The Rudi Gernreich Book, by Peggy Moffitt

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Re: The Rudi Gernreich Book, by Peggy Moffitt

Postby admin » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:17 am

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Resort 1964, there were always clowns -- here is an Art Deco one in white crinkle cotton with black fuzzy dots

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1964, fun in the Santa Monica Pier photo booth with Rudi and Bill

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1964, fun in the Santa Monica Pier photo booth with Rudi and Bill

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1964, the first topless swimsuit design

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The second topless swimsuit design -- which became famous.

The Shot Seen 'Round the World

Think of something in your life that took one-sixtieth of a second to do. Now imagine having to spend the rest of your life talking about it. Here is the topless swimsuit -- probably the most famous fashion picture of all time and my bete noir. I still think it's a beautiful photograph. But, oh, am I tired of talking about it.

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Fall 1964, camel's hair coat that reverses to black, with black felt "Yashmak" hat. All of the hats in this collection were made by Leon Bennett.

Fall 1964, I had seen the first show of Jacques Henri Lartigue's rediscovered photographs at The Museum of Modern Art and was so excited about it that I went back with Rudi. Rudi was very impressed and said, upon leaving, "I was going to do an Indian collection, but I can't now, even though I've got the fabrics ordered." The result was this collection-Rudi's favorite. The Lartigue photographs are a child's brilliant reportage of La Belle Epoque. In them one can see how Rudi took turn-of-the-century clothes and turned them into exciting modern fashions. Rudi always regretted that the hoop-Ia caused by the topless overshadowed this collection, which he fert had more innovative ideas than any other.

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Fall 1964, the camel's hair dress worn under the coat at left, which also reverses completely to black.

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Fall 1964, camel's hair aviator jumpsuit with reversible camel's hair coat

Out of the Closet

When I first started showing Rudi's clothes in New York, Rudi and a dresser would help me change, and I always wore a bra for modesty's sake. (I never wore a bra privately when I was wearing his clothes.) After working a few seasons, I said to him, "I'm doing your clothes a disservice by wearing a bra. They look so much better without one. From now on I'll change in the closet, and you can zip me up when I come out." I then spent hours everyday going in and out of the closet and generally wearing myself out as the clothes got more and more complicated to put on. Finally! at the time when the photograph of the topless first appeared, the collection we were showing was absolutely impossible to put on quickly by oneself. Each change involved tights, leggings, zippered boots, tunics, dresses, hats that covered the face, coats that reversed... you name it. So I made a formal announcement to Rudi and the dresser that from now on I was going to change in front of them because I had to have their help and modesty be damned. All the other models who helped show on the opening day came to the fitting and, having seen the photograph of the topless, instantly stripped down to their underpants without question. There were bras all over the place. They were hanging from the chandelier. Rudi loved it. And that's how I came out of the closet.
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Re: The Rudi Gernreich Book, by Peggy Moffitt

Postby admin » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:17 am

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First wool-knit outfit with matching stockings in navy and oyster worn with poison green shoes.

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Fall 1964, a modern "Marie Antoinette" -- long black challis dress with pink rosebuds (the skirt is tucked into the belt to reveal matching skin-tight pants)

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Fall 1964, gold-embroidered red chiffon blouse with gold-embroidered black chiffon bloomers

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Fall 1964, a "Japanese soldier" in gray and lavender plaid wool with matching spats

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Fall 1964, brown, beige, and black tweed "Mozart" pants and tunic

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Fall 1964, poison green and chocolate matte jersey evening dress

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Fall 1964, black cire pantsuit with black lacquered chiffon "see-through" shirt.

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Fall 1964, from Barbra Streisand's first fashion shooting, which appeared as a cover story in SHOW magazine; black-and-white herringbone tweed coat, lined in imitation lamb's fleece with fleece dress.

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Rudi with Barbra in a reversible camel's hair outfight.

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With black coq feather hat.
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Re: The Rudi Gernreich Book, by Peggy Moffitt

Postby admin » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:18 am

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Fall 1964, in the manner of a Lartigue photograph, camel's hair aviator jumpsuit. (photograph © Jerry Schatzberg, author's collection)

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Fall 1964, giant tweed coat with smaller tweed dress and feathered hat (photograph © David Bailey, author's collection

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Black print chiffon cocktail shift and matching veil. (photograph © Jerry Schatzberg, author's collection)

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Resort 1965, with Lydia Fields and Leon Bing wearing sun visors made by Layne Nielson.

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Resort 1965, wool-knit tank swimsuit with vinyl hip boots and sun visor. Boots are by Capezio, as were all the boots and shoes used with Rudi's designs.

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Resort 1965, black wool-knit maillot with black patent leather belt, black vinyl hip boots, and purple sun visor

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Resort 1965, ochre wool-knit bikini with pison green vinyl hip boots, orange vinyl belt, and yellow sun visor.

