The Total Look: The Creative Collaboration between Rudi Gernreich, Peggy Moffitt and William Claxton

Nancy Kwan, British Vogue, 1963

The archive contributed three images to this retrospective to the American fashion designer Rudi Gernreich, framed around the fashion collection of one of the most successful models of the 1960s, Peggy Moffitt.

Known by most for designing the topless bathing suit, Rudi Gernreich created visually striking minimalist garments, executed in psychedelic colors and geometric patterns. An icon of the 1960s, Peggy Moffitt was Gernreich’s primary model and muse. Moffitt’s late husband, photographer William Claxton, captured the distinctive images of Moffitt modelling Gernreich’s designs.

The Total Look features more than 60 fashion-forward ensembles, nearly 20 photographs and the first fashion video from 1967. The exhibition includes garments from Moffitt’s personal collection as well as nine Gernreich designs from the Cincinnati Art Museum’s contemporary fashion collection.

We worked with the exhibition curator, Cynthia Amnéus, to source three images of Vidal Sassoon’s distinctive haristyles, adding further context to the garments included in the exhibition. His “Sassoon bob” and groundbreaking geometric cuts for models in the 1960s and 1970s, including Moffitt, complemented the mod fashions and completed the “total look.

The Total Look was organised by Cameron Silver, fashion historian and founder of high-end vintage fashion shop Decades.

More information can be found on the Cincinnati Art Museum website.