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Fashion, Freedom and The Total Look

Austrian-born American fashion designer Rudi Gernreich pushed the boundaries of his industry, flipping the paradigm of what the world recognized as fashion right on its head. Best known for his provocative, sometimes scandalous designs—including the first topless swimsuit in 1964 and the thong bathing suit a decade later—Gernreich has been hailed as one of the most prescient and authentic designers of the 20th century.

LPK is proud to sponsor Cincinnati Art Museum‘s The Total Look exhibition, a retrospective that examines Gernreich’s 1960s and 1970s collaboration with fashion model/muse Peggy Moffitt and her photographer husband William Claxton. Featuring Claxton’s photos and pieces from Moffitt’s personal collection, the exhibit captures everything from the undergarments to the outer garments to the shoes, jewelry, kabuki-inspired makeup and Vidal Sassoon hairstyles that coordinated to complete the “total look” iconic of an era.

It’s a fashion lover’s dream. But Gernreich’s clothes were about more than just fashion—they were designed to free women’s bodies. And in a time when modesty was the norm, Gernreich’s pieces provoked a new attitude, revealing how fashion could be a harbinger of social change.

“Rudi Gernreich both captured and influenced the zeitgeist of the times,” said Liz Grubow, LPK vice president and managing creative director. “It’s fascinating to me how, with fresh interpretations and new applications, art and the creative product are constantly relevant in our work and our lives.”

Inspired by Gernreich’s cacophony of color and juxtaposition of floral patterns and geometric forms, we recently created five unique typefaces that we feel epitomize The Total Look, as interpreted through graphic design. We coupled our pieces with five of Claxton’s photos from the exhibit, courtesy of the Cincinnati Art Museum, and are featuring them in the street-side window display of our Cincinnati office for the duration of the exhibit.

Stop by or join us at the Cincinnati Art Museum now through May 25 as we celebrate Gernreich’s contributions not only to fashion but to women’s liberation and gender equalization. Visit cincinnatiartmuseum.org to learn more.

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Photo Credit: William Claxton (1927–2008), Peggy Moffitt in Rudi Gernreich Evening Dress, detail, 1966, digital print, 24 x 20 in. (60.96 x 50.8 cm), ©William Claxton, LLC, courtesy of Demont Photo Management, with permission of the Rudi Gernreich trademark
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Photo Credit: William Claxton (1927–2008), Peggy Moffitt in Rudi Gernreich Dress from the Siamese Collection, 1968, digital print, 24 x 20 in. (60.96 x 50.8 cm), ©William Claxton, LLC, courtesy of Demont Photo Management, with permission of the Rudi Gernreich trademark
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Photo Credit: William Claxton (1927–2008), Peggy Moffitt in Rudi Gernreich Roualt Swimsuit, 1971, digital print, 24 x 20 in. (60.96 x 50.8 cm), ©William Claxton, LLC, courtesy of Demont Photo Management, with permission of the Rudi Gernreich trademark
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Photo Credit: William Claxton (1927–2008), Peggy Moffitt in Rudi Gernreich Mini-dress with Flower Earrings, 1967, digital print, 24 x 20 in. (60.96 x 50.8 cm), ©William Claxton, LLC, courtesy of Demont Photo Management, with permission of the Rudi Gernreich trademark
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Photo Credit: William Claxton (1927–2008), Peggy Moffitt in Rudi Gernreich Blouse and Hat from the Siamese Collection (detail), 1968, digital print, 24 x 20 in. (60.96 x 50.8 cm), ©William Claxton, LLC, courtesy of Demont Photo Management, with permission of the Rudi Gernreich trademark
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