Self-diagnosed “Rogerholic” Kathy Woodward loves fashion and Roger Federer. Lucky for her, the two go together – almost literally hand-in-hand.
Inspired by her two passions, Kathy decided to fashion her dream Wimbledon ensemble for Roger Federer. What follows is her own take on Roger’s iconic style – illustrated with the help of costume design student Jeremy Waters.
Please note that these illustrations reflect the personal concepts and work of the individuals and are in no way associated with Nike, Inc.. – FF
Fashioning Federer: A Rogerholic styles the six-time champion for the fortnight.
By Kathy Woodward
Illustrations by Jeremy Waters
Photo: 7th on 6th Fashion Week 1993 by Kathy Woodward
Imagine having a better seat at New York Fashion Week than Roger Federer. Hard to picture as he’s always along the runway with his wife, Mirka and VOGUE editor Anna Wintour. I had that seat during Fashion Week ’93 during the heyday of the Super Model. An all access pass around my neck, I sat in the photographers pit photographing the live vibrant theater of New York fashion. As a recent college graduate of Fashion Merchandising it was more than a surreal dream come true. Ironically, that experience of a lifetime was only transcended by the live tennis ballet of Roger Federer, a man of fashion both on and off the court.
The definitive Cary Grant of the tennis court, Federer’s dark and mysterious features, suits fitted to perfection and effortless style make him an ever popular cover model for fashion magazines. Outfitted in a slim Prada suit, he could toss a serve out of a martini glass, never break a sweat through match point and still be fresh for a GQ photo shoot. Naturally, for a fashion focused tennis addict, he’s the ideal tennis pro to dress. During my career, I’ve styled mannequins, trimmed department store windows and designed interiors but never clothing. So now, thanks to GTT, as a frustrated clothing designer, I will fashion Roger Federer for the Wimbledon fortnight.
Center court at SW19 has always been the catwalk of Grand Slams for tennis trend-setting even before fashionable rebel Suzanne Lenglen traded petticoats for ankle length skirts and Lacoste’s knit polo shirt freed men from the confining dress shirt. Decades ago, all over white dress became the preferred color for relief from the summer heat and has long since become All England Club tradition. Now, at modern day Wimbledon, the player’s outerwear worn over the required tennis whites drives fashion trends. I loved Roger’s 2008 classically styled cream cardigan for its nod to Wimbledon tradition. My dreamed-up designs honor Wimbledon tradition with classic British menswear suiting patterns and rich woolens sleekly designed for casual comfort. The checkered suiting pattern of houndstooth (Fig. 1) and the ultra lux fibers of three ply cashmere are the focus of the wardrobe.
Pimm’s in hands, fans welcome the six time champion as he glides onto to center court in casual luxury. An ultra soft V-neck vanilla cashmere pullover hoodie (Fig. 2); cuffs, hood and hem trimmed in gold, makes a sophisticated contrast to stark white poplin pants at the his first match coin toss. The trousers, worn for a dramatic entrance onto the virgin lawn, are detailed with side seams of cream and white houndstooth piped in gold. As the warm up begins, the softly structured sweater is removed with the ease of a side zipper hidden by ribbing. That knitwear detail extends shoulders to sleeve cuff highlighting Federer’s square shoulders. The most unique detail of the luxurious sweater, other than the zipper, is how the stylized ‘RF’ logo appears. The graphic 7” by 9” monogram is knitted in the reverse weave of the sweater itself fashioning a subtle modern twist of yarns.
At first serve you’ll see the details of the sleek British menswear inspired polo (Fig. 3) against tailored white shorts fashioned with a stitched down crease. The polo’s cream and white all over houndstooth pattern is highlighted with gold trim at the neck. Wrapping around the outer edge of the white collar, gold trim forms into a functional zipper rather than a button down placket. The Nike logo is placed on the left front, the RF monogram embroidered in gold on the right sleeve.
Championship point, the match won in straights, Roger responds to the press sporting his mass marketed ‘RF’ logo T-shirt (Fig. 4). The monogram printed in the traditional houndstooth pattern is at its boldest in gold and white (Fig. 5). With the last question answered in his native Swiss-German; Roger zips up his sleek warm up jacket (Fig. 6). Fashioned in Wimby white, a gold collar frames his suntanned face. The shoulder and side panels are detailed in cream and white houndstooth piped in gold matching the side seams of the warm up pants. He heads off to greet a thrush of fans, 7th golden cup in tow, ready to celebrate.
A familiar sight at the championship dinner, he dons the impeccably tailored sleek suit. Now that would make for a dramatic entrance onto the emerald catwalk, one I’d much rather see than my dreamed up Wimbledon whites.
• A very special thanks to Jeremy Waters, costume design student of Cal Arts for illustrating my designs.
• The illustrations and designs in this piece are the personal work of individuals and are not in any way associated with Nike, Inc.
Article and design concepts by Kathy Woodward. Kathy has written articles for GTT covering many aspects of Federer fandom – check out her series on the art of Roger Federer, and posts on the Genius Banner, a special delivery in Cincy, and being friends Thanks to Federer.
Illustrations by Jeremy Waters. Jeremy is a costume design student at the California Institute of the Arts in Southern California. To view more of his work visit http://jeremyblake.tumblr.com/
Now that you’ve seen Kathy’s unique vision of Roger Federer’s Wimbledon fashion, tell us how you’d dress your favorite player for Centre Court. (Yes, clothing is required!)