Reuters - Wed, 26 May 18:46:00 2010
Before sticking to the strict all-white dress code at Wimbledon next month, Venus Williams is indulging in some risque French cancan in Paris.
The American's black lace corset resembling an offcast from the nearby Moulin Rouge cabaret has been the talk of the French Open, and the accompanying tight skin-coloured knickers have raised just as many dumbstruck glares.
The second seed's 6-2 6-4 second-round win over Spain's Arantxa Parra Santonja was very much a secondary issue for many on Wednesday.
"The design has nothing to do with the rear. It just so happens that I have a very well developed one," she chuckled during her post-match press conference.
The opening Wednesday at Roland Garros is traditionally when Parisian schoolchildren are given priority for tickets, and they and their teachers almost got even more than they bargained for as the unconvincing red straps to Venus's dress threatened to reveal yet more of the American.
The world number two wore the outfit for the first time at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami earlier this year and she uses her daring court appearances to promote her own line of fashions.
"It's really about the illusion. Like you can wear lace, but what's the point of wearing lace when there's just black under," she added.
"The illusion of just having bare skin is definitely for me a lot more beautiful. So it's really not about anything else other than just that skin showing."
Venus, who seems to prefer to talk fashion than tennis, believes her outfit is the symbol of her personality.
"I try to represent what I think my personality is on the court. That's the first part of it," she said.
"The second part is sometimes you just dream it up. Sometimes you can see a dress and say, 'Hey, I really like those slits, so let me put that in my tennis dress'."