Rare S/S 1963 Patchwork Rudi Gernreich Bathing Set w Fringe Belt
The Spring/Summer 1963 Gernreich collection featured a variety of items made from a patchwork knit. The Metropolitan Museum holds a Maillot in their permanent archives and a jacket was featured in the 2011 exhibition "UNRAVEL Knitwear in Fashion" at the MOMU-Mode Museum in Antwerpen, Belgium. Here we have a third piece from that collection and it as as rare as the other two and probably deserves to be held in a museum as well. The set consists of a bra top, a long legged, fitted short and a fringe 'car wash' belt that you can wear over the shorts. The pieces are a riot of clashing colors and patterns. It is as if every mad design whim from Gernrich's mind landed in these pieces. Made of a wool nylon mix each piece has some stretch. The bra top simply ties into place and the shorts slip on. The pieces are made of literal patched together pieces of fabric. The belt adds tremendous movement as it swishes around the hip as you move. Gernreich was a brilliant innovator and master at knits and this set showcases that genius. The set is suitable for the collector though could be worn with care, full condition notes below.
All pieces are unlined. The top has a halter neck and ties at the back. The shorts slip on with elastic at the waist. The belt buttons along the waist and can be adjusted if needed. The suit has flaws - there is evidence of past moth damage throughout all pieces but primarily on the shorts. The damage to the top and belt are minimal. The pieces have been specially cleaned and treated. I have photoed the worst areas. Note the suit is sold as found and is best suited for the collector, though it could be worn if the damage does not bother you - all the areas seem sound and stable and having been cleaned will have displayed at their worst now.
approx 15-16" across from side seam to side seam and approx 28" end to end, the ties strings extend 16" further on each side.
Waist: 13-16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 17-19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 20.5" from waist to hem
approx 33-36" with buttons as they are presently set
Length of fringe: 11.5"
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference photos: (1-2) The Metropolitan Museum (3) from the exhibition "UNRAVEL Knitwear in Fashion" at the MOMU-Mode Museum in Antwerpen, Belgium
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
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