The annual ESPY awards were this week and other than the inspiring speeches, inspiring stories, and inspiring honorees, one thing took center stage: The Fashion.
But getting athletes who are known for being more sweaty and enormous than your average award show attendee into a fancy dress or tuxedo can be tough, which is why ESPN flies in French designer Jambalyn Work-Stricks every year to get the job done. I sat down with Jambalyn for an interview after the 2015 ESPYs.
Ben: First of all let me say I’m a huge fan of yours, Ms. Work-Stricks. Every year as I watch the ESPYs I’m amazed how all of these world class athletes fit their bulging muscles into tight dresses and “European cut” tuxedos.
J.W-S: Ah, merci mon ami. Zee thing about fitting zee, how you say, big boys and buff girls, into zee, uh, fancy clothes is all about cramming as many of zee muscles into normal sized fancy clothes as possible and then when zee muscles pop out, we simply sew on zee patches.
Ah, so designing clothes for muscly athletes is less about making special dresses than it is about repairing normal dresses after their big arm and leg muscles rip the normal dresses to shreds.
Oui. However, it is not always zat easy. Sometimes zee athletes will try on a fancy dress or tuxedo in my shop and everyzing will fit very nice, everyzing is comfortable, uh, everyzing is, how you say, kosher. But zen, later, zee athletes arrive on zee red carpet and are getting zeir pictures taken, you know snap-snap-snap, and zen one of zee photographers makes zee athlete mad with a rude comment and, POOF, zee muscles POP out of zee suit like, how you say, a hot potato through cheese.
Interesting. So alterations will sometimes have to be made on the spot if an athlete gets angry and their big muscles bulge out, hulk-style?
Exactement! And zat is vat makes zis job so hard. Muscles bulging zis way and zat and me zipping around zee red carpet sewing on patches here and zere.
Well, you do a fantastic job at making it look so easy, Jambalyn.
You have been designing fancy clothes for athletes at the ESPYs since they began in 1993. In 22 years of working with the most famous and most muscly athletes in the world on such a giant stage, you must have some wild stories. Can you share one with us?
Ooh oui, yes! Zee year was 1995. Me, Dan Marino, and Bonnie Blair had dirty three-way sex.
Nice. But I meant more a memorable moment in terms of your designing clothes for the athletes.
Ah yes, oui again! In 2003, zee Ohio St. Buckeyes football team won zee “Best Game” award or whatever zee hell zey call it, and I had to get all of zose muscly young men into tuxedos. Zey were young and full of piss and vinegar so zey kept, uh how you say…
Exactement! Zey hulked out continuously all night about whatever it is zat young men always get mad about, probably being called pussies or somezing. Anyway, I was running around, pew-pew-pew, all over zee place patching up zheir sleeves and pants as zeir muscles were popping out like, how you say, a hot finger through a wet paper bag. And I move on to zee next one and all of a sudden I look up and…POOF, I’m sewing up Dan Marino’s tuxedo. And Bonnie Blair is standing next to him. And she has coke. So we do zee coke and bang all night.
Cool. Switching gears, I’d like to get your thoughts on this year’s red carpet. I’m sure 2015 had to be one of your toughest years yet as the athletes are only getting more muscly every year. First we have the U.S. women’s Soccer Team who won the World Cup a few weeks ago and the “Team of the Year” award at the ESPYs.
Zese ladies were easy. See, zee soccer players are not big (squeezes bicep) boom-boom. Zey are big (taps on abdominals) ding-ding. And zee abs we can contain much easier zan we can zee boom-boom.
Very interesting. Here we have New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski. How was it patching together a suit for this character?
Monsieur GRONK! He was a delight. He never got angry or frustrated or curious or interested or really anyzing. He basically just stood and grinned with a distant look in his eye all night. No patches needed for zis one.
And how was it designing the tuxedo for baseball star, Alex Rodriguez?
Oh zis man just seemed very confused and paranoid zee whole time, like he assumed zey all were playing a joke on him or somezing. Paranoid zen confused zen paranoid again zen confused again. Poor man.
And finally, this is an interesting one. Ronda Rousey, who won the award for “best fighter” is notoriously one of the most muscly people on the planet. She must have been an all-night headache for you.
Oui, oui. Ronda is très muscly. Her big muscly arms and big muscly thighs and abs were ripping through zee fabric like, how you say, a hot soccer ball through some poorly taped together toothpicks, all night. I was constantly patching her up but, as I zink you can tell, it was worth it to see her well dressed while she delivered zee wicked burn on zee bad man Floyd Mayweazer.
I love how she stares at zee camera to deliver zee burn. You can’t see it but I am actually hanging on Rousy’s back during zis interview patching up all zee ripping back fabric.
Yes, I forgot to mention to our readers at home that you are just two-feet tall and are nimble as a spider monkey.
Oui. I am a very interesting woman.