Kristi Tredway, visiting assistant professor at St. Mary’s College, has had an article published in the journal “Fashion, Style & Popular Culture,” with co-author Rita Liberti, professor of kinesiology at California State University – East Bay.
The article, “‘All Frocked Up in Purple’: Rosie Casals, Virginia Slims, and the Politics of Fashion at Wimbledon, 1972,” chronicles the disruption between Wimbledon’s “all-white” clothing rule and Casals’ support of the emerging women’s tennis tour, which was sponsored by Philip Morris as an advertising venue for their Virginia Slims. Casals’ ensemble and the reaction by officials and those in the media symbolized far more than a perceived fashion faux pas by the tennis star. Rather, Casals’ attire and public reaction to it threw into sharp relief debates around equal rights and female independence that raged throughout society during the late 1960s and 1970s. Importantly, the discussions and tensions in relation to Casals’ tennis outfit did not simply mirror these broader conversations, they contributed greatly to them. The dress, like Casals, challenged rules of conduct on the court – and social convention off the court. The attire was, for her, a form of self-expression, which personified a style she was eager to portray to a public not necessarily keen on its exhibition. Tredway is especially proud of this publication because Casals was her coach throughout her pro tennis career.