Rudi Gernreich oor Unisex Fashion

Rudi Gernreich oor Unisex Fashion


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Rudi Gernreich, die Oostenrykse gebore avant-garde mode-ontwerper van die 1950's en 1960's, vind inhoud in styl in sy bespreking van die effek van androgene kleding op geslagsrolle.


Verby die kaal bors

VANDAG is die OOSTRIES-AMERIKAANSE ONTWERPER Rudi Gernreich (1922-85) veral bekend vir sy topless-baaikostuum, oftewel die 'monokini' soos dit genoem is, beliggaam deur Peggy Moffitt. Hierdie ikoniese beeld, saam met sy sogenaamde 'kooky' ontwerpe in psigedeliese kleure en slanke ruimtetydse silhoeëtte, het sy werk in die volksmond gedefinieer. As ontwerper het hy 'n era -joernalis gedefinieer vir Die New York Times, Bernardine Morris noem hom 'die land se voorste avant-garde-ontwerper van die 1950's en 60's. Gernreich se invloed was egter dieper: van sy betrokkenheid by die vroeë dele van die Amerikaanse gay -regte -beweging, tot sy gewaagde en dikwels omstrede uitsprake wat hy as ontwerper gemaak het wat die rol van mode in kultuur bevraagteken het. Desondanks het Gernreich meer 'n voetnoot in die modegeskiedenis geword as 'n kulturele ikoon van 'n generasie, 'n titel wat die dinamiese ontwerper meer verdien.

Die toplose pak van Gernreich is eers gefotografeer Kyk tydskrif in Junie 1964, maar die onbekende model hou haar terug by die kamera. Die eerste keer dat dit op 'n model verskyn het met haar borste blootgelê, was in Vrouedrag daagliks later daardie maand op die ikoniese Peggy Moffitt.

Die verhaal van die ontwerper begin in die sombere omgewing van Europa voor die oorlog. Gernreich en sy Joodse moeder het uit Wene gevlug na Kalifornië, kort nadat die Nazi's in 1937 by Oostenryk aangesluit het. Na 'n paar kort rukkies in Hollywood, soos sy werk om die beroemde kostuumontwerper Edith Head te skets (baie later het hy heerlike kostuums gemaak vir Otto Preminger se ontsettend slegte musiekblyspel Skidoo), begin hy met ontwerpe vir die modebedryf in 1950. Rondom hierdie tyd het hy romanties betrokke geraak by Harry Hay, 'n politieke aktivis wat dikwels die stigter van die moderne beweging vir gay regte genoem word. Tydens hul driejarige verhouding was hulle mede-stigter van die Mattachine Society, Amerika se eerste organisasie vir gay-regte. Gernreich se deelname aan die groep was kort, maar deurslaggewend, dit duur slegs 'n paar jaar, en daarna erken hy nooit weer sy homoseksualiteit in die openbaar nie. Sy medestigter en oud-vennoot Hay het in die ander rigting gegaan en in die 1970's die Radical Faeries, 'n 'gay hippie'-groep, gestig, 'n groep wat vandag steeds internasionaal aktief lidmaatskap het.

Gernreich (wat die das dra) het saam met Harry Hay, links bo, die Mattachine Society gestig.

Gernreich se kort, maar invloedryke betrokkenheid by die geskiedenis van die gay -regte -beweging bestaan ​​in 'n Mattachine -notaboek in die ontwerperargief by UCLA in Kalifornië. Een spesifieke bladsy bevat aantekeninge vir 'n beplande bespreking oor 'kampeer' - skandalig en vroulik. Die toon van sy vrae is verbasend versigtig vir 1951 en lui: 'Aangesien ons dit eens is dat kampeer 'n bewuste homoseksuele uitdrukking is, wat is dan onbewuste homoseksuele gedrag [?]' En 'Hoe kan kampeer 'n aanvaarbare homoseksuele uitdrukking word? 'Nadat hy die groep (en Hay) in 1953 verlaat het, erken Gernreich nooit weer hierdie of enige verband met gay -regte nie, hoewel sy werk as ontwerper steeds idees van radikale denke en persoonlike uitdrukking bevat. Toe Gernreich se toplose swembroek die eerste keer in 1964 verskyn, was die ontwerp 'n succès de scandale, 'n inspirasie vir ongeveer 20 000 persartikels. Die ontwerp is gemaak op voorstel van Susanne Kirtland, redakteur by Kyk tydskrif, en lees Gernreich se uitsprake oor die naderende rage na 'topless'. Kirtland het die ontwerper in 1962 gekontak en hom gevra om 'n pakloos pak aan te trek. Die antwoord van Kirtland was: 'O, maar u moet al klaar toestemming van die voorkantoor kry.' Alhoewel die ontwerp nie 'n kommersiële sukses was nie (slegs 3 000 eksemplare van die pak wat verkoop is), het hierdie enkele kledingstuk Gernreich in die geskiedenisboeke geplaas vanweë sy opwindende en onthullende aard. Maar dit was nie die verklaring wat die ontwerper bedoel het nie. Vir Gernreich het die gebaar wortels gehad in sy Europese opvoeding, die kledingstuk was progressief en implisiet feministies: as mans topless kan gaan, waarom kan vroue dit dan nie? In 'n opstel vir 'n toer -terugblik op die ontwerper se werk, 'Fashion Will Out Out of Fashion', beklemtoon skrywer Elfriede Jelinek die waarde van die pak en verduidelik dat Gernreich dit nie doen om die naaktheid van die boonste helfte van die vrou se liggaam te beklemtoon nie . In plaas daarvan, deur hierdie deel van die liggaam gedeeltelik bloot te stel, trek hy dit aan, maar op 'n ander manier en skep dit weer. 'Ten spyte hiervan was die Amerikaanse media se reaksie moedswillig en daarna word Gernreich verbind met die' kookiness 'en' gekke style van hierdie revolusionêre tydperk van die middel-sestigerjare, 'n cliché wat hy nooit kon vermy nie.

Stills uit die kortfilm 'Basic Black' deur William Claxton, eggenoot van Gernreich -muse Peggy Moffitt, van Gerneich se modes uit 1967.

In 1967, op die hoogtepunt van sy roem, sluit Gernreich sy ateljee af en vertel Die New York Times dat hy 'uitgeput' was. Hy het nooit weer 'n groot versameling opgestel nie, maar het voortgegaan om ernstige persvoorspellings aan die pers te bied. In 1970, Lewe tydskrif het hom gevra om die toekoms van die mode te voorspel, het Gernreich gesorg dat 'n paar modelle naak en heeltemal geskeer sou verskyn tydens 'n promosie -geleentheid. Hy verduidelik later: 'Wat unisex beteken, is dat ons verby die patologie is en die mode klaar is.' Forbes. Vir 'n ander onderhoudvoerder het hy gesê: 'Ek wil nie mode vermoor nie. Dit is klaar. Die woord het geen betekenis nie. Dit staan ​​vir al die verkeerde waardes. Snobisme, rykdom, 'n paar uitgesoekte. Dit is asosiaal. Dit isoleer homself van die massas. Vandag kan jy nie asosiaal wees nie, so die mode is weg. Selfs die woord het 'n bietjie verleentheid geword. Klere. Toerusting. Dit is die woorde van vandag. ’Hierdie breë kante het die ontwerper se loopbaan min gehelp en is grootliks deur die modepers geïgnoreer.

Rudi Gernreich ’s ‘ Unisex Fashions ’ wat verskyn het in Lewe tydskrif in 1970, as die mode -shoot ‘Double Exposure ’.

Twee jaar na sy dood in 1985 het Peggy Moffitt, sy muse en vriend, 'n onderhoud aan die Fashion Institute of Technology gegee wat die beperkings van sy aktivistiese benadering vir die ontwerper onthul. Sy verduidelik dat, 'Hy het gehou van die idee om die profeet te wees. Dit is wonderlik om te profeteer, maar dan sê jy: "Peggy, kan ons die eerste stuk sien?" … Hy was mal daaroor om in die nuus te bly. Maar hy was nie meer lief daarvoor om hierdie klere te maak nie. ” As dit van nader ondersoek word, het Gernreich se loopbaan ingrypende implikasies buite sy 'monokini' -ontwerp. Hy was 'n aktivis in sy hart, met progressiewe en kontroversiële ontwerpverklarings wat dikwels deur die pers verkeerd verstaan ​​is. Wat die bedryf wou hê, was die 'kooky' klere wat destyds so gewild was, maar wat Gernreich gehad het, was 'n oorvloed idees. Dit is interessant om te spekuleer, vyftig jaar na hierdie radikale - en verkeerd geïnterpreteerde - gebaar van topless, of hy sy laaste jare gewens het dat hy nooit daardie baaikostuum gemaak het nie.


