There is no sport like tennis for fashion stories. The classic example has to be the lace trimmed knickers worn by “Gorgeous Gussie Moran at the 1949 Wimbledon Championships. As Elizabeth Wilson wrote in Love Game, her cultural history of tennis “the panties remained -front page news in newspapers and magazines on both sides of the Atlantic for weeks”.
Even the recent French Open had its answer to Moran’s knickers in the rather bulkier shape of Stan Wawrinka’s pink tartan shorts- like their barrel- chested owner- proved unexpectedly well suited to athletic endeavour. Wawrinka celebrated his memorable win over Novak Djokovic by draping a pair over the interview desk afterwards.
Over all though, the economics of mass production has squeezed the life out of this once fascinating arena. It is hard to think of a truly individual styling that has set the world alight in recent years- at least not since Nike helped create Rafael Nadal’s pirate pants and Roger Federer’s white tuxedo. Compare this with the gorgeous vintage photographs in Ben Rothenberg’s new book The Stylish life: Tennis, and you have to wonder where the next eye catching out fit is coming from.
The last time I was at Wimbledon for the Championships I stayed at the Browns hotel in London. The Browns first opened its doors on Albemarle street in 1837 it is located in Mayfair and is moments away from all the boutiques on bond street. A major plus for me any day for great shopping. When I got there they had a problem with the hot water. Being one of England’s oldest hotels this is understandable. But no worries they graciously drove me to the nearby Mayfair hotel twice to use their facilities. This is what I love about England the hospitality was great and I got to experience not one but two great hotels. Real great adventure in my book.
We had a reception at the hotel that was hosted by Stan Smith who won the men’s single at Wimbledon in 1976. He gave great insight as to how the game had changed over the years and the big differences in the build of the players today versus the past.
For the event I wore this Versace ensemble one of my favorite due to the bold colors and use of mixed media so in tune with the more is more mantra of the house.