Topless Swimsuits and Dresses
Rudi Gernreich, like Mary Quant, was a free spirit in the fashion
world. Although he was more of a high-end designer than the youthful
Mod fashionistas, he was not stuffy like the French and Italian
couture designers of the Sixties.
Gernreich embraced simple lines and youthful styles, and produced
many innovative, and sometimes controversial designs. In 1964 he
made headlines with his infamous topless bathing
suit that exposed breasts for the first time in commercial fashion.
The topless swimsuit - as modelled by muse Peggy
Moffitt - became an international controversy. It was THE symbol
of women's liberation. As Gernreich once stated, "in fashion
as well as every other facet of life."
The topless swimsuit soon led to the topless dress,
and also gave birth to another revolution, the no-bra bra. This
did much to change the fit of clothes.
Compared to the brassieres of the day, which Gernreich
likened to 'party hats that you put on your head on New Year's Eve',
the no-bra bra produced a 'natural look and feel that freed women
from padding and boning'!