Rudi Gernreich was an avant-garde fashion designer considered to be the catalyst and innovator of modern fashion in the 1960's and early 70's. Having studied dance prior to his fashion designing career, his fashions were always designed with ease, simplicity, comfort and free movement for the body. While he became world famous for his scandalous topless swimsuit in 1964, his entire body of work in modern fashion, including fashion concepts and ideas in dressing and accessories, was responsible for a historical dressing trend of the 20th century. He was the most iconic fashion visionary of the 1960's and the Age of Aquarius, embodying ultra modern futuristic fashion design and representing the modern women's movement, allowing women to break free of the historic constraints in female fashion.
This 3 piece wool ensemble, circa 1967 is one of the original iconic runway sample pieces of the Gernreich runway fashion show in Palm Springs, California. Acquired from the original model, who wore the piece on the runway and then purchased it after the show. She believes this particular runway sample may not have been produced in quantity (or at all), making it a rare Rudi Gernreich piece.
Ensemble consists of tunic dress, matching shorts and stockings all designed to match and define the Gernreich look. This 3 piece ensemble features a mixed wool pattern of a black and light gray check in contrast with light gray and black check; a typical Gernreich signature that he used repeatedly in the 60's and early 70's. Gernreich was also credited as being the first designer to design stockings and tights to go with his fashions. The simple A-line tunic, in combination with pull-on shorts and stockings, creates fashion without constraint, which went against all rules of fashion of the period. The ruffle adornment on wrists and repeated at ankles makes this piece a truly ultra modern, distinctive, iconic, rare Rudi Gernreich garment.