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Resort 1965, chiffon "Klimt" cocktail dress photographed at Brooke Hayward and Dennis Hopper's home, with television producer Bert Berman, art dealer Irving Blu, and painter Billy Al Bengston. On the floor are Brooke's son and Dennis Hopper

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Resort 1965, silk "little boy" suit photographed with Steve McQueen

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Resort 1965, linen safari jacket and pants and silk shirt photographed with the Byrds
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Re: The Rudi Gernreich Book, by Peggy Moffitt

Postby admin » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:19 am

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Resort 1965, silk "Kandinsky" prints photographed at La Scala restaurant in Los Angeles with owner Jean Leon.

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Resort 1965, lime, turquoise, aqua, pink, yellow, and apricot chiffon "Gauguin" top and pants. The pants were cut like blue jeans.

The Total Look

In the early 1960s, I kept meeting Rudi at parties and events. I admired him immensely and one night told him so. But I did have one reservation -- I thought his clothes, which to me were so witty and amusing -- were presented without much humor. There was at the time an image of the "Ideal American Woman" that was all about money, country clubs, and Wonder Bread. I saw European tongue-in-cheek and Oriental purity of design in Rudi's work.

One day Rudi called me, saying he was going to do a junior line and wanted me to fit for him. (He had thought I was too young for his regular line.) I started fitting for him, and since the junior clothes looked the same as his regular line, we started working together on everything.

We clicked instantly. We thought alike and tossed ideas back and forth. What bothered me the most about what he was doing at the start of our working together was a certain "artsycraftsiness" about his presentation. He really didn't care if a beautiful, innovative tweed suit was shown barefoot, or if a perfect silk dress had an uneven hemline. I did, and I told him that a pair of shoes (maybe even one that fit) would make all the difference. Rudi took that comment to heart and soon the "Total Look" was invented, which matched the dress to the underpants to the stockings to the hat. Anyone else would have just given me a pair of shoes that fit.

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Resort 1965, Rudi finally got to do his Indians; orange linen tunic with pink linen pants (photograph © William Claxton).

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Resort 1965, mirrored earrings by Layne Nielson. (photograph © Peter James Samerjan)

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Resort 1965, saffron silk Nehru jacket. (photograph © Peter James Samerjan)

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Summer 1965, unitards with extra-long sleeves and legs made in brightly colored matte jersey.

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Black-and-white crepe top lined in color worn over unitards.

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Black-and-white crepe top lined in color worn over unitards.

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Resort 1965, Indian suits photographed at Watts Towers in Los Angeles. The pink suit had a skirt worn over papnts. Actor James Coburn is in the center and Layne Nielson is at the lower left (Layne executed all of Rudi's accessories for many years beginning in 1965). (Photograph © Richard Avedon, courtesy Exquisite Form)

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Resort 1965, with Lydia Fields and Leon Bing wearing the caste marks I made out of matchbooks that became the inspiration for the decals Rudi made later on. (Photograph © Richard Avedon, courtesy Exquisite Form)
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Re: The Rudi Gernreich Book, by Peggy Moffitt

Postby admin » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:19 am

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1965, the "No Bra" bra advertisement. (Photograph © Richard Avedon, courtesy Exquisite Form)

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Rudi started it all with the 'No Bra.'

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Fall 1965, black and blue wool-knit smock dress with matching stockings.

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Fall 1965, black-and-white wool-knit dress with poison green stripes and black and green striped stockings.

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Fall 1965, Rudi's "Arabian Nights" -- reversible jacket and skirt with a matching reversible coat in charcoal/orange wool

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Fall 1965, Rudi's "Arabian Nights" -- reversible jacket and skirt with a matching reversible coat in charcoal/orange wool

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Fall 1965, charcoal and gray jacquard wool-knit dress with matching knee socks.

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Fall 1965, reversible wool houndstooth cape in shades of beige and brown.

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Fall 1965, black-and-white wool-knit tunic with black-and-white pants and socks.

Buttons and Bows

Most fashion designers are really what I call dressmakers. The good ones can make beautiful and intricate dresses that have a little curve here, a big swag there, a silk camellia at the neck, and it's quite a lot like making expensive lampshades. The dresses they make are exact and specific to the time, fabric, age, and wealth of the woman and materials at hand. These dressmakers produce what is called fashion. What they manufacture cannot be translated into other fabrics and retain its integrity without sacrificing the intrinsic quality of the garment. Think of a beautiful taffeta ballgown printed with cabbage roses. Now imagine it in Harris tweed. It just doesn't work.

Design, however, is a different matter. If the design is valid, pure, and functional, it can be interpreted in different materials and be used again and again. Fashion becomes dated, good design does not. Fashion creates problems, design solves them.

The three-tiered dress at right is the same design as the one on page 45. There it is shown in beige, bro~n, and black chiffon. It was like wearing a cloud. Here it is in multipatterned wool knit. It looked and felt completely different. It had the eccentric look and the swing of the sixties (the era it reflected). Because it is pure design, it could be made in dozens of different fabrics and lengths and always look right and contemporary. This was the most important element of Rudi's talent. His designs could be reinterpreted endlessly.

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Fall 1965, three-tiered wool-knit dress with matching stockings in off-white, gray and black.
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Re: The Rudi Gernreich Book, by Peggy Moffitt

Postby admin » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:20 am

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1965, aboard the QUEEN ELIZABETH, two sailors and a "baby" dress.

"Babies"

It seems to me that all the truly great, classic shapes in women's fashion originated in men's clothes. From togas, sarongs, kilts, and monk's robes to shirtdresses and trench coats, everything started with men except the Empire dress, which is beautiful and' completely feminine. Rudi made I, hundreds of these, and we called them "baby" dresses.

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1965, swimsuit, lavender wool-knit top with red vinyl dots, and lavender bikini with detachable red vinyl garters and off-white fishnet stockings.

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1965, being tourists. (We were a wonderfully improbable trio as we walked around London: Bill is 6'5", Rudi was about 5'6", and I was in the middle with red eye shadow.)

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1965, being tourists. (We were a wonderfully improbable trio as we walked around London: Bill is 6'5", Rudi was about 5'6", and I was in the middle with red eye shadow.)

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The swimsuits shown at the LONDON SUNDAY TIMES Awards fashion show. (Rudi made me carry them in my luggage because he was afraid if he carried them he would be stopped by customs and thrown in jail. 1965, black wool-knit maillot with detachable red vinyl garters, red fishnet stockings, and red vinyl appliques.

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1965, synthetic knit gingham -- blue and white top with pink and white bikini and sash.

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1965, black wool-knit maillot with attached black fishnet stockings and red vinyl suspender stripes.

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1965, Paris, Bill pays me a surprise visit in our more than modest hotel bathroom.

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1965, black wool-knit maillot with attached black fishnet stockings and red vinyl suspender stripes.

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Re: The Rudi Gernreich Book, by Peggy Moffitt

Postby admin » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:21 am

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1966, London, Bill and I shot a story for QUEEN magazine on Rudi's resort collection using Tzaims Luksus's lingerie satin fabrics. Vidal Sassoon designed the hair; long print evening shift that can be tied with a bow on the head or worn as a cowl neck.

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Long print evening shift that can be tied with a bow on the head or worn as a cowl neck.

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1966, silver and white triangle print empire evening dress.

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1966, long orange and white "positive/negative" arrow print shirtdress.

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1966, silver and white triangle print empire evening dress.

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1966, short orange and white triangle print empire dress.

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1966, black-and-white "positive/negative" arrow print pants with white satin tunic top worn with pin made of broken mirror.

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1966, the "little boy" suit with tank top that was on the cover of QUEEN.

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1966, from the poster for our film BASIC BLACK, the "Goya lady" -- black cut-velvet on chiffon.

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1966, still (with Leon Bing and Ellen Harth) from the making of the short film BASIC BLACK, which demonstrated Rudi's "Total Look." The "animals" took off stenciled calfskin coats and suits to reveal matching dresses -- and then tights, underpants and bras. The clothing in the film won Rudi his second Coty Award and the film itself won many awards.
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Re: The Rudi Gernreich Book, by Peggy Moffitt

Postby admin » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:21 am

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1966, still (with Leon Bing and Ellen Harth) from the making of the short film BASIC BLACK, which demonstrated Rudi's "Total Look." The "animals" took off stenciled calfskin coats and suits to reveal matching dresses -- and then tights, underpants and bras. The clothing in the film won Rudi his second Coty Award and the film itself won many awards.

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1966, still (with Leon Bing and Ellen Harth) from the making of the short film BASIC BLACK, which demonstrated Rudi's "Total Look." The "animals" took off stenciled calfskin coats and suits to reveal matching dresses -- and then tights, underpants and bras. The clothing in the film won Rudi his second Coty Award and the film itself won many awards.

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1966, still (with Leon Bing and Ellen Harth) from the making of the short film BASIC BLACK, which demonstrated Rudi's "Total Look." The "animals" took off stenciled calfskin coats and suits to reveal matching dresses -- and then tights, underpants and bras. The clothing in the film won Rudi his second Coty Award and the film itself won many awards.

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1966, still (with Leon Bing and Ellen Harth) from the making of the short film BASIC BLACK, which demonstrated Rudi's "Total Look." The "animals" took off stenciled calfskin coats and suits to reveal matching dresses -- and then tights, underpants and bras. The clothing in the film won Rudi his second Coty Award and the film itself won many awards.

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1966, still (with Leon Bing and Ellen Harth) from the making of the short film BASIC BLACK, which demonstrated Rudi's "Total Look." The "animals" took off stenciled calfskin coats and suits to reveal matching dresses -- and then tights, underpants and bras. The clothing in the film won Rudi his second Coty Award and the film itself won many awards.

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1966, still (with Leon Bing and Ellen Harth) from the making of the short film BASIC BLACK, which demonstrated Rudi's "Total Look." The "animals" took off stenciled calfskin coats and suits to reveal matching dresses -- and then tights, underpants and bras. The clothing in the film won Rudi his second Coty Award and the film itself won many awards.

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1966, still (with Leon Bing and Ellen Harth) from the making of the short film BASIC BLACK, which demonstrated Rudi's "Total Look." The "animals" took off stenciled calfskin coats and suits to reveal matching dresses -- and then tights, underpants and bras. The clothing in the film won Rudi his second Coty Award and the film itself won many awards.

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1966, still (with Leon Bing and Ellen Harth) from the making of the short film BASIC BLACK, which demonstrated Rudi's "Total Look." The "animals" took off stenciled calfskin coats and suits to reveal matching dresses -- and then tights, underpants and bras. The clothing in the film won Rudi his second Coty Award and the film itself won many awards.

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1966, still (with Leon Bing and Ellen Harth) from the making of the short film BASIC BLACK, which demonstrated Rudi's "Total Look." The "animals" took off stenciled calfskin coats and suits to reveal matching dresses -- and then tights, underpants and bras. The clothing in the film won Rudi his second Coty Award and the film itself won many awards.

Image

1966, still (with Leon Bing and Ellen Harth) from the making of the short film BASIC BLACK, which demonstrated Rudi's "Total Look." The "animals" took off stenciled calfskin coats and suits to reveal matching dresses -- and then tights, underpants and bras. The clothing in the film won Rudi his second Coty Award and the film itself won many awards.
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Re: The Rudi Gernreich Book, by Peggy Moffitt

Postby admin » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:22 am

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1966, still (with Leon Bing and Ellen Harth) from the making of the short film BASIC BLACK, which demonstrated Rudi's "Total Look." The "animals" took off stenciled calfskin coats and suits to reveal matching dresses -- and then tights, underpants and bras. The clothing in the film won Rudi his second Coty Award and the film itself won many awards.

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Resort 1967, red, white, and navy silk "kite" dress worn with red vinyl decals.

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Resort 1967, pink wool-knit blouse with green knit mini, underpants, and matching knee socks.

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Resort 1967, purple, orange, and white silk "sumo" caftan.

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Resort 1967, red wool-knit bra with navy knit hip-huggers and white belt worn by Ellen Harth.

Ellen

Beautiful Ellen Harth, the divine German. I will never forget her arriving at the showroom one day with great determination in her eye. She marched right by all of us without saying good morning and went straight into the dressing room. There was a beat, and then her strong Teutonic voice rang out, "Whoodie, where is my wed dwess!"

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Fall 1967, color blocking in wool knit.

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"Below-the-navel" wool-knit mini with attached underpants. This collection won Rudi the Coty Hall of Fame Award.

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Fall 1967, the "Japanese schoolgirl" -- black-and-white checked wool-knit dress with red bow.

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Fall 1967, the "Japanese schoolboy" -- black wool-knit tunic with red bow and black shorts.

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Fall 1967, "Chinese opera" group -- mixed print silk apron dress and jumpsuit with tunic.
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Re: The Rudi Gernreich Book, by Peggy Moffitt

Postby admin » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:23 am

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Fall 1967, "Chinese opera" group -- mixed print silk apron dress and jumpsuit with tunic.

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Fall 1967, "Chinese opera" group -- mixed print silk apron dress and jumpsuit with tunic.

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Fall 1967, "Chinese opera" group -- mixed print silk apron dress and jumpsuit with tunic.

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Fall 1967, crepe minidress with long organza flower earrings.

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Fall 1967, black, white, and gray tweed "Pierrot" coat with Chinese pheasant feather earrings.

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Fall 1967, black, white, and gray tweed "Pierrot" coat with Chinese pheasant feather earrings.

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Fall 1967, black wool "Austrian cavalry officer" outfit with embroidered vinyl trim.

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Fall 1967, "George Sand" pantsuit in eyeletted corduroy with satin blouse. The jacket is finished in tiny brass lionhead buttons.

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Fall 1967, see-through minidress in lacquered chiffon and wool crepe.

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Fall 1967, gray and black pin-striped wool-knit "George Raft" pantsuit.
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