This is Past And Present. The ultimate challenge to see
how fashion has helped sport move forward to this day. We travel all around the globe
to challenge six athletes and six designers to make
an old garment and test it
under today’s conditions. Let’s see what happens
when past and present collide. This is Racha, born in Djibuti
and raised in Japan, travelled to Canada to study
and finally moved to Paris. Racha is a fashion designer
who graduated from Esmod, the first and oldest
fashion design school in the world. In this place, the centimetre and
the mannequin were invented. Racha also has
an entire collection based on the 1920s. That’s why we chose her
to recreate an iconic garment of the golden age
of tennis. (THE EVOLUTION) There was a time when women
practised their backhand not in neon spandex,
but wearing laced-up corsets, court-length skirts,
lady-like slippers and even, on occasion,
a well-placed fur. The Roaring Twenties
said goodbye to the clothing restrictions
of the previous decades to give place
to whole new loose, cocktail-party-inspired attire. For over 100 years,
social changes have shaped the trends in tennis clothes,
but now we have a great opportunity
to go back in time to see what it was all about. The first step
of this challenge is to understand who is the main character. There was one woman
who challenged all the rules at once. Her name,
Suzanne Lenglen. But wait, why such a fuss
about Suzanne? She was our first superstar
in tennis. Suzanne Lenglen represents
the French, Parisian woman, for her elegance,
for her playing quality and also, she was
a super champion. Now meet Jean Patou, fashion designer, entrepreneur
and free spirit. Jean Patou is obviously
a fundamental French designer. Yeah. They rocked the world
of tennis in the ’20s with some of the most shocking
and unforgettable outfits of their time. (THE ATHLETE) This is
Tessah Andrianjafitrimo. She is a French tennis player
with only 18 years of age and she’s already
a big promise for the sport. I have met Tessah today
at Roland-Garros. I’m going to the court
Suzanne Lenglen. That is Suzanne. She takes me to a tour
at Roland-Garros. I’m going to have the outfit
of Suzanne Lenglen and try to play with this. But it’s not like this now,
so… It’s a big challenge for me. As you can imagine,
in places like these, saying that you’ve come
because of Suzanne Lenglen will open all the doors
for you. No, it’s closed. It’s like,
so exciting to meet her. She is so kind, so friendly, and spontaneous, and… That’s a good point. (DAY #1) In order to make
that exact piece, Racha has to take
super care of every step. Although a pleated skirt
looks simple and elegant, it takes a lot of work. I’m gonna put some marks and I’m gonna measure
every plisse, to be identical. So, it’s a very long process.
If you want to do it like… ..in the ’20s. (DAY #2) Today we worked on the top
under the cardigan. We pin it on the dummy, then we have to iron it… and so, I can put it
on the real fabric, and cut it. (DAY #3) In fact, what is left now
is the sewing part. You did it well, but,
can you do it again? Oh, my God! (THE DAY) Finally, the day is here. Racha is applying
the finishing touches to Tessah’s outfit. Here is Suzanne Lenglen, so be careful! (THE EXPERIMENT) I’ll coordinate this training and we will have Tessah
represent Suzanne Lenglen with her vintage clothes. You will perform a little bit
of serving. OK. Seems like she’s serving good. All right, the first approach
seems right, but when the cameras go off,
Tessah shows some discomfort. The wind, and the shape
of the outfit are starting to play
their own game. Suzanne Lenglen, in the past, they were like serving
and volleying a lot. So I’m gonna try with Tessah to see how it works
with this outfit, because now the players are
more playing at the base line. It was complicated to serve because the skirt troubled me
while serving. Specially while jumping. It’s heavier, so, inevitably it’s kind of embarrassing
for me. I expected her to be faster
and she was like, you know, she didn’t feel comfortable, but with the shoes, mainly. OK, the serve and volley
looked pretty good, but Tessah is starting to feel
the main differences between past and present. It’s a great day.
I was delighted to be chosen to do this practice
with Tessah. Marine, come on court. It will be interesting to see,
in relation to Marine, who wears
something really tight, if there is an effect, in fact,
on the evolution of tennis. Now watch out. On one side
we have Marine as the present. And Tessah, on the other,
as the past. So, game on, girls. The movement is
a lot more complicated. I was less comfortable,
in fact. Well, we didn’t see
this coming, but the girls take
the experiment with the energy of a real game. She’s getting used to it. Precisely, I wanted to see it
on the court, and specially on clay. Today, the shoes are adapted
to clay. You hold well.
The shoe, the sole… make it impossible
for you to slip. And here we saw that
she was blocked every time. So she wasn’t very comfortable. I’m surprised to see that
she could play this well with these period clothes. And to contrast it with
the current times. It was really
an awesome experience. Tessah, do you think
you could win in a real game
in this outfit? It’s possible,
but it’s the little details that made them perform worse
compared to today’s outfits. So if I play against a girl
on my level, with today’s clothes,
it will inevitably put me at a disadvantage
while playing. The outfit design,
mobility and weight are a killer combo. Yes, the one thing left
is the weight. Yes. This time we have 345g
of difference. I’m so happy to have worn Suzanne Lenglen’s outfit today. And I want to thank Racha,
the designer, again, for having done it
in three days. It was…awesome. Exciting to see past
and present on the Suzanne Lenglen court. And I think I succeeded
on my challenge. How do you see it? – Yes, you did.
– Thank you. Thank YOU! Being the most popular
individual sport in the world, tennis has been associated
with fashion over the years. With each new superstar,
the sport makes quantum leaps. Constantly taking
the fashion industry one step ahead. Talent? Yes. But a lot of creativity, style
and a touch of rebellion. Nowadays, fashion
and performance run parallel. Style and what is permitted
depend on the size of the hero and the quality of the game. (PAST AND PRESENT)

Tagged : # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Dennis Veasley

29 thoughts on “How Would a Tennis Player Perform with an Old-School Outfit? | Fashion Behind The Games”

  1. She still used a modern racquet. I bet that makes a huge difference too. Wonder why they didn't give her a vintage racquet.

  2. The old wooden racquet would have made a huge difference. Having played with one myself it is huge, the sweet spot is extremely small and the racquet itself is very heavy.

  3. I would have liked this so much more without the obnoxious "music," if one can call it that, blaring over almost the entire video.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *