Friday, July 22, 2011


As model and muse to designer Rudi Gernreich, Peggy Moffitt was a style icon of the sixties. Peggy was born in California in 1939. She began her career as an actress in 1955's You're Never Too Young. She married William Claxton in 1960, and her husband photographed her in Gernreich's designs. The trio broke into the fashion world with a boom in 1964, when Gernreich's topless bathing suit made them infamous. Peggy said of the photo that brought her to fame: "Think of something in your life that took one-sixtieth of a second to do. Now imagine having to spend the rest of your life talking about it. Here is the topless swimsuit - probably the most famous fashion picture of all time and my bĂȘte noire. I still think it's a beautiful photograph. But, oh, am I tired of talking about it." Peggy's look drew on both current trends and Japanese Kabuki theatre - she wore copious amounts of eye makeup and false lashes, using a wide color palette to fill in. She was among the first to sport Vidal Sassoon's iconic "five point" haircut, a staple that she keeps even today. In addition to that wild makeup, Peggy became an unