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.

 

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