Thursday, 11 October 2012

Relaunch: Rudi Gernreich

Most excited that the Rudi Gernreich may be relaunched with a new collection in 2014

Probably most famously known for the first topless Swimsuit launched in 1964 and worn by the quirky model Peggy Moffat.
By all accounts this swimsuit has a lot to answer for.
Peggy would only be photographed wearing it by her husband and the picture he took was published as a small image in Women's Wear Daily. That issue completely sold out and even the Editors copy went missing from his office!
Topless dress versions soon followed and were displayed in shop windows across the US and Britain though when journalists wrote articles about this new fashion they photograph them back to front or had sketches done of them.
It did cause trend for a small number of women to abandon their bras at film premieres and the beach but they were immediately arrested or fined. 
Then in 1968 Yves Saint Laurent sent a girl down the catwalk in a transparent blouse and no bra. This was different exposure by an established respected French Couture House and it sent the press wild.
Body jewellery, nipple decorations, body paint and sheer blouses became wildly available but really they were more popular than the press than the wider public.
By 1969 naked breasts were widely published in even serious newspapers. The trend for going braless grew, fuelled by the feminists who saw the bra as a symbol of oppression and control by men and even if you didn't have the greatest boobs to go without a bra you could buy soft sheer cup bras to look like you weren't wearing one.
Who knows whether this has done women any favours in the long term. At the moment, 44 years later newspapers still feature topless women, all be it the low brow ones and I don't find it liberating in anyway. In reality women are on the whole wearing bras that are very protectively padded.
Maybe we have got to a good place, the latest catwalk shows featured many types of variations of the 'bra' so perhaps women are now ready agin to say ok you can look but just don't stare?

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