I must say that Rudi Gernreich is not a designer that new vintage people gush about. They are more likely to have fallen for the romantic looks of various periods, or the styles that work in the re-enactment world. Which is fine. The world needs romance and little role playing is fun. But variety and sophistication are needed as well. Acquired tastes are a good thing.
I think part of the appeal is the comfort and wearability of his knits. Especially coming out of the structured 50s. Let’s face it, if all Gernreich had done was that topless bathing suit, we probably wouldn’t know his name. He designed stylish, wearable bathing suits and some great dresses. Yes there were wild color combos and the wacky Unisex caftans. But most of his work for Harmon Knitwear is timeless enough to wear right now. A bit of the mad genius thing? Well, have you looked at the 2010 Paris Shows yet?
I rest my case.
Here’s a sample to whet your interest:
1965 Rudi Gernreich Orange & Purple Paisley Silk Cocktail Mini Dress @ http://glamoursavvy.com/
1950's Rudi Gernreich Grey Wool Swimsuit @ http://www.listitcafe.com/
Vintage 50's Rudi Gernreich for Westwood Pink Wool Swimsuit
Ca. 1973 Polyester and Wool Dress with Large Appliqués from the archives @ http://pastperfectvintage.com/