Game, set and match for courtside style with the 'tenniscore' fashion trend


With the film 'Challengers', Zendaya is reinvigorating the "tenniscore" aesthetic that has become so popular on and off the court. Photo: AFP

After bringing out fringes and boots for the westerncore aesthetic, the fashion sphere is now channeling Serena Williams at Wimbledon.

This renewed interest in style associated with the racket sport can be chalked up to the promotion surrounding the film Challengers, starring Zendaya.

Just when you were getting used to fashion microtrends being spawned on social networks, it seems that the latest – and most impactful – trends are inspired by more old-school forms of entertainment.

Take "Barbiecore", which took off with the release of the film dedicated to the iconic doll; "quiet luxury", which we owe to the Succession television show; and more recently "westerncore", spotted on the Louis Vuitton runways and propelled to the top thanks to Beyonce's latest opus.

Read more: Has an artiste ever owned fashion – and owned as much fashion – as Beyonce?

'Method dressing' at its finest

The latest trend is no exception: "tenniscore" is now making its way into fashion, spearheaded by Zendaya, heroine of Luca Guadagnino's latest film, Challengers, in which she plays a former tennis player turned coach.

That's all it took to generate buzz and (re)ignite the craze for tennis outfits, which were already at the top of the trend list just a year ago.

But in this round, the actress pulled out all the stops to take on the role of a former tennis star, both in front of the camera and at events promoting the feature film.

This type of performance has been given a name: "method dressing”, a term attributed to Vogue magazine, the first media outlet to mention it in an article published in May 2023.

It refers to a performance that actors use during promotional periods, to embody their characters on television through a carefully thought-out, made-to-measure wardrobe.

A phenomenon seen over and over again in recent years, whether with Halle Bailey and her Little Mermaid outfit, Margot Robbie and her pronounced taste for Barbie pink, or Jenna Ortega and her sudden passion for gothic fashion.

A feat that has paid off in terms of the fashion trends that have emerged for each of these fictional creations.

And Zendaya is an expert. After pulling out some futuristic looks for the promotional tour of Dune 2, the actress looked to tennis players' go-to getups for the many photocalls dedicated to the promotion of the film Challengers.

In Rome, she wore a pleated Loewe mini-dress, accessorised with heels featuring (real) tennis balls.

In London, she appeared in a long dress evoking the sport with embroidered rackets, designed by Thom Browne. In Los Angeles, she called on Jacquemus to show off her baby-doll style in a perfectly cut polo dress.

Throughout the promotion tour, Zendaya has been ensuring that tennis makes its mark well beyond the courts.

Read more: How fashion adores Zendaya for giving main character energy on the red carpet

Three million views on TikTok

Social media followers were quick to jump on the trend, with almost three million views on the Chinese social network TikTok – and as many mentions of the heroine of the Challengers film.

However, the feature film is not exactly at the origin of "tenniscore", which was propelled to the top of the trend cycle several seasons ago by Miu Miu.

The luxury house not only brought back pleated miniskirts, but also launched its famous Miu Miu Tennis Club in summer 2022.

And after that a slew of collaborations referenced the world of tennis, including Gucci and Adidas as well as Lacoste and Sporty & Rich, not to mention the public figures and celebrities who picked up on the trend.

With the French Open just weeks away, tennis style is once again the focus of attention.

Expect to see pleated skirts and dresses, polo shirts, cable-knit sweaters, ankle socks, caps and visors – just some of the must-have items for this inspiration, which also draws on preppy style – on players and non-players alike this summer. – AFP Relaxnews

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fashion , trends , Zendaya , Challengers


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