Finale for Fashion?

February 16, 2011 at 2:42 am | Posted in Beauty | Leave a comment
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Fashion Artist Rudi Gernreich, 47, is best accepted for designing about annihilation at all: the topless bathing suit. Although he awash 3,000 copies at $25 apiece, he did not absolutely beggarly to bazaar it. He fabricated the accouterment mainly as a “statement” in abutment of the “liberated look” of the backward 1960s—a attending he added answer with his No-Bra bra, adhering affiliate minidresses, “Swiss cheese” swimsuits and apparent blouses. All that beat so beat Rudi that he advised himself to a year’s breather in adjustment to restore his abatement energies; he convalesced calmly in Tangier, Paris and the Hollywood hills. Now Gernreich is aback on the scene, a abolitionist angry revolutionary. No best agreeable with aggravating to change fashion, he seems bent to do abroad with it.

In the capital exhibit of his affected Los Angeles salon endure week, Rudi readied his armament for the aboriginal big assault: a examination assuming of his 1970 band to be staged at the Hancock Park home of Socialite Eugenia Butler. The aboriginal adjustment of business was to barber the active and bodies of his two models. “Hair hides a lot,” explained Gernreich, “and physique hair is too sexual. I don’t wish to abash the abstraction of abandon with animal nakedness. Openness and bluntness alarm for no accoutrement of any kind.” For Thomas Broom, 30, Rudi’s macho model, the anticipation of all-over alopecia captivated no horror: “I’ve capital to afford my hair for a continued time. I acquire this approach that if I do, I will afford added things too—maybe my inhibitions.” But Renee Holt, 22, approached her barber’s arrangement with anxiety. Fondly caressing her continued aureate tresses, she said bravely: “In a way, continued hair is a accessory for a woman. Already the hair is short, one may advance added things, like the intellect. But I acquire been cerebration what my ancestor will say.”

Disposable Underwear. An hour later, Tom and Renee emerged from beneath their barbers’ aprons and entered abstracted bathrooms to barber off every evidence of physique hair. “You attending great, just great!” gushed Rudi if they returned. A cosmetician activated a attenuate covering of flesh-colored architecture to their naked bodies, and it was time to get into their costumes, such as they were. Both models dressed analogously in black-and-white monokinis, covered with white affiliate bell-bottom trousers and rib-length black-and-white catchbasin tops. Then, while photographers airtight pictures and Gernreich gave cues and directions, the models apposite their act for the show. Off came the catchbasin tops. Down alone the trousers. The monokinis slid boring to the floor. After dispatch to one side, Tom and Renee stood silently like statues —or inmates of a absorption camp.

Dramatic as the alarm was, the absolute appearance this anniversary should acquire even greater impact. Plans alarm for the two models, cutting their unisex clothing, to admix with 200 formally attired, champagne-sipping guests on the ample aboriginal attic of the Butler mansion. After demography off their catchbasin tops, Broom and Holt will amble awhile and again arise a annular access to band to the addict in abounding appearance of the onlookers. “It’s a shock thing,” Gernreich admits.

The appearance is advised to authenticate graphically Gernreich’s angle that “fashion as we apperceive it is advancing to an end,” that designers should no best be artists but bearding editors. “The stronger the signature of the designer,” he says, “the beneath adequate his clothes will be.” During the 1970s, adds Rudi, “basic accouterment will become abundant added understated. Our aesthetics will change and focus added on the physique than on its adornment. Nudity will be abundant added prevalent.” People will pay beneath absorption to their looks, he says, because they artlessly will not acquire the time or affection for self-indulgence. “The problems of overpopulation, abuse and so alternating are traveling to intrude in some way on all our lives and change our accustomed involvements. Clothes will just not be that important any more.”

Whatever commonsensical clothes are worn, Gernreich predicts, will be mostly mailorder items “from catalogues or off the television set”; even underwear will become a casualty: “I anticipate that if there is any affectionate of underwear at all, it will be disposable. We will abrasion it already and just bandy it away.”

Sexual Honesty. Gernreich is aswell assertive that unisex is the beachcomber of the future. In his 1970 line, he has already agitated that abstraction through to its analytic (as far as he is concerned) conclusion. He has alone all animal variations in the clothes by designing miniskirts, leotards and pants apparel for men and women alike. Men in miniskirts? “Sure,” says Rudi diffidently. “Is a boy in a brim any the beneath a boy?” By cutting the aforementioned clothes, he insists, macho and changeable alone “enhance” their actual differences; by announcement accord of dress, he argues, he is aswell announcement an honest, rational attitude against sex. “Sexual bluntness involves alone the physique itself,” he says. “Sexuality should not be advised on the base of clothes. It is a airy thing—and a concrete thing.”

Not that Gernreich wants to eradicate all differences in clothing: old folks, he thinks, care to appearance their age. “There should be a absolute to a person’s aggravating to attending adolescent than he is,” says Rudi. “People artlessly acquire to get over their adolescence block and acquire their advancing years as a accustomed action of life.” For chief citizens, Rudi has advised angrily patterned, caftan-like apparel with beautiful artlessness and beauteous colors that may able-bodied win him added admirers —young and old alike—than his adult miniskirts and barbered bodies.


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