There are perfectly good celebrity style moments, and then there are the looks that really stick with you, the ones you try desperately to recreate at home. In ‘Great Outfits in Fashion History,’ Fashionista editors are revisiting their all-time favorite lewks.
Serena Williams is no stranger to a statement style moment, and she’s known for routinely wearing bedazzled, artful, creative manicures both on the court and off. Her penchant for nail art even inspired her to get trained as a nail tech back in 2010. It’s tough to choose a favorite of her many excellent nail looks over the years, but one that stands out for its pure delightfulness was the more recent koala-adorned look she chose for the 2020 Australian Open in Melbourne.
As seen in the photos shown here — captured during her Women’s Singles second round match against Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia — the extended coffin-tip French incorporates multicolored tips, crystal embellishment and a cute li’l koala on the accent nail. It truly doesn’t get more delightful than that.
Beyond the fact that Williams seems to just have so much fun with her nail designs, there’s also a cultural significance to them that’s hard to ignore: Female athletes — particularly Black female athletes — often come under unfair scrutiny for their appearance, especially when they’re thought to be wearing something “flashy” or somehow out of place in the sporting world. By going all-in on long nails with anything-but-subtle designs, Williams is helping upend stereotypes about what athletes and tennis players “should” wear (and, not to mention, offering up some creative-as-hell beauty inspo for us all).
It’s as though Flo Jo — the legendary 1980s Olympic track and field athlete who famously wore four-inch long nails (and faced cruel criticism for it) while competing — walked (uh, ran?) so that Williams could soar. Love to see it.
While I couldn’t find any koala-adorned press-ons to help re-create Williams’s look at home, I did round up a handful of other colorful, creative options to try out. Click through the gallery below to see (and shop!) ’em all.
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