Matthew Donaldson’s slow-mo homage to table tennis

Korean table tennis champion, actress and former model Sooyeon Lee challenges herself to a high-fashion endurance match in today’s film by NOWNESS contributor Matthew Donaldson. “It’s a vehicle to show how extraordinarily elegant she is,” says the filmmaker and photographer, who enlisted stylist Katie Shillingford to emphasize Lee’s technique. “The sport requires the body to jolt into action in an aggressive manner that is mesmerizing,” she says. “I wanted the clothes to accentuate these movements.” Shillingford commissioned designer Geraldine Chevrolet to create bespoke fringed tights, gloves and a hat, pairing the custom accessories with neon, black and nude jumpsuits, dresses and leggings from Christopher Kane, Mark Fast, Jil Sander and Versace. Originating in 1880s Britain as an after-dinner parlor game, the Olympic sport of table tennis has recently emerged as the boutique pastime of choice, evidenced by actress Susan Sarandon’s SPiN, a chain of ping-pong clubs which counts Lee as its ambassador and has locations in New York, Toronto and Hollywood. “It’s become very trendy,” Lee observes. “It’s sociable, you don’t need to be super athletic and it’s good for the brain.”

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