. Remember how Sharapova got rid of the draped mesh back of her Nike Summer Premier Maria Tank that she wore in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome.
After all, these are the biggest WTA stars, how can they wear something that is not personalized!
Check out my comprehensive overview of the Nike collection for the 2015 Australian Open. (photos: Mark Kolbe, Clive Brunskill/Getty Images, Jason Lockett/Tennis Australia, Jimmie48)