Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fashion Flashback: L'Etoile Activewear

Model wears a sleeveless jersey stretch dress with a full pleated skirt, by L'Etoile Sport, $325.

L'Etoile Sport is the clothing line of stylish and sporty New Yorkers Hannah Griswold and Yesim Philip, who are not only tennis fans but former athletes (Griswold a ballerina, Philip a basketball player).  The goal of their recently released 12-piece collection was to bring both sophistication and practicality to the court.  "There is a huge gap for women who play and want to look good," Philip tod Vanity Fair, mentioning that not every woman has Maria Sharapova's build.

With its flattering silhouettes, conservative hemlines and dropped waists, it certainly evokes styles from the '20s, '30s, '40s and '50s -- but with a modern twist.  They cite French tennis sensation Suzanne Lenglen as an inspiration, who rose to prominence between 1914 and 1926.

A history of the tennis dress from that time, via Vogue:
Tennis dresses were simple and functional, with waistlines that dropped to the hip and hemlines ranging from the knee to above the ankle. They were rendered in white or pastel crepe de Chine and cotton, in French toile de soie and British wash silk. In 1920, the tennis champ Suzanne Lenglen caused a sensation when she won Olympic gold at Antwerp in a kit by Patou: She was the first player to so publicly shed the tight undergarments worn in days of yore, and wear a formless dress that hovered a couple of inches above her ankles. Almost overnight, the boyish, waist-less silhouette became the height of chic—and tennis dressing became a standard for modern women who never so much as picked up a racket. 
Court garb informed the twenties trend for sleeveless styles and headbands, too: “While white is the standard for tennis costumes, and a correct tennis dress is always in white . . . [you] may follow Mlle Lenglen’s example by adding a headband and sleeveless jacket of rose crepe de Chine,” Vogue instructed in 1926.

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

1 comment:

  1. Tennis dresses should be simple and functional.. The old tennis player dress were very simple... Now tennis dressing became a standard and womens want to looks good.. Active wear is best choice for sports ..


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