1985 THE PUBIKINI
Perhaps the most outrageous fashion comment, Gernreich's final design statement, the Pubikini, emerged one month before his death.
"Photographer Helmut Newton recorded this last month hurrah. Model Sue Jackson wore the tiny cup of fabric exposing pubic hair that had been shaped, shaved and dyed poison green (one of Rudi's signature colours) by L.A. hairdresser Rodney Washington. Washington followed the line Rudi Gernreich drew on Jackson's body with a grease pencil, while makeup artist Angelika Schubert covered her body with a very white makeup. Her lips and nails were bright red, her nipples painted abstract and there was a streak of bright green in her hair."
MAN OF CHROMATICS 1971
"I wear black so I can hear myself think."
His thoughts could be loud -especially when they exploded with colour. Black was the frame; the rest was art. Before there was psychedelic or punk there was Rudi - combining pink with poison green; mixing rainbows with rivers of black and white. There was no such thing as a colour that didn't work.
LOOKING BACK AT A FUTURIST
Jimmy Mitchill photographed by Alex de Paola 1953
Ann Saint-Marie 1953
1952 THE FIRST NOTHING -INSIDE BUT YOU SWIM SUIT
THE LAST COLLECTION 1981
As always pushing design-as-fashion, Gernreich had the fun of doing it first. He knew a long time ago that he was on the right track when a well-known designer said to him: "I don't like your clothes. They look too much like modern art."
HIS CLOTHES WERE
Censured by the Vatican
Denounced by the Kremlin
Discovered by Life
Covered by Time
Uncovered by Look
Banned in Cannes
Expo'ed in Japan
Yet to millions he was known simply as the father of the topless bathing suit
A RETROSPECTIVE 1922-1985
Once a great beauty