Unisex

Mode vir die 70 ’'s Rudi Gernreich Voorspellings van 1 Januarie 1970 Life Magazine

Winter of somer, manlik of vroulik, almal sal dieselfde aantrek.

“ In koue, winterse weer, voorspel Gernreich, "sal mans en vroue swaar geribde maillots en waterdigte stewels dra. ”

Lank voor aanlyn inkopies het hy korrek voorspel:

'Dit is weens die verkeer onmoontlik om winkels toe te ry, sodat alle klere uit 'n katalogus of TV -stel bestel kan word. ”

Terwyl hy PETA was, was hy ook reg langs die see van sintetika waarmee ons sou verdrink in hierdie Quiana -verbruikte dekade.

"En aangesien diere wat nou wol, bont en leer verskaf, so skaars is dat dit beskerm moet word en weefstof soos katoen te veel moeite sal maak, sal die meeste klere heeltemal van goedkoop en besteebare sintetiese breiwerk gemaak word."

Mode vir die 70 ’'s Rudi Gernreich Voorspellings van 1 Januarie 1970 Life Magazine

'Kleredrag word nie geïdentifiseer as 'n man of 'n vrou nie,' sê Gernreich. '

'Vroue sal dus 'n broek dra, en mans sal onderling rompe dra. En aangesien daar geen skaamte oor naaktheid is nie, is deursigtige klere slegs deursigtig vanweë troos. ”

Miskien het die ontwerper voorspel:

'As die weer dit toelaat, sal beide geslagte kaal bors loop, alhoewel vroue eenvoudige beskermende koekies sal dra. Juweliersware bestaan ​​slegs as 'n hulpmiddel- dit wil sê om iets omhoog of bymekaar te hou, soos 'n gordel, of vir inligting, soos 'n kombinasie polshorlosieweer, kompas en radio. ”

Die mode -estetika gaan die liggaam self ontwikkel. Ons sal die liggaam leer om mooi te groei in plaas daarvan om dit te bedek om skoonheid te produseer. ”


Rudi Gernreich -kledingstukke verskyn in A Queer History of Fashion

Ons is verheug dat twee Rudi Gernreich -kledingstukke uit ons versameling verskyn 'N Queer modegeskiedenis: Van die kas tot die loopplank by die Museum by FIT. Oop tot 4 Januarie 2014, 'N Queer geskiedenis van mode ondersoek die belangrikste bydraes tot mode wat deur LGBTQ gemaak word
(lesbies-gay-biseksueel-transgender-queer) individue oor die afgelope 300
jare. & quot Met ongeveer 100 ensembles, wat wissel van 18de -eeuse mansklere tot 21ste -eeuse hoogmode, vereer hierdie uitstalling die talle, en dikwels verborge, bydraes van gay en lesbiese ontwerpers. Dit het wonderlike pers gekry, so as u nie in New York is nie, moet u dit nie misloop nie!

Rudi Gernreich (1922-1985) was tydens sy leeftyd nie in die openbaar nie. Soos baie ander bekende ontwerpers, het Gernreich sy seksuele oriëntasie vir die publiek verborge gehou. In die privaat lewe was Gernreich egter betrokke by belangrike pogings om homoseksualiteit te stigmatiseer. In 1950 raak Gernreich romanties betrokke by Harry Hay. Hay het 'n idee saamgestel vir 'n geheime genootskap wat homoseksuele mans ondersteun, en het gesoek na eendersdenkende mans om by sy groep aan te sluit. Gernreich ondersteun die radikale plan van Hay, en saam met 'n klein groepie vriende stig hulle die Mattachine Society. Die eerste tak van die Genootskap was in Los Angeles gevestig, alhoewel daar vinnig afval in ander stedelike sentrums ontstaan ​​het. Met sy klem op die vermindering van isolasie en die bevordering van algemene sake onder gay mans, was die Mattachine Society een van die vroegste gay -regte -groepe in die Verenigde State.

Kaftan
Rudi Gernreich
1970
Erflating van die Rudi Gernreich -landgoed
G85.331.17

Hierdie kaftan (een van twee Gernreich -kaftane waaraan ons geleen het A Queer History of Fashion) is die uiteindelike uitdrukking van Gernreich se afkeer van modes wat beweging beperk. As ontwerper het Gernreich gewerk om die liggaam te bevry. Sy No-Bra-bra's, ongevoerde bra's wat 'n natuurlike voorkoms bied, en die beroemde monokini met 'n borsvlek, toon hierdie poging. Alhoewel baie van Gernreich se ontwerpe jongmense beklemtoon het, het Gernreich met hierdie kaftan 'n unisex uniform vir bejaardes voorgestel.

Hierdie sy -kaftan, geskep vir Expo 1970, gehou in Osaka, Japan, is ontwerp vir maksimum gemak. In plaas daarvan om die liggaam te beklemtoon, is dit ontwerp om die liggaam te abstrakteer. In Gernreich se woorde: "As 'n liggaam nie meer beklemtoon kan word nie, moet dit onttrek word." Om van die liggaam se aandag af te lei, het Gernreich die lywige silhoeët en die kleurvolle, abstrakte patroon ingespan.  

Soos baie van Gernreich se latere ontwerpe, was hierdie kaftans doelbewus unisex. Om die unisex -voorkoms te voltooi, het Gernreich aanbeveel dat mans en vroue hul koppe skeer sodat hul geslag minder herkenbaar was. Die belangstelling van die ontwerper in unisex -kleding kan beskou word as 'n ander uitdrukking van sy belangstelling in sartoriese bevrydingsdresse sonder inagneming van geslag, sodat mans en vroue hulself meer volledig kan uitdruk, sonder inagneming van maatskaplike beperkings.

Sien albei ons Rudi Gernreich -kaftans in 'N Queer geskiedenis van mode by die Museum by FIT tot en met 4 Januarie 2014. Hoop jy het 'n kans om hierdie uitstalling te sien! As u dit doen, laat weet ons wat u dink van Gernreich se unisex kaftans.

1 "mode vir die 3970's." Lewe (9 Januarie 1970), 118.


'N Kort geskiedenis van Unisex -mode

In Maart het die Londense afdelingswinkel Selfridges 'n radikale opknapping gemaak en drie verdiepings van sy Oxford Street-emporium in geslagsneutrale winkelgebiede omskep. Androgyne mannequins het unisex -kledingstukke gedra deur ontwerpers soos Haider Ackermann, Ann Demeulemeester en Gareth Pugh, en die webwerf van die winkel het 'n soortgelyke sekslose herontwerp, met dieselfde produkte op manlike en vroulike modelle. Die tydelike pop-up-winkelervaring, of 8212 of eksperiment, het uiteindelik 'n suksesvolle bemarkingsinstrument geword as 'n kleinhandelsrevolusie, soos sommige modejoernaliste aangedui het, en die mode-joernaliste het vandag baie in elk geval dieselfde vir elke geslag. ”

Verwante verhaal

Maar dit was nie altyd die geval nie. Soos Freud dit gestel het: “ As jy 'n mens ontmoet, is die eerste onderskeid wat jy maak, man of vrou? ’ en jy is gewoond om met onwrikbare sekerheid die onderskeid te tref. ” Het Freud die 20ste geleef eeu in plaas van die 19de, het hy moontlik goeie rede gehad om te aarsel. In 'n era waarin geslagsnorme en#8212 en baie ander norme bevraagteken en afgetakel is, was unisex klere die uniform van die keuse vir soldate in die kultuuroorloë.

In haar nuwe boek Seks en unisex: mode, feminisme en die seksuele revolusie, herhaal die professor van die Universiteit van Maryland, Jo Paoletti, die unisex-neiging, 'n pilaar van feminisme in die tweede golf waarvan die invloed vandag nog weerklank vind. Soos Paoletti dit vertel, was unisex-klere 'n baba-boomer wat reguleer na die rigiede stereotipering van die geslag van die 1950's, self 'n reaksie op die verwarrende nuwe rolle wat mans en vroue tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog opgelê het. Die term 'geslag' het begin gebruik om die sosiale en kulturele aspekte van biologiese seks in die 1950's 'n stilswyende erkenning te gee dat 'n geslag en 'n geslag moontlik nie netjies bymekaar pas nie. Die unisex -klere van die 1960's en 70's wou geslagslyne vervaag of oorsteek, maar uiteindelik het dit 'n eenvormigheid gebring met 'n manlike kanteling, en 'n kort flirt van mode met geslagsneutraliteit het gelei tot 'n 8220 stylistiese sweepslag en#8221 van meer duidelik geslagtelike klere vir vroue en kinders wat in die 1980's begin.

