(pillow via Jonathan Adler)
The first time I discovered the Rudi Gernreich book and the edgy glamour of Peggy Moffitt was in 2004. As per usual in those days, I was perusing Michael Gallagher’s Archives/Gallery in the East Village (where I would go to escape the ugliness of the world for hours on end and fumble through the visual 1960′s). That was kind of it for me. I became obsessed with mod fashions; the costumed effect of daily dressing during that era. I also watched “Blow-Up” a whole lot.
Now some facts for ya:
Rudi Gernreich was an Austrian-born American fashion designer and gay activist. He got into fashion design via textile design, and then worked with model Peggy Moffitt and photographer William Claxton, pushing the boundaries of “the futuristic look”. An exhibition of his work at the Phoenix Art Museum hailed him as one of the most original, prophetic and controversial American designers of the 50s-70s.
He was a strong advocate of unisex clothing, dressing male and female models in identical clothing and shaving their heads and bodies completely bald. He was noted for the use of vinyl and plastic in clothes, and he designed the Moonbase Alpha uniforms on the British science-fiction television series Space: 1999 (1975–1977). He also designed sneaky-peaky swimwear as well as the “no-bra”, which is perhaps what he is most notable for today.
All hail the shift dress! Well, maybe not all… they’re not the most flattering on an hourglass body-type. A common staple of the 60′s, the shift dress is a simple, short, above-the-knee dress. The bust is fitted with darts, and the skirt is either cut straight or with a narrow A-line. The dress doesn’t provide any definition to the waist, and the neckline is usually a fairly high scoop neck or boatneck. A shift dress is typically sleeveless, although short-sleeve and long-sleeve versions are also popular. The flowing out toward the bottom is playful and girlish without seeming too sultry.
Obviously accessories are the ultimate key when replicating these book looks; for jewelry it seemed that bigger was always better, the fatter the eyelashes the fiercer the stare, vinyl is a neccessity (check out that givenchy orange visor) and STAY SHINY! Oh, and never EVER forget your cat eyeliner.