The French Open 2021 tennis competition is underway in Paris, France now through Sunday, June 13th; among the competitors, tennis superstar Serena Williams who has also made her mark on the tennis courts around the world with her tennis outfits. Ms. Williams tennis style is included in a new book, “Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960” by Kevin L. Jones and Christina M. Johnson. The book looks at examples of clothing that allowed women to walk freely and compete in sports previously restricted to men.
We see the glorious book, which is part of a Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising three-year-long traveling exhibition that begins Saturday, July 3 in Pittsburgh, PA with stops in Memphis, TN; Davenport, IA; Utica, NY; Cincinnati, OH; Jacksonville, FL and returns to Los Angeles the Fall of 2024.
The book offers a stunning visual record of the evolution of women’s sporting attire during nearly two centuries. With selections from Keds, Pendleton, and Spalding and garments by Coco Chanel, Claire McCardell, and Jean Patou, among many others, it features familiar names in fashion, as well as significant rediscoveries. At the intersection of the history of fashion and feminism, Sporting Fashion highlights the extraordinary impact of new technologies and evolving social mores on women’s clothing for sport. It explores how the basic forms of women’s sportswear we know today–from swimsuits to sneakers–were developed during a time when women were achieving more freedom. Full-color illustrations of sport and leisure ensembles are included, along with magazine spreads and archival images.
In thematic sections, the authors examine the ways women entered into the sporting world–from traveling to calisthenics, motorcycling to promenading. The book looks at examples of clothing that allowed women to walk freely and compete in sports previously restricted to men. It explores how designers reacted to and encouraged the growing acceptance of exposed skin at public beaches and pools–and how cold weather fashion made its way onto the slopes and ice. Never before have the garments that defined women’s roles as both spectators and athletes been presented on this scale and in such detail.
(Published with the American Federation of Arts and the FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising/Los Angeles)
“Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960” by Kevin L. Jones, Christina M. Johnson and Foreword by Serena Williams.
Published with the American Federation of Arts and the FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising/Los Angeles
Gayle Anderson reports for the KTLA 5 News on May 25, 2021.