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THE RUDI GERNREICH BOOK

Resort 1967, Mrs. Square.

Gernreich's body-works of 1967featuredtunicsand dresses with necklines that plunged to new lows-four inches below a wide leather belt. He called the collection "Beyond the Nave"" By October, the hemline was resting at twelve inches above the knees, and Pierrot, Edith Sitwell, and Dighilev had become Rudi-mentary elements of style.

Bloomers were also a big part of that collection, as were bubble skirts. One of Gernreich's white chiffon dresses with bubble skirt and matching tights went to the White House wedding of Lynda Bird Johnson to Captain Charles S. Robb. Its owner, Carol Channing, became the center of controversy over fashion versus propriety. Shetold Newsweek(December 25, 1967), "I thought it was what you wear to a wedding in the year 1967."

Gernreich's biggest journalistic tribute came on December " 1967, when he, with models Peggy Moffitt and Leon Bing, made the cover of Time, where he was described as "the most way-out, far-ahead designer in the U.S."

Although he continued to expand his design sphere in 1968-firstto stockings for McCallum Boutique,laterto signature scarfs for Glentex and patterns for McCall'_Gernreich was becoming more and more desenchanted with the direction of fashion. In January 1968, he told fashion editors attending his show that "the fashion impact of Bonnie and Clyde is just plain sick. The movie is great-a beautiful, tragic film-but it has nothing to do with fashion as such. Previous historical periods always recur in fashion. However, they must always be reinterpreted. Otherwise there is a flight from reality into costume nostalgia and escapism. History must be used, not just restored."

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