Documented 1971 Rudi Gernreich Red & Navy Check Dress w Belt
After emigrating to the US in 1933, Rudi Gernreich started working in theater as a costume designer. He worked under Gilbert Adrian for a few years and eventually started his own small independent label in 1948 while still working for various other labels through to the 1952. At this point he started to develop the basis of some of the knits he would become known for while working for the JAX boutique and doing freelance for several department stores. In 1960, Gernreich finally launched his own company and in 1964 renamed it Rudi Gernreich Inc. He is best known for his own label's work and the work that he was doing for Harmon knits in the 1960s and 1970s. Pieces like this dress are now regraded as being highly collectible.
This dress is from the 1971 season and several variations of this print were done and documented that season. His fascination with this graphic check print seems to have consumed him full force during this time period. Here we see three variations of the check used to maximum effectiveness. The top portion of the dress is done in a small red and navy check. The sleeves are more red in feel with a slightly larger so;id blue check running vertically down them. This balances out the skirt which is cut to be more full. Here the checks are of the same size and are quite large. The original belt that comes with the dress has the same check as the top and it anchors the entire design. The bodice is cut to be fitted and the skirt is set so that is has volume. It is made of his signature light wool knit. It is very rare to see a piece that still has its belt so I am happy to have had that come with it. It is a magnificent statement dress and highly collectible. Excellent condition with some small notes below.
Unlined and closes with a painted back zipper. The belt is backed with leather. The fabric around the round buckle shows signs of separating all the way around from the backing but still presents well from the front. I see two nicks out of the fabric that I have photoed. I had this cleaned and temperature treated and the fabric seems stable. Please review the photos after the label shot and before the reference photos. Tagged a vintage S.
Bust: 16-18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 16" from neck to waist
Skirt: 31" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
Reference Photos: (1) 1971 Rudi Gernreich Dress from the Indianapolis Museum of Art Collection. / (2-3) Peggy Moffitt in Rudi Gernreich, Fall 1971. Photographed by William Claxton.
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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