Wat die Amerikaanse modebedryf betref, het die unisex -beweging gekom en het dit grotendeels in een jaar gegaan: 1968. Die neiging het begin op die Parys -aanloopbane, waar ontwerpers soos Pierre Cardin, Andre Courreges en Paco Rabanne 'n egalitêre "towerkuns opgetower het" Ouderdom van slanke, eenvoudige silhoeëtte, grafiese patrone en nuwe, sintetiese weefsels sonder historiese geslagsverenigings. Terwyl vroue hul beha's verbrand het (simbolies indien nie letterlik nie), het Amerikaanse afdelingswinkels spesiale afdelings vir unisex-modes geskep, hoewel die meeste van hulle in 1969 gesluit was. 8221 klere, gepromoveer in oulike advertensies, katalogusse en naaipatrone. Die verskil tussen avant-garde unisex en die latere weergawe, voer Paoletti aan, is die onderskeid tussen grensontwerpe wat dikwels deur androgyne modelle en 'n minder bedreigende variasie gedra word deur aantreklike heteroseksuele paartjies . ”

Kinders het die grootste las van die unisex -gier gehad: broeke vir meisies, lang hare vir seuns en poncho's vir almal. Baba -boomers en Generation Xers het gewoonlik baie verskillende herinneringe aan die unisex -era, en Paoletti se opmerkings, en met haar boek kan lesers die progressiewe bedoelings agter die neiging bewonder terwyl hulle die resultaat in die steek laat. Alhoewel ouers gevrees het dat streng handhawing van geslagstereotipes nadelig kan wees vir kinders, kan die vrees wat opkom deur wetenskaplike bewyse dat geslagsrolle op 'n jong ouderdom aangeleer word en die verleentheid om 'n lid van die teenoorgestelde geslag te wees, langdurige sielkundige letsels agterlaat. van hul nageslag. Jong kinders het dekades lank geslagsneutrale klere gedra (en met geslagsneutrale speelgoed gespeel) voordat “unisex ” 'n modewoord geword het, maar die aggressiewe kinderopvoeding van die sewentigerjare het neutraliteit na 'n nuwe vlak geneem kinders se boeke en TV -reekse het 'n punt daarvan gemaak om seuns te wys wat met poppe speel en vroue wat met motors karring. Dit was eers in die tagtigerjare dat die selfaktualiserende lesse van die deurslaggewende kinderboek (en beroemdheidsverhaalde LP) Vry om te wees … Ek en jy beswyk voor die Princess Industrial Complex, 'n neiging wat nou eers begin regstel. ('N 35 -jarige herdenking van Vry om te wees … Ek en jy is in 2008 vrygestel.)

Alhoewel unisex -klere daarop gemik was om geslagsverskille te verminder, het dit gewoonlik die teenoorgestelde effek gehad.

Alhoewel unisex -klere daarop gemik was om geslagsverskille te verminder, het dit gewoonlik die teenoorgestelde effek gehad. Soos Paoletti skryf, was 'n deel van die aantrekkingskrag van volwasse unisex -mode die sexy kontras tussen die draer en die klere, wat eintlik die aandag op die manlike of vroulike liggaam gevestig het. monokini en die unisex-string is geskep vir die televisiereeks 1975-77 Ruimte: 1999. Gernreich beskou 1999 as 'n geslagsneutrale utopie van springpakke, coltruie en tuniek. Alhoewel dit tegnies unisex was, het hierdie styfpassende kostuums die seks van die draer duidelik duidelik gemaak, en het dit tradisionele geslagsmerkers behou, soos beha's, grimering en juweliersware vir vroue.

Die unisex-beweging het vroue se klere moontlik manliker gemaak, maar dit het hulle ook nooit vroulik gemaak nie, en pogings om die voorkoms van mans te feminiseer, was besonder kortstondig, en Paoletti-aantekeninge. (Selfs vandag nog is dit veral vroue wat unisex-kledingstukke koop, nie mans nie.) Terwyl sommige mans probeer het om die flambojans wat met die Franse Revolusie verdwyn het, terug te bring, het hierdie sogenaamde Pou-rewolusie vir baie mense die spook van dekadensie laat opvlam. en homoseksualiteit, 'n vrees wat versterk word deur die opkoms van die gay -bevrydingsbeweging. ” Die ironie, sê Paoletti, was dat ware homoseksuele mans in daardie tyd geneig was om doelbewus onsigbaar te wees. Die loopbaan van 8217 of selfs in hegtenis geneem. ” Die nuwe gewilde en wetenskaplike belangstelling in biseksualiteit was werklik bevrydend vir homoseksuele mans, wat hulle 'n kultureel aanvaarbare alternatief vir die kas bied. Dit was bevrydend vir die mode, en as almal 'n bietjie van elke geslag was, hoef klere nie die een of die ander so hard te verkondig nie.

Die nuwigheid van matchy-matchy “his-n-hers ”-uitrustings en almal-in-jumpsuits-futurisme het vinnig uitgebrand ten gunste van die seksierer androgynie (wat Paoletti definieer as klere wat manlike en vroulike elemente kombineer, eerder as om te vermy geslagsmerkers heeltemal). In 1966 stel Yves Saint Laurent bekend ek rook, 'n smoking vir vroue oor die volgende paar jaar, sou hy die mannetjie -silhoeët in gangsterpenstrepe en safari -kakie herinterpreteer. Halston het sy naam gemaak met die alomteenwoordige Ultrasuede -hemprok en 'n moderne, vroulike draai aan 'n hemp van 'n man. Soos die huidige FIT Museum -uitstalling Yves Saint Laurent en Halston: Fashioning the Seventies illustreer dat die ontwerpers nie net vroue in mansklere geklee het nie; hulle het hulle soos hulself aangetrek, in klassieke stukke wat hul eie, subtiel androgene kaste weerspieël. Die uitstallingskatalogus voer aan dat hierdie gladde en funksionele styl wat verband hou met die internasionale straalstel, net so aantreklik was vir jong werkende vroue: nie net 'n broek nie, maar erwtjasse, hemde en baadjies het vroulike klerekas geword.

Mans het ook met androgynie geëksperimenteer. Ongewoon, ontwerpers van damesklere (insluitend Pierre Cardin en Bill Blass) het begin om mansdraglyne te vervaardig, die nehru-baadjie met mandjie-kraag en knooppunte (die Westerse naam vir die tradisionele Indiese kledingstuk, na die eerste premier van Indië) was 'n handtekening van Cardin. Saam met tuniek, baadjies, sportjasse en pelse, bied die Nehru -baadjie mans 'n alternatief vir die spreekwoordelike grys flanelpak Nehru -halsbande, aske, coltruie en serpe wat stropdasse verouder het, ten minste tydelik. Vandag dra vroue steeds 'n broek na die kantoor, maar mans het teruggekeer na pakke en dasse.

Paoletti spoor die einde van die unisex-era tot in die middel van die sewentigerjare. In 1974 stel Diane von Furstenberg haar omslagrok voor, 'n kledingstuk wat vroulikheid en funksionaliteit kombineer. Met sy geringe lengte, spleetrok en diepe V-nek was dit terselfdertyd beskeie en sexy dat dit van die kantoor na die disco kon gaan. Die wikkelrok het vroue weggejaag van broekpakke, en von Furstenberg op die voorblad van geland Nuusweek in 1976 onder die opskrif “Rags & Riches. ”

Die unisex -beweging het vroue se klere moontlik manliker gemaak, maar dit het hulle nooit vroulik gemaak nie.

Sedert die negentigerjare vervaag mode egter weer geslagslyne. 'N Onlangse New York Tydskrif verhaal het moderne androgynie tot grunge opgespoor: Vroue het flennishouthemde en gevegstewels aangetrek terwyl Kurt Cobain in balrokke en huishoudings gedra het. (Die smaak van Cobain vir 'n off-the-cuff cross-dressing was duidelik te sien in die mees onlangse Saint Laurent- en Gucci-hereklerevertonings.) Terselfdertyd verskyn paartjie-mode (bekend as Keo-Peul-Look) die eerste keer in Suid-Korea . Hierdie moderne aantrekkingskrag van sy-n-hare ”-aantrek kom sterk voor in 'n land waar openbare (fisieke) geneentheid openbaar word. Koreaanse paartjies is noodwendig androgine, met skinny jeans, tekkies, truie en hoodies unisex -kledingstukke is vandag baie meer toeganklik en sosiaal aanvaarbaar as in die 1960's. Maar hierdie noukeurige koördinasie is nie net 'n uiterlike show nie, maar hardcore praktisyns pas by hul onderklere. Dus het die uiteindelike verhouding publisiteit die uiteindelike verhouding intimiteit geword, en unisex onderklere is nou 'n ding.

Inderdaad, dit lyk asof alles unisex is met 'n wraak, Rad Hourani het selfs 'n unisex gewys Haute couture versameling vir die lente/somer 2015. Personeel van New York verdeel sy aanlynaanbod in mans, vroue en almal, soos 69, Kowtow en The Kooples, wat seksverwisseling aanmoedig. Selfs die Ruimtetydperk is weer nuut. Christian Dior se herfstoutoonprogram het ruimtevaarderspakpakke ingesluit, terwyl Gucci modi-skuiwe en lakleerstewels gewys het. Wat moet ons maak van hierdie geslagsverwarring — of miskien hierdie onwrikbare weiering om geslagsverward te wees? Die modes van die 1960's en 1970's het baie vrae oor seks en geslag verwoord, maar het uiteindelik geen finale antwoorde gegee nie, sluit Paoletti af. Hierdie vrae het baie dieper gegaan as Freud se mannetjie of vroulike man? Dit is duidelik dat ons nog steeds sukkel om dit op te los, maar vra openlik die gay Louisiana -tiener Claudetteia Love, wat haar senior prom amper misgeloop het omdat die skool haar nie sou toelaat nie dra 'n smoking. Sielkundig is daar nog steeds 'n groot gaping tussen 'n manlike kledingstuk wat aangepas is vir 'n vrou se liggaam en 'n manlike kledingstuk. Mans en vroue dra egter toenemend dieselfde kledingstukke, gekoop by dieselfde winkels, in 'n klein, so uiteenlopende, afwisselende en soms afwykende geslag.  


9 Neigings vir geslagsvloeistof uit die verlede

Van Katharine Hepburn wat haar pakke aantrek tot manlike modelle wat in die poes marsjeer, in die baan van die Gucci buig, die modetendense van geslagsvloeistowwe is nie juis iets nuuts nie. Mode en mense wat dit dra, het al baie keer vantevore geslagslyne vervaag.

Dit gesê, daar is sekere tendense uit die geskiedenis van die geslag wat ons ernstig moet oorweeg om in ons kaste terug te bring - nie net vir die estetiese nie, maar ook om hulde te bring aan die vryhede wat hulle gehelp het om die kultuur in te lei. Deur die dekades heen het klere mense geïnspireer om meer oop en vorentoe te dink, en vloeibare geslag in klere is slegs een aspek daarvan.

Maar watter voorkoms moet ons uit die verlede neem en ons weer voorstel vir 2016? Daar is nog baie wat in omloop is, maar kom ons stap terug in die modegeskiedenis en kyk na al die moontlikhede. Hieronder is nege geslagsmoderne tendense uit die verlede, en waarom dit vandag nog steeds wonderlik is.

1. Die Teddy Boy & amp Look Girl

Gedurende die vyftigerjare het Londen 'n Teddy Boy-ontploffing beleef, waar die jeug 'n Edwardiaanse-geïnspireerde silhoeët geniet, soos pasgemaakte pakke en 'n gladde rugkant. Volgens Vice het jongmense in 1951 op Britse strate begin verskyn in 'n rokstyl wat gedeeltelik geïnspireer is deur die Edwardiaanse dandy. 'N Verwerping van die na-oorlogse grysskaalse vaalheid-demobakke en dies meer-dit was 'n trots eksentrieke styl, en 'n styl wat nie by die gevestigde orde val nie. & Quot Die uniform? 'N Drapende baadjie wat lyk soos 'n pasgemaakte pak, met 'n broek, brogues en 'n gesmeerde rugkant. Die meisies het hierdie voorkoms gewissel deur hul broek vas te maak en soms serpe om hul nekke te voeg, maar die eindresultaat was dieselfde: 'n Letselvraat wat moeg was vir krap.

2. Die Women's Tuxedo

Yves Saint Laurent het in 1966 die eerste smoking vir vroue gemaak, en die klassieke manlike silhoeët het die vroue wat uit hul aandrokke gestap het, in hul sterretjies bemagtig. Volgens Business Insider was die vrou wat dit gedra het 'eerbiedig' en geëis: 'As mans dit kan dra, waarom kan ek nie?' styl kort daarna. Natuurlik dra die vreemde celeb nou en dan 'n weergawe van die aantreklike uitrusting op die rooi tapyt, maar waarom kies jy nie net so gereeld manchetknoppies as 'n pailletrok as dit kom by fancy sake nie?

3. Baba pop rokke

In die negentigerjare het Kurt Cobain 'n voorliefde gehad om op die verhoog te kom in enigiets uit die kas van Courtney Love, insluitend babapoppe-rokke en uitgeslape kolwyntjie-agtige prom-rokke. Toe hy ondervra is waarom hy 'n voorliefde vir die tradisioneel vroulike rok-silhoeët gehad het, was sy antwoord 'n hoekom-maak-dit-saak-skouerophaling. Volgens New York Tydskrif, & quotWanneer Melodie Maker vra hom in 1992 waarom hy gekies het om 'n wit babydoll -rok in die video vir 'In Bloom' te dra, het hy ontwrig. 'Ek weet regtig nie hoekom nie. Ek dra graag rokke omdat hulle gemaklik is. As ek 'n laken kon dra, sou ek. Ek weet nie wat om te sê nie ... as ek sou sê dat ons dit doen om ondermynend te wees, dan is dit 'n klomp kak, want mans in bands wat rokke dra, is nie meer omstrede nie. '& Quot

Met inagneming van Mick Jagger se prinses Diana -rokke en David Bowie se syjaponne, sou Cobain moontlik op iets gewees het. Deur iets so tipies "vroulik" as 'n rok te omhels, het mans die opsie om uit hul taai man te kom.

4. Gewasbone

Die unisex-styl het alles begin by die ontwerper Rudi Gernreich, wat geglo het dat mans en vroue presies dieselfde style kan aantrek, sonder enige aanpassings wat deur die geslag beïnvloed word. Of dit nou minirokkies, tenks of bikini -stelle gedra het, hy het geglo dat daar nie 'n verskil in styl volgens geslag moet wees nie.

Alhoewel dit oral by baie vroue 'n gunsteling is vir baie vroue, blyk dit dat mans nog steeds die teenkanting kry. Toe Kid Cudi byvoorbeeld in 2014 op die Coachella -verhoog kom in 'n oranje oes, was daar net soveel terugstoot as goedkeuring, soos Complex berig het met 'n samevatting van Twitter -reaksies.

Hoe meer ons ouens sien wat uitgewasse is, hoe minder skandalig sal dit wees, en hoe minder geneig sal ons wees om almal se seksuele en geslagsverwantskap te bevraagteken as dit kom by iets so klein soos klere.

5. Jumpsuits

Hierdie stuk uit die 1960's kan dit laat lyk asof jy 'n paartjie is wat pas uit die tronk ontsnap het, maar die idee van die neiging is wat ons soek en nie die presiese silhoeët nie.

Die stuk het eintlik 'n opwindende, geslagsvrye begin, wat wissel van manlike rocksterre, vroulike vertoningskoninginne en toekomstige ruimteskipbewoners. Volgens die Los Angeles Times, & quotDie onesie het die aanloopbaan in die 1960's bereik toe André Courrèges sy jumpsuits in Space Age in Parys gewys het. Gou het Cher, Abba en Elvis die voorkoms aangepas by hul verhoogkaste, terwyl Diana Ross, Liza Minnelli en Bianca Jagger disco in Studio 54 gedans het in Halston se draperige, vryvloeiende eenstukstyle. & Quot

Deur die jumpsuit 'n duisendjarige draai te gee, kan dit vir alle geslagte super chique wees, waar ons die verbrande oranje kleur en Studio 64 -krae laat vaar en vervang met 'n tapse broek en minimalistiese lyne. Volgens Style Blazer kon die jumpsuit in elk geval reeds met sy veldtog vir 'n terugkeer begin het, wat reeds in mans se kaste verskyn het.

6. Ponchos

In die sestigerjare het mans en vroue poncho's geskud, wat ooreenstem met die hippie -neiging om by verskillende kulture te leen. Of jy nou jou broek oor 'n broek of 'n romp gegooi het, dit maak nie saak nie - geselligheid sou ontstaan, ongeag. Lei berig, & quotDie poncho is natuurlik skaars 'n nuwe verskynsel. Aan die einde van die 60's en vroeë 70's het 'n poncho Clint Eastwood wat deur spaghetti -westerns wuif, die voorkoms van Frank Zappa verhef oor kwessies van poncho -egtheid in 'Camarillo Brillo' (& quotIs that a real poncho. I mean Is that a Mexican poncho) of is dit 'n Sears-poncho? & quot) en Susan Dey (as Laurie Partridge) wat die poncho onder tienermeisies gewild gemaak het wat desperaat was om haar rustige, slaperige skoonheid na te boots. en haar & quot -poncho's het 'n bietjie meer konteks met hulle gehad as om net 'n kombers te wees wat jy kon dra.

Volgens The Smithsonian, & quot Aangesien die feministiese beweging stoom gekry het en vroue vir gelyke regte geveg het, het hul kleredrag meer androgine geword. Mans het intussen grys flanelpakke weggegooi - en die beperkende weergawe van manlikheid wat daarmee gepaard gegaan het - deur vroulike kledingstukke toe te eien. & Quot Jo Paoletti, skrywer van Seks en unisex: mode, feminisme en die seksuele revolusie, het aangevoer dat 'beide geslagte die idee van geslag as vasgestel bevraagteken' verlede.

7. Die Beatnik Look

In die vyftigerjare was daar 'n subkultuur van ontnugterde jeugdiges wat die voorspoed wat die naoorlog meegebring het, wou verwerp en hulle eerder in filosofie en poësie wou begrawe. Enter the beatniks, a group of people that favored simple black turtlenecks and cigarette pants, with berets, leotards, and reading glasses thrown in for good measure. AnOther Magazine explained the subgroup, "The post-war boom which flowed over the USA in the late 1950s brought with it more than simply a greater quality of life.

With money came materialism — a plague that members of the Beat movement was determined to withstand." Because of that, their style was bare minimum and simple, where both sexes opted for lots of black and slim silhouettes that let them blend in. "While in the mainstream, adolescents were donning billowing hourglass skirts in an echo of Christian Dior’s New Look, beatniks opted for black Why should we bring this back? Simply put, a minimalist, all-black outfit arguably never goes out of style.

8. Berets

While Gucci is leading the way in bringingneed a source for this vintage silhouettes into men's closets, but the simple hat is rife with history, from being a peasant's hat in the 1550s to a political revolutionary staple. It made a strong comeback in the 20th century, symbolizing different things in different decades, from being a metropolitan staple for all genders in the '20s to a revolutionary symbol in the '60s and '70s for the likes of Che Guevara and The Black Panthers, worn by both men and women. Bring the beret back to your hat rotation: Whether you choose to channel Parisians, beatniks, revolutionaries, or 16th century peasant is up to you.

9. Three-Piece Suits

While the look has long been wildly popular for decades when it came to men, three-piece suits also became popular in the '30s for women. Bold, opinionated female movie stars like Marlene Dietrich and Dorothy Mackaill loved them, buttoning themselves into vests and throwing ties around their necks during a time where women were ostracized for simply wearing pants.

Vice pointed out that in 1939, Vogue fashion editor Elizabeth Penrose spoke out against working women that would wear their pants outside of their workplace, calling them "slackers in slacks." With more than a handful of decades between us and the '30s, the three-piece suit would now look incredibly dapper on for, say, a Tuesday lunch meeting — no matter what gender you identify with.

Next time you go shopping, try to break away from your usual preferences and try out some of these time-transcending gender fluid suggestions. Who knows, you just might love them as much as your fashion forepeople did.

Images: Plaid Stallions (1) Yves Saint Laurent (1) The Face (1) Rollins-Joffe Productions (1) Super Simple (1)


Rudi Gernreich - History

Rudi Gernreich was born in 1922 in Vienna to an intellectual Jewish family. His father was a hosiery manufacturer. His aunt owned a fashion shop that sold the best Parisian knockoffs in the country. During the 1930s, his family fled from the Nazis, immigrating to Los Angeles. He became an American citizen in 1943. In L.A., he worked at a mortuary and in the publicity department at RKO Studios he also studied art at Los Angeles College. When he discovered dance after joining a West Hollywood troupe, it changed his life. He took particular note of the dance uniforms for future inspiration.

By 1950, he decided dance wasn’t paying the bills, so he began pursuing a fashion career. He relocated to New York City to work for George Camel, a coat and suit company. In 1951, he met Walter Bass, who believed in the Austrian’s talent and partnered with him to start a fashion business. Gernreich’s deconstructed sportswear was snapped up on both coasts, making him the designer to watch. He kept pushing the line with every collection. He designed a bra-free bathing suit (1952) and a knitted tube dress (1953) that hugged every curve. His main focus by the late 1950s, however, was swimwear—wool knitted and elasticized. During this time, he also created a menswear line (1956), a women’s footwear collection (1957), and hosiery/stockings (1959).

In 1960, Gernreich broke away from Bass to form his own company, G.R. Designs. He continued to push boundaries with clothing that appealed to women of all ages. His hemlines were cut above the knee—scandalous for the time. Nothing could prepare the world for his next big move—the creation of the topless swimsuit called a monokini. A one-piece suit with a strap between the two breasts, putting them prominently on display, shocked the still prudish public in 1964. Stores that carried the bathing suit were picketed and even received bomb threats. Over 3,000 suits were sold, but only one person in the States was ever spotted wearing it, and she was quickly arrested. If he hadn't been famous before, he was now.

For the next few years, the radical Gernreich clothing was a hot commodity, particularly with teens and 20-30 somethings. He continued to design clothing that moved by using malleable materials. He also used diametrically opposed colors (like lime and purple) and bold graphics in his designs. Some of his wackier concepts included jackets with one round collar and one-pointed collar white satin tuxedos, and military safari clothing complete with dog tags. At his peak, he opened a showroom in Manhattan, exhibiting his knits via Harmon Knitwear and more of his avant-garde designs.

In the early 1970s, he also concocted the concept of "unisex" clothing—that which can be worn by men or women. Some of his biggest unisex designs were knit bell-bottom trousers, floor-length kaftans, Y-front women's underwear, and midriff tops. Other designs that rocked the fashion world were his thong bathing suit that showed off the buttocks, chiffon T-shirt dresses, see-through tops, and vinyl mini-dresses.

From 1970-1971, he designed furnishings for Fortress and Knoll International, and in 1975 he created men's style underwear for Lily of France. Kitchen and bathroom accessories, rugs, and bedding were added to his output, as were cosmetics in collaboration with Redken. Before leaving fashion, he went out with a bang in 1982 by designing the "pubkini," which revealed the wearer's pubic hair. In 1985, Gernreich died of lung cancer in 1985 at age 62.


A queer history of fashion

Fashion is queer and we know it. So why don’t we talk about it? From Christian Dior to Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent and Jil Sander many of the world’s greatest designers have identified as LGBTQ. And for centuries, fashion has been an instrument of expression and experimentation for this community. The sex-charged creations of designers like Walter Van Beirendonck, and the androgynous looks flooding fashion week’s runways, prove that sexuality and the way we style ourselves are inextricably entwined. Yet, until now, there had never been an in-depth study on the subject.

‘A Queer History of Fashion: From The Closet To The Catwalk’, explores how gender and sexuality have been inspiring and informing fashion for over 300 years. Edited by Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, the book accompanies an MFIT’s exhibition of the same name. It features contributions by some of the world’s most acclaimed scholars of gay history and fashion.

This complex subject is Steele’s thing: she has previously penned books on fashion and eroticism, fetish and gothic style – to name a few. For Steele, fashion is chained to identity, to which sexuality is heart and soul.

Dazed Digital: When you think about how many big name designers are gay it’s actually quite mind-blowing.

Valerie Steele: That was one of the main reasons why Fred [Dennis, co-curator] and I wanted to do this as a subject. It’s like an open secret – everybody knows this but nobody ever really talks about it.

DD: Why has the LGBTQ community always shared such close ties with fashion?

Valerie Steele: It’s complicated because it goes way back further than we’d thought. It involves the whole history of oppression and secrecy surrounding gay sexuality, which was illegal for many years and regarded as a mental illness. So I think gays and lesbians had to be hyper aware of how to read and analyse clothes so as to dress in a way that would allow them to communicate with other people but not to be recognised by a homophobic society. I think another aspect is that fashion is one of the so-called ‘artistic’ professions. And gays have been involved in a lot of those. Once gay people started to work in the fashion industry it started the beginnings of a more welcoming setting for other gays to enter into.

DD: When was this happening?

Valerie Steele: Certainly as early as the 1920’s but probably sooner than that. Gays were already interested in fashion in the 18th and 19th centuries, though we don’t have the names of explicit couturiers. Some of our sources talked about the desire to express oneself in a way other than verbally and the desire to create an alternative world of beauty.

DD: Is there a gay aesthetic?

Valerie Steele: Not just one. Each individual designer has his or her personal style and that’s also tied in with the style of a particular period. So you can see both idealising trends and also transgressive trends in gay design. You can see idealised feminine beauty in the work of say, Dior. But then if you go back a couple of decades to the thirties and the work of somebody like Mainbocher it’s a very different aesthetic.

Butch Chanel, Wigstock, NYC, 1992 Photograph by Michael James O’Brien, c.2013

DD: Marc Jacobs once said, “I don’t believe my sexuality has any bearing on how I design clothes.” Thoughts?

Valerie Steele: I think that every component of a person’s individuality does: their age, their sexuality, where they’re from it doesn’t determine it but it influences it. He might be right, speaking personally. But I think that collectively over time it would be highly likely to have an influence.

DD: During this fashion week and for some time we’ve seen a lot of experimentation with androgyny and a neutral space between male and female. Does the LGBTQ influence have something to do with this?

Valerie Steele: Yes I think so. It’s not the sole cause, but historically you look back and you see that from the 19th century on and even earlier many lesbians were attracted to men’s tailored suits and there was the whole concept of whether LGBTQ people were like a third sex, in-between. Somebody like Rudi Gernreich felt that unisex and androgynous clothes might provide a new space for freedom for both men and women.

Dazed Digital: Is there the potential for a third sex in fashion?

Valerie Steele: Well, the bodies are different so a perfect androgyny would be unlikely. And then of course people do want to play with the idea of secondary sexual characteristics and gender as a theme. But I think it does indicate a growing sense of freedom and possibility that people of all sexes, all genders and all ages are able to find a kind of fashion that expresses who they are.

Dazed Digital: Why do we hear so much about gay designers but not so much about lesbian designers?

Valerie Steele: I think there have been more lesbian and bisexual contributions to fashion than we have known about. It’s been much more discreet – for whatever reason women have decided to be more under the radar about their sexuality. Somebody like Madeleine Vionnet, arguably the greatest couturier of the 20th century, was probably bisexual. But she was very discreet about that until in old age when she gave a couple of interviews where she talked about her attraction to beautiful women and so on. Even today it’s relatively rare for bi and lesbian women to be know even within the fashion community let alone within the world at large. It may just be that it’s tough enough to be a woman without having to deal with other people’s prejudice.


A History of Women’s Swimwear

From the eighteenth century to the present day, women’s swimwear has undergone an unparalleled transformation. Changes in women’s swimwear throughout history have reflected sociological and technological factors, thus the garment acts as a barometer of time.

S wimwear is loosely defined as a category of garment often worn when participating in aquatic activities, such as swimming or bathing. Swimwear is expected to fulfil varying requirements. For competitive swimmers, a streamlined and tight-fitting garment which reduces friction and drag in the water is favoured to enhance propulsion and buoyancy. For recreational use, swimwear needs to be fashionable whilst also maintaining its functionality, for example protecting the wearer’s modesty and withstanding the effects of elements such as water and sunlight. Exploring the history of female swimwear, tracing how it has evolved through time and across continents, not only gives an insight into fashion trends and technological advancements in materials and design, but also an exploration of female liberation.

18de eeu

In the eighteenth century, sea bathing became a popular recreational activity. It was believed that there were considerable health benefits to bathing in the sea, thus it was encouraged for both women and men (Kidwell). However, immersing oneself completely was discouraged. This was deemed particularly important for women as activity in water was not seen as sufficiently feminine. For bathing, women would wear loose, open gowns, that were similar to the chemise (Kidwell). These bathing gowns were more comfortable to wear in the water, especially when compared to more restrictive day clothes.

The bathing gown in figure 1 is from 1767 and belonged to Martha Washington, the wife of then-Continental Army commander, and later the first US president, George Washington. The blue and white checked gown is made from linen and is in an unfitted shift style. Small lead weights are sewn into each quarter of the dress, just above the hem. This was to ensure the dress did not float up in the water, helping women to maintain their modesty. It is known that Martha Washington travelled in the summers of 1767 and 1769 to the famed mineral springs in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, to absorb the apparent health benefits.

Fig. 1 - Maker unknown (American). Bathing gown, ca. 1767-1769. Linen, lead. Mount Vernon: George Washington’s Mount Vernon, W-580. Gift of Mrs. George R. Goldsborough, Vice Regent for Maryland 1894. Source: George Washington’s Mount Vernon

19de eeu

In the 19th century, the popularity of recreational aquatic activities surpassed the desire to bathe for health benefits. With this, the loose-fitting chemise gowns became increasingly fitted and more complex, replicating the silhouettes of women’s fashion.

The number one priority for women who took part in water-based activities was to maintain their modesty. Whilst bathing for health benefits fell out of fashion, women still tended to bathe or paddle in water. This was because vigorous exercise in water was not considered ladylike. Women’s swimwear had to reflect this notion of remaining proper, as defined by contemporary society. Bathing outfits would consist of a bathing dress, drawers and stockings, often made of wool or cotton. These fabrics would become heavy when wet and were hardly suitable for any vigorous activities. In this case, it can be said that women’s swimwear, which prohibited ease of movement in water, reflected and maintained the social and physical constraints on women in nineteenth-century patriarchal society.

Fig. 2 - William Heath (British, 1794-1840). Mermaids at Brighton, 1825-1830. Etching. London: The British Museum, 1868,0808.9134. Purchased from Edward Hawkins (estate of). Source: British Museum

Fig. 3 - Designer unknown (American). Bathing suit, 1870s. Wol. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979.346.18a, b. Gift of The New York Historical Society, 1979. Source: The Met

During the Victorian period, known for its strict moral values, women frequently used bathing machines, as pictured in figure 2, when getting in and out of the sea. Bathing machines were little houses on wheels that would be drawn in and out of deeper water by horses. They provided women with a place to change in privacy before making their way directly into the sea.

Into the 1880s, women continued to wear bathing dresses, as seen in figures 3 and 4. These garments had high-necks, long-sleeves, and knee-length skirts. Linen and wool fabrics were still used. Women often wore belts at the waist to replicate the popular silhouette of the time. Under the bathing dress, women would wear bloomer-like trousers to maintain their modesty.

An alternative female swimwear garment, popularised towards the end of the Victorian era, was the Princess suit (Kennedy 23). These were one-piece garments where the blouse was attached to the trousers. On top, women wore a mid-calf length skirt which diverted attention from the wearer’s figure. The garments tended to be dark colours, which meant onlookers could not tell if the garment was wet. The suits were not the most practical, restricting the wearers’ arm movements and weighing them down in the water.

The Princess suit was a catalyst for the considerable changes to women’s swimwear that was to come. Most obviously, the Princess suit was the beginning of the one-piece swimsuit for women (Fig. 5). Changes began to happen quickly as women’s activities in water began to be more socially acceptable. Firstly, by the 1890s, the trousers of the Princess suit were shortened so they could not be seen under the skirt. The material that was used to create a Princess suit moved away from flannel, which became heavy when wet, towards serge and other knitted materials (Kidwell).

Fig. 4 - Artist unknown. Bathing Costume, from The Delineator, July 1884. Washington D.C.: The Smithsonian Institution, photo 58466. Source: Alamy

Fig. 5 - Maker unknown (American). Bathing suit, 1890-95. Wool, cotton. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975.227.6. Gift of Theodore Fischer Ells, 1975. Source: The Met

1900-1945

During the twentieth century women’s swimwear underwent significant transformations as a result of the material advancements and increasingly liberal fashion trends.

In the early nineteenth century swimming emerged as a competitive sport. However, its popularity was not solidified until its first appearance at the Olympic Games in 1896. Women were permitted to compete in swimming for the first time at the 1912 Olympics. Annette Kellerman (Fig. 6), a swimmer from Australia, can be credited for shifting social attitudes towards acceptance of female participation in swimming and beginning the modernization of female swimwear. Kellerman was dubbed “the Australian Mermaid” because of her swimming capabilities. She was known for swimming the English Channel and famed for her performances in Hollywood movies (Schmidt and Tay).

In 1905, Annette Kellerman was invited to perform in front of the British Royal Family, however her swimsuit was prohibited as it was tight-fitting and revealed the lower half of her legs. Kellerman refused to compete in an inconvenient and ill-fitting garment which would meet their modesty standards, so she instead sewed black stockings onto her swimsuit, as seen in figure 6. Kellerman encountered trouble again when she competed in Boston. Her swimsuit was deemed to be of indecent exposure however, this was overruled in her favour as the judge agreed that heavy and ill-fitting swimsuits were impractical garments for swimming. This incident was widely publicised in the media, and whilst Kellerman’s action could have had a liberating effect on female swimwear, it unfortunately led to a crackdown on female immodesty in some parts of the world, with police working to enforce strict clothing conduct policies.

Fig. 6 - George Grantham Bain (American, 1865-1944). Miss Annette Kellerman, ca. 1905. Glass negative. Washington D.C.: Library of Congress, LC-B2- 738-5 [P&P]. Source: LOC

Fig. 7 - Jantzen (1910-). Jantzen 1910-2010, 2010. Source: Lingerie Talk

In the 1910s, Jantzen, originally known as the Portland Knitting Company, was the leading producer of bathing suits (Fig. 7). This was the start of technological advancements in the materiality of swimwear. At first, Jantzen produced what they referred to as ‘woollen suits’ for rowing clubs. This became very popular and so Jantzen marketed it to a wider audience. It was not until 1921 that Jantzen referred to the garment as a swimsuit. Speedo, the Australian clothing company, started to experiment with swimwear in 1914. For both sexes, the all-in-one garments tended to have short sleeve or vest style tops with long legs. Whilst social reform had begun, the commercial sector lagged behind. Therefore, both Jantzen and Speedo continued to market their all-in-ones as bathing suits throughout the 1910s.

Following the First World War, women’s swimwear trends began to differ across continents. In America and Europe women wore knitted swimwear which replaced the bathing suit, however there were slight tweaks depending on where you lived. In America, women favoured a practical and sporty look whilst European women opted for sleeker swimsuits which cut closely to the body. Another key difference between the two fashion trends was that women’s swimsuit fashions were accessible to a very large middle class in America, whereas in Europe there were clear class divisions on what women could or could not afford to buy for wearing to the beach. An affluent woman could set herself apart by wearing a silk jersey swimming suit, instead of a knitted one (Kidwell). Kennedy reiterates this when she wrote:

“Both sides of the Atlantic favoured the practical one-piece ‘maillot’, but in France the costume’s legs were shorter in length, the knitted ribwork was more finely woven and the decoration was kept to a minimum.” (34)

Whilst the maillot costumes worn by women were improvements on what they had to wear before the turn of the century, they still had their impracticalities. Due to the materiality of the garment, the knitted swimsuits tended to become misshapen when wet. The fabric absorbed a great deal of water resulting in the elongation and sagging of the swimsuit. These issues often jeopardised the modesty of the women’s swimsuits which concerned inter-war society.

Fig. 8 - Photographer unknown. Vogue Cover, July 1932. Source: Vogue Archive

Fig. 9 - Neyret (French). Bathing Costume, 1937. Machine-knitted wool. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, T.293-1971. Source: V&A

During this period, swimwear began to feature in magazines as fashionable garments (Fig. 8) as fashion designers turned a hand to creating swimwear. Coco Chanel created a one-piece swimsuit, woven from a boucle fabric, that could have almost passed as unisex (Kennedy 48). Chanel’s foray into swimwear brought it into modern fashion. Jean Patou, who worked with his sister Madeleine, was probably the best-known sportswear designer at the time. Swimwear could also be found in the Cannes boutiques of Lanvin, Molyneux, Schiaparelli and Poiret (Kennnedy 53).

The 1930s gave way to the health and fitness movement which favoured fit and healthy female physiques. To maintain their figures, women were encouraged to participate in exercise, though only in ways that were deemed lady-like. Swimming was one of these exercises, which also gave women the opportunity to experiment with tanning. Towards the end of the 1920s, tanned skin was no longer a marker of the working class, but instead became fashionable and conveyed that one holidayed, and was therefore affluent. So much so, in 1932, Elsa Schiaparelli patented a backless swimsuit with a built-in brassiere for the sole purpose of avoiding tan lines from swimsuit straps whilst sunbathing (Snodgrass 566).

The boyish silhouettes were a thing of the past as women sought more shapely figures. The swimsuit in figure 9 is a machine-knit, woollen garment from 1937. Wool was favoured for its slightly elasticated qualities. The swimsuit has thin straps allowing women to catch the sun on their shoulders. There is a ribbed midriff panel which would have provided extra support and enhanced the female figure. The brief-like bottoms maintain the wearer’s modesty.

1945-1999

Lastex yarn (Fig. 10) was invented in 1931 (Kennedy 71). This was a game changer for swimwear once it was regularly used in production. Typically knitted swimsuits were made from wool which would lose its shape when wet. The introduction of Lastex yarn into women’s swimwear meant the garments would hold their form in and out of the water. Lastex would often be combined with artificial fibres such as rayon resulting in a stretchy and shiny fabric (Kennedy 71). Swimsuits could now be produced in a much larger range of colours and prints (Kennedy 71). Furthermore, at the end of the 1940s, Christian Dior launched his New Look which consisted of nipped in waists and full skirts, accentuating the female form. This exciting design shifted the trend to feminine and hourglass figures for women, including in swimwear. In this Lastex yarn advertisement from ca. 1950 (Fig. 10), the figure-hugging swimsuits reflect the fashionable feminine post-war silhouettes.

One of the most significant moments in the history of women’s swimwear was the creation of the bikini in 1946. The design of the bikini is credited to two separate designers who introduced the revolutionary garment at the same time. Jacques Heim, a French fashion designer, created a minimalist two-piece swimming garment in May 1946, called the Atome. Heim’s Atome featured a bra-like top and bottoms which covered the bottom and navel. Later that year, in July 1946, Louis Réard, an engineer turned designer, created what he called the bikini. Réard’s skimpy design, pictured in figure 11, consisted of only four triangles of material that were held together with string. The two designs competed for public attention and whilst Heim’s garment was the first to be worn on a beach, it was the term bikini, as coined by Réard, that stuck.

The rise of the film industry and Hollywood glamour, which celebrated the female form in its entirety, had a big impact on the swimwear industry. In 1952, Bridget Bardot starred in the French film Manina, The Girl in the Bikini. At just 17, Bardot was one of the first women to sport a bikini on the big screen. Towards the end of the decade, in 1956, Bardot appeared bikini-clad again in And God Created Women. These appearances brought the bikini into mainstream media, thus beginning the garment’s transition from outrageous and shocking to everyday. Volgens Vogue, by the mid-1950s swimwear was seen more as a “state of dress, not undress” (Delis Hill 63), illustrating how liberated fashion trends were gradually being accepted, even if society was not quite ready for the bikini.

Fig. 10 - Artist unknown. Before the bikini: ‘To flatter your figure this summer choose a swimsuit that has the long-lasting elasticity which Lastex yarn provides…’, ca. 1950's. Source: Alamy Stock Photos

Fig. 11 - Photographer unknown (French). Bikini At The Molitor Swimming Pool, 1946. Source: Getty Images

Fig. 12 - Willy Rozier (French, 1901-1983). Bridget Bardot, 1952, Manina, The Girl in the Bikini, with Jean-Francois Calve, Ullstein Bild Dtl, 1952. Source: Getty Images

In terms of competitive swimming, Speedo first introduced nylon into swimwear in 1956 (Kennedy 10). For the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, Speedo created the well-known male Speedo shorts (Kennedy 10). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the technological advances in materiality were prioritised for use in male competitive swimming before female competitive swimming. However, it was not long before women’s competitive swimwear also utilised the hydrodynamic qualities of nylon. In the 1970s Speedo introduced elastane into their swimwear. The combination of elastane and nylon significantly reduced water drag and improved the durability of swimwear.

Fig. 13 - Rudi Gernreich (American, born Austria, 1922–1985). Bathing Suit, 1964. Wool, elastic. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986.517.13. Gift of Betty Furness, 1986. Source: The Met

Fig. 14 - William Claxton (American, 1927-2008). Peggy Moffit, monokini by Rudi Gernreich, 1964. Source: Feature Shoot

Designers continued to experiment with swimwear throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Emanuel Ungaro, André Courrѐges, Giorgio Armani, Oscar de la Renta and Calvin Klein all started selling ready-to-wear swimwear in the 1960s (Snodgrass 567). In 1964, the designer Rudi Gernreich launched his iconic monokini (Figs. 13-14). The first topless garment, the one-piece consisted of slim-fitting high-waisted bottoms which were held in place by thin halter-neck straps. Gernreich’s monokini thus juxtaposed conservative dress with immodesty.

Fig. 15 - Photographer unknown. Nicolette Sheridan at the 1988 Kauai Lagoons Celebrity Sports Invitational, 1988. Source: Getty Images

Fig. 16 - Photographer unknown. Pamela Anderson, Baywatch, 1995. Source: Harper's Bazaar

Towards the end of the twentieth-century, women’s swimwear became increasingly bold and colourful, a reflection of the fashion trends at the time. Bikinis and swimsuits were still the go-to swimwear, which now featured high-cut legs, strapless bandeau bikini tops and even matching sarongs (Fig. 15). The television show Baywatch, which first aired in 1989, became known for its characters’ bright red, high-cut swimsuits (Fig. 16). This style of swimwear re-popularised the one-piece in this new shape.

21ste eeu

Competitive swimming in the twenty-first century has continued to benefit from technological advancements in shapes and materials. In 2008 Speedo launched the LZR Racer, pictured in figures 17 and 18. The body-length swimsuit is made from elastane-nylon and polyurethane. These swimsuits were controversial as many felt the materials being used gave an unfair advantage due to their hydrodynamic properties. Following their use in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where athletes who wore the LZR performed exceptionally well, the regulations for swimwear in the Olympic games were revised. It was concluded that women’s swimwear could only be shoulder to knee-length.

Since the 2000s, many female swimwear trends from the twentieth century are being revisited due to the cyclical nature of fashion. 1950s one-pieces, high-cut Baywatch swimwear and itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikinis will often be spotted on the same beach. Women’s swimwear continues to be more than just a functional garment, it must also be fashionable. Something that is new in female swimwear in the twenty-first century is swimwear brands being more inclusive of female sizing. The pressure to look a certain way when poolside is slowly dwindling. Whilst the twentieth-century sought to eradicate laws controlling women’s modesty, perhaps the twenty-first century will be the era when women’s swimwear becomes inclusive for all.

Fig. 17 - Photographer unknown. Speedo Launch Worlds Fastest Swimsuit, 2008. Source: Getty Images

Fig. 18 - Mike Stobe (American). Speedo Swimsuit Launch, 2008. Source: Getty Images

Verwysings:
  • Delis Hill, Daniel. As Seen in Vogue. Texas: Texas Tech University Press. 2007. https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1027144384
  • Kay, Fiona and Storey, Neil. R. 1940s Fashion. England: Amberley Publishing, 2018. https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/100792685
  • Kennedy, Sarah. Vintage Swimwear: A History of Twentieth Century Fashions. London: Carlton. 2010. https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1089738980
  • Kidwell, Claudia Brush. Women’s Bathing and Swimming Costume in the United States. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press. 1968. https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/249672621
  • Schmidt, Christine and Tay, Jinna. Undressing Kellerman, Uncovering Broadhurst: The Modern Women and “Un-Australia”, Fashion Theory, Volume 13, Issue 4. https://doi.org/10.2752/175174109X467495
  • Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. World Clothing and Fashion: An Encyclopaedia of History, Culture and Social Influence. London, England: Routledge. 2014. https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/881384673

Oor die skrywer

Fiona Ibbetson

Fiona Ibbetson is a London-based researcher in fashion studies and design history. She is a recent graduate of MA Fashion Critical Studies at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, and has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Exeter.


How L.A. designer Rudi Gernreich shifted fashion politics

Wander the new exhibition “Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich” at Skirball Cultural Center in Brentwood and you’ll quickly see how Rudi Gernreich, a gay, Jewish dancer-turned-designer and an activist, was ahead of his time in terms of the scope of his designs and how he saw the future and humanity evolving.

The retrospective, which runs through Sept. 1, celebrates the work of an innovative designer who challenged thoughts on gender, sexuality and diversity, particularly during the 1960s and ’70s, and who once said, “You are what you decide you want to be.”

Gernreich, who died of lung cancer in 1985, predicted that people wouldn’t distinguish between masculine and feminine in the future and instead would seek comfortable, utilitarian clothes that weren’t overly frilly or ornate. Klink dit bekend?

Among the 80-plus looks and pieces in the exhibition — which also includes oral histories, letters and other artifacts — are styles that immediately recall the ’60s and ’70s: the loud colors, the geometric designs, the bold cuts. But there are also fashion game-changers that speak to the ideal that people should be free of self-imposed or societal restrictions, including unisex caftans, thong bathing suits and swimsuit tops free of underwire.

One afternoon earlier this week, former model Renée Holt, who later worked in movie animation and special effects, strolled through the Gernreich exhibition remembering her days with the designer. The 72-year-old Glendale resident, who also appears on video in “Fearless Fashion” in an oral history, briefly modeled for Gernreich during the early 1970s when he was promoting his unisex fashion. Together, they took work trips to Chicago Osaka, Japan and elsewhere.

Back then, Holt said, she was close to giving up on modeling when her agent called her about Gernreich. Despite being shy, Holt shaved her head and body and posed nude for Gernreich’s projects. She also appeared in a photo with a shaved head wearing one of Gernreich’s unisex black catsuits.

“I felt a lot less repressed as a woman after being with Rudi and hanging around him and [his partner] Oreste,” she said, adding that the experience of working with Gernreich forever changed her as a person, especially after growing up in a conservative family.

Standing at a display of a mannequin wearing the unisex catsuit, its pose mimicking the bent-leg, bent-back pose that she struck during the photo shoot decades ago, Holt said: “This was me. I don’t remember bending that way. Then again, it was 50 years ago. … I was bendy back then. I tried to do it the other day and ended up in bed for two days.”

Gernreich immigrated to Pasadena in 1938 after fleeing Nazi-occupied Austria. His first job was at a morgue. Later, Gernreich, a founding member of the Mattachine Society, one of the first LGBTQ organizations in the U.S., moved from dance into fashion during the 1940s and ’50s. He worked with the likes of entrepreneur Hattie Carnegie and Hollywood costume designer Edith Head and eventually had a deal with retailer Montgomery Ward. (Toward the end of his life, Gernreich mostly abandoned fashion and got into making gourmet soups and housewares.)

Through his fashion career, Gernreich used his clothes to shift thought and raise awareness. For example, he created thong swimwear for women and men, which is on display in “Fearless Fashion,” to protest the city of Los Angeles prohibiting nude sunbathing in 1974.

Another of Gernreich’s groundbreaking pieces on display is the monokini, a topless swimsuit style he created for Look magazine after he told Women’s Wear Daily in 1962 that “bosoms will be uncovered in five years.”

A back-view photo of the monokini appeared in Look, and a front-facing photo appeared in WWD in 1964 worn by the designer’s collaborator and muse, model Peggy Moffitt. (Moffitt co-authored a 1991 book about Gernreich and his work and loaned many of the pieces in this exhibition.) About 3,000 monokinis were sold, and according to his 1985 obituary in The Times, Gernreich, who had a studio in West Hollywood, received praise for his design at the time but was “denounced by the Vatican, the Kremlin and many American clergymen. He received hundreds of letters, many threatening violence.”

Included in the mix on display are pieces from Gernreich’s statement-making 1970-’71 resort collection, which featured military-inspired pieces outfitted with dog tags and rifles. The pieces were shown after the Kent State shootings in 1970.

Also featured in “Fearless Fashion” is a controversial design — a women’s pantsuit, named after gender-bending actress and singer Marlene Dietrich, from the 1960s. Coming before Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic Le Smoking suit, Gernreich’s suit was banned from appearing at the Coty fashion awards.

It was one of the Gernreich pieces that stopped designer Humberto Leon, co-creator of Opening Ceremony and co-designer of French label Kenzo, in his tracks during a recent visit to the “Fearless Fashion” exhibition for which Leon was a consultant.

“Rudi was so much more than a fashion designer,” said Leon, who became involved in the exhibition about two years ago. “He was a political commentator. He was really reacting to the world, and I think [he was] globally influential. His approach to design and the way he used clothing as commentary on the times is something that was super-inspiring.

“I think there’s a timelessness to all of this,” he said, adding that Gernreich’s work easily could be part of fashion in 2019. (The Gernreich label was relaunched in 2018, and pieces are sold at retailers including Ssense and Farfetch.) “That’s because he was beyond fashion. He was making statements. He was freeing women. He was liberating.”

Zigzagging through the exhibition, Leon said visitors to “Fearless Fashion” should remember to take a closer look at the Gernreich pieces on display and consider the mores of the time and the news of the day.

“He really challenged all of those ideas,” Leon said, adding that people today would less likely be outraged by a thong or pantsuit. “The definition of masculinity and femininity were very blurred [in Gernreich’s work], and I think that’s so modern today.”


Kyk die video: How Hijabis Go Swimming #TheMuslimVersion