Lena Dunham

This article in The Independent is an enjoyable read on the subject of nudity and body image issues, examining the influence of Lena Dunham’s naked body on our psyches.

You can read more of The author’s work here.

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Rudi Gernreich

Rudi Gernreich, arguably most famous for the topless swimsuits he launched in the 60s, was a driving force in the sartorial revolution of the 60s in the U.S.

 

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^Here, Peggy Moffitt models his first topless swimsuit design. It is 1964.

 

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Noted for his penchant for androgyny, his swimwear was as unisex as nature would allow.

 

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^The Monokini for which he is still known, 50 years later.^

 

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I have read that Gernreich's topless suits launched the topless beach craze, though I have also read that the swimwear was not a commercial home run. Not so, his famous 'No Bra', which was a best seller from Day One.

 

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It seems so mundane nowadays; a sheer bra with no wire or padding. At the time, it was nothing short of revolutionary. Bras before this were made to change the shape of a woman's breasts; not celebrate their natural shape.

But Gernreich also designed more than swimwear and underwear.

 

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^Here, Peggy Moffitt models a Gernreich look in 1971.

More of Gernreich's creative work:

 

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^With his model and muse, Peggy Moffitt.

A quasi-famous video of Peggy Moffitt sporting Gernreich looks, filmed by Moffitt's husband, longtime collaborator of Gernreich's, photographer William Claxton, called 'Basic Black' is said to be the first fashion video.

 

Shiny nipples?

Sachin & Babi Spring 2013 RTW

Okay, so it’s been a rough day. And my fourth drink isn’t even touching the cloud over my head. So I camp out on Style.com and start looking at all the Spring 2013 RTW collections, hoping to see flowy, feminine dresses and separates that make me feel warm and pretty and happy inside.

Black leather and severe, architectural constructions which hide a woman’s body are not my idea of a warm happy Spring. And most of the collections I’m seeing so far are black leather and severe constructions.

This collection from Sachin & Babi is the prettiest I’ve seen so far, but I have to stop and ask:

Are they polishing these girls’ areolae?

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My silly obsession with shiny nipples aside, these looks from the same collection are what a happy Spring looks like to me.

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Paco Rabanne

Maybe you’ve seen the famous Rabanne tunic from the Sixties.

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Plates of aluminum linked together.

The designer made a name for himself with these oddly appealing creations.

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^A wedding dress of white leather and chain links.^

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^Audrey Hepburn in a Paco Rabanne mini for the film ‘Two for the Road’.

Rabanne collaborated with Jacques Fonteray to create the costumes for ‘Barabarella’ in 1968.

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For more on Fonda’s ‘Barabarella’ costumes, go here.

Rabanne continued designing and running his brand into the 90s but sold to Puig in 2000.

As of June, 2012, the Creative Director for the brand was Lydia Maurer, though the brand changes designers so frequently that this may not be current information.

Clearly the young designers running the brand are determined to maintain some connection to Mr. Rabanne’s aesthetic, as these selections from the Paco Rabanne Spring 2013 RTW collection demonstrate.

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