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Game, Set, Match! The Lowdown on Challengers’ Fashion Moments

by Faith Suronku-Lindsay

Anything Zendaya is part of will always create nothing short of major fashion moments, and lucky for us she has served several looks on and off the court (or rather, on and off screen) over the last few months. 


The only thing better than the many iconic looks throughout the course of the film, as designed by Loewe and JW Anderson’s Jonathan Anderson, are the ones worn during the press tour leading up to the film’s release. 

Whilst the film only hit cinemas at the end of April, the iconic partnership between Zendaya and her longtime stylist, Law Roach, has yet again produced hit after hit. 


A nod to Althea Gibson in the form of On’s classic replica is a highlight which seems to have gone largely unnoticed, an important ode to the first African American Grand Slam winner. 

A subtle reminder that the character of Tashi Duncan’s position as a biracial female tennis player, turned manager, should not be pushed aside. A detail championed by Zendaya as she was pictured leaving a hotel, sporting a Black Girls Tennis Club Tote Bag. 

The tote rounded off a simple cropped windbreaker and white pleated tennis skirt, not largely different to an outfit sorted by Gen Z fans of the ‘tennis core’ aesthetic. 


A film centred around tennis, could not have come at a better time. Pleated dresses and tennis shoes have become the norm, and every other Tik Tok video is encouraging young people to take up the sport. Traditionally seen as a ‘rich man’s sport’, the newfound appreciation for the classy and timeless fashion that surrounds it makes it all the more accessible and appealing. The perfect trend to continue into summer. 


It may have been safer for Zendaya to stick with classic white outfits, as was seen at the start of the tour, yet she found a way to inject much colour and bolder silhouettes. 

Most notably, a custom glittery green Loewe gown at the Sydney premiere, as well as a vintage 1930s dress, hand-dyed ‘tennis ball’ green, worn between interviews. A daring introduction to the world of Tashi Duncan.


Amongst all the grittiness and intensity explored in the film, Anderson’s styling does well to signify Tashi’s growth from on court superstar to off court success. A nod to 90s athleisure in the form of Adidas Superstars and a grey ‘I TOLD YA’ t-shirt, similar to one sported by John F Kennedy Jr and passed onto Josh O’Connor’s character Patrick Zweig midway through the film (so iconic, Zendaya sported the t-shirt again at a surprise appearance at a Manhattan screening). Loewe have capitalisedoff the hype and released merch also sporting the same phrase.


During the initial meeting between Tashi (Zendaya), Art (Mark Faist) and Patrick (O’Connor), Tashi’s dark blue strapless mini dress does well to present a carefree innocence. 


To signify her shift into wife, mother and manager, a lighter blue Loewe cotton shirt dress is worn during the ultimate tennis match scene. A calming central force in the midst of a storm. Elevated through the presence of Cartier jewellery, Chanel espadrilles and Ray Bans. This Tashi Duncan is strong, bold and aware. A world away from the hopeful Adidas ambassador. 


In his first time designing for a film, Anderson has chosen to champion practical everyday fashion. Pairing simple silhouettes with designer accessories. A subtle nod to the ease and modesty of this tennis core era.

Edited by Emily Duff

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