by André Leon Talley From Vogue Magazine 09/14/2010
I have been spending a lot of time with Serena Williams these days, looking quite wonderful. At the U.S. Open, she wore a fabulous red dress from her collection Serena Williams Signature Statement to watch her sister Venus play in the quarterfinals. At the FNO Fashion Show at Lincoln Center, she showed up in an elegant ivory John Galliano dress with towering Christian Louboutins. On Fashion’s Night Out last Friday, we crawled through the throngs of people outside Prada on Fifth Avenue. Williams, wearing the house’s brown-plaid silk and radzimir dress—the Prada dress of the season—and Judy-Garland-ruby-red YSL platforms, had never been to the store and was amazed at the circular glass elevator. The Tennis Channel showed up to film us, and between takes, Williams tried on a black recycled-goatskin coat, picked up a great red bag for her agent, Jill Smoller, and ordered another plaid dress, this one also brown with white ruffles.
Over the weekend, while covering the chiffon trenches, I had a divine-inspiration moment: Serena should walk in LaQuan Smith’s show! I vetted the idea with the designer, whose first diffusion line last season was inspired by the Williams sisters’ style on the courts. “I love Serena,” he said, “and I love her body.” So, she makes her Fashion Week runway debut tomorrow at LaQuan’s show, at the Peninsula Hotel at 1 p.m.