Tennis and fashion are a match in Paris Venus Williams of the U.S. returns the ball to Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova during their match at the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in 2010 (Reuters / AP photo)
Tennis and fashion are a match in Paris
Lexile

Well before Andre Agassi caused a stir with his stone-washed denim shorts at the French Open, the clay courts at Roland Garros in Paris were a sporting catwalk for fashion experimentation.

Tennis fashion has developed from the corset-less, flowing dress worn by "La Divine" Suzanne Lenglen and designed by French creator Jean Patou to the black-and-red outfit that Venus Williams wore and designed herself five years ago.

The tennis stadium located in the chic western district of the French capital has always been a fashion hotspot.

"Players want to show their personality through their clothes," former player Tatiana Golovin told The Associated Press. Now an exhibition is recounting the links between fashion and tennis at the Roland Garros museum.

The exhibit is called "Game, Set and Fashion." It has more than 60 pieces of women's and men's clothing on display, some that have never been shown before, as well as pictures, posters and a focus on the fashion designers who made tennis fashion.

There are dresses and shorts, some dating back to 1890. Also included are a lavish male tennis coat, autographed outfits by the likes of Steffi Graf and Williams and a collection of tennis shoes.

The 27-year-old Golovin, who ended her playing career early because of back problems, is the exhibition ambassador. She says she enjoyed wearing pretty clothes when she was on court. But she would not have sported Venus black-and-red outfit that brought more attention than her play at the 2010 French Open.

"I was a pundit for TV at the time and I remember the dress well," Golovin said.

Golovin is a fan of the tennis fashion from the 1960s, a period when British designer Ted Tinling created dresses with innovative shapes, frills and furbelows.

"The tennis fashion in the 60's was really audacious," Golovin said. "The dresses were already very short, there were lace shorts. There was elegance, but it was daring at the same time. Outfits are less feminine today, more sporty."

The French Open is due to start on Sunday, May 24.

Critical thinking challenge: Why would stone-washed denim shorts cause a stir?

Assigned 3 times


COMMENTS (7)
  • TreyvaunT
    5/22/2015 - 01:27 p.m.

    Why would you want to where fashionable uncomfortable clothes in any sport event? Sports you are suppose to be comfortable and able to move around quickly.

  • franklynm-Koc
    5/23/2015 - 03:20 p.m.

    My guess to the critical thinking question would be that the denim shorts would be out of style and uncomfortable to play in. As they said most players play in that skirt type dress why would someone play in a pair of acid washed denim shorts. From what ive seen most players play in the most comfortable clothes they can find even guys.

  • jennaw-Koc
    5/23/2015 - 03:58 p.m.

    There are dresses and shorts, some dating back to 1890. Also included are a lavish male tennis coat, autographed outfits by the likes of Steffi Graf and Williams and a collection of tennis shoes.
    The 27-year-old Golovin, who ended her playing career early because of back problems, is the exhibition ambassador. She says she enjoyed wearing pretty clothes when she was on court. But she would not have sported Venus black-and-red outfit that brought more attention than her play at the 2010 French Open.

  • jonahh-Koc
    5/26/2015 - 01:47 a.m.

    It would cause a roar because it is not normal tennis wear. Especially at a big contest like that. Denim is way out of its league with tennis

  • antonios-Koc
    5/26/2015 - 11:52 p.m.

    I never thought that fashion in a sport was so important that a museum would be dedicated to tennis fashion. Fashion tells a story through history, and in this case shows how the athletes evolve and change. Each player brings their personality and creativity to the court. I see how players want to be unique not only with their playing style but making a statement with what they wear to the game. New styles that are not commonly seen on the court get the attention of the fans and make athletes be remembered by more than their game!

  • ratiaira
    5/28/2015 - 09:58 a.m.

    i hate the sport tennis the game is basically useless to me but i love their outfits they are so cute it makes me some what want to watch tennis sometimes but i probably wont

  • Steve0620-yyca
    8/08/2016 - 06:23 p.m.

    Tennis and fashion have been going on for a long time. Tennis fashion has been going on even before the 1960s but the 1960s were when the fashion became innovative. People started to change how the dresses are shaped. Andre Agassi wore denim shorts and after, Venus wore her own designed red and black outfit. Many tennis players showed their personality through their clothes. It showed their style and what they liked. I did not know that there was tennis fashion going on.
    I think that stone-washed denim shorts would cause a stir because many people might like the fashion and style. If many people wore it, it could cause a trend. Many people might wear it because others are wearing it.

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