Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rudi Gernreich: On Exhibit

"The TOTAL LOOK" is a collection of 1960's fashions by L.A. designer Rudi Gernreich. Billed as the creative collaboration between Rudi Gernreich, his model Peggy Moffitt and her husband William Claxton, his photographer.  This exhibit displays her personal collection of fashions, photos and movies. This is on display at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art's annex at the Pacific Design Center.  The gallery site is a small two story building where the entry is into a dark gallery.

The opening gallery showcases tunics and full ensembles with matching leggings in animal prints. Ongoing is a large screen showing a short film with music from the 1960's featuring the clothes on Moffitt and other models.

Upstairs, a larger gallery packs a wide range of fashions into one space. His iconic topless swimsuit is there, of course, along with the famous photo of Moffitt wearing it. Grouped by style trends, his work during this decade is featured.

Many of his best know fashions are there to be seen up close and personal. The greatest impact might be  color and pattern worn head to toe, a style that Gernreich made famous. Bright, bold colors are paired with graphic black and whites for emphasis and drama.  Tunics and legs are usually color and texture coordinated, making for a 'Total Look' as the name implies.

These aren't fashions for the faint at heart, but they certainly capture a sense of fun and play that his fashions were known for. Beyond the bold and outrageous, there are many outfits that are wearable today (needless to say, often copied as well).

 The Total Look is on now at the MOCA site at the Pacific Design Center through May 27, 2012.

Want to know more?
You can see close-up photos of the KABUKI  dress shown here from my collection,
and pictures of some early Gernreich fashions, HERE.

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