Fashion week took an athletic stride last night at the EleVen by Venus Williams Spring/Summer 2013 preview in NYC. No starving models on this catwalk. Beautiful, healthy bodies rode stationary bikes, jumped rope, played tennis, danced and did some crazy-athletic kind of yoga.
Athletes in the house included Venus of course, Michael Olajid, Leila Fazel, Mitchell Kelly, Albert Evans, and fellow U.S. Olympians Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer. André Leon Talley was there as well though, and event sponsor Grey Goose served up fanciful cocktails, reminders that, indeed, this was a house of fashion.
Looks like Venus really gets it. Her sportwear is all about performance, looking good while working out, being comfortable moving without garment let downs, and feeling like an individual. Although rooted in tennis whites, there are solids and prints, springy aqua and peach pastels, and playful black graphics, Extra pretty was a floral print inspired by Monet's Giverny garden (Venus holds it above).
New fabrications include chambray which lends a fashion forward aesthetic to classic sportswear silhouettes such as the tennis dress and performance jacket. The fabrics also feature technical elements including moisture management and UV protection. “I wanted the fabrics in my collection to do more than just look good,” said Williams.
There are a wide variety of styles, all of which can be used for multiple activities, something that the show's performers illustrated nicely.
Williams has also expanded her mix for men. Here Venus says “...I started with classic whites and added a fresh color palette marked by black, peacock blue and acid yellow.” The men’s line offers a range of silhouettes and designs punctuated by nods to the polished, expertly tailored look of classic tennis wear.
Lookin' good V...and your little Harold Reginald too.