As of today, London's Wimbledon is officially in full swing! So, in celebration of the games we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane with a FROW (that’s fashion talk for front-row seat) on the tennis catwalk…
Imagine perfecting your backhand while wearing a floor-length skirt, several petticoats and a corset, not to mention balancing a pretty boater on your head… Well that’s exactly the attire that history’s version of the Williams sisters, Maud and Lilian Watson were expected to fashion back in 1884! And it wasn’t until 1905 when American champion, May Sutton Bundy decided to (shock-horror) roll up her cuffs that shorter sleeves were considered suitable for the court.
Later came Frenchwoman Suzanne Lenglen who became famous for breaking “the tyranny of corsets,” instead opting for revealing frocks (minus the petticoat!), shiny knee-high stockings and a fashion-forward headband, but the pivotal year came in 1949 when Gertrude Agusta Moran, a.k.a“Gorgeous Gussy” dared to reveal her lace bloomers beneath her mini pleats… How very dare she!
Now more than 60 years on, the sight of a tennis star’s bloomers is anything but risqué so the real question is, what will the leading ladies be sporting this year?
Apparently Serena Williams will be “going a little vintage”… If that means a reversion to corsets and a maxi-skirt, we’ll definitely be raising a glass of Pimms in her honour!