Rudi Gernreich was born in Vienna in 1922.
He came from a family who was involved in the fashion industry- his dad was a hosiery manufacturer and his aunt had a dress shop that he worked at when he was a teenager.
Because of the volatile situation in Austria Gernreich moved to California in 1938.
He attended both the Los Angeles City College and the Los Angeles Art Center School.
After he was done with school he worked as a dancer and a costume designer with the Leser Horton Company.
Gernreich began doing freelance fashion design work in 1948.
Then in 1951 he signed on to make clothing for the Los Angeles boutique Jax.
In 1960 he founded his own company GR Designs Inc which he would later change the name of to Rudi Gernreich Inc.
Because of his experience in dance he was fascinated by the need for stretchy material that would free the body for movement.
His early designs reflected this background in that they didn't force a woman's body into uncomfortable positions with the boning and underwires that were popular in bras and swimwear of the time.
Gernreich is best know for the topless bathing suit that he designed which was worn by his favorite model Peggy Moffit and was photographed by William Claxton.
Rudi Gernreich died in 1985.
Red and navy rectangle print dress.
You can purchase this dress for $695- over at The Paper Bag Princess
1960's sheer black nylon bra.
You can purchase this bra for $135- over at Vintage Martini
1960's red and navy checkerboard print maxi dress.
Measurements are 34-35" Chest, 28-32" Empire Waist and 38" Hips
You can "Buy It Now" for $500- over at Cats Vintage and Designer Clothing on eBay.
This post was originally published on April 20, 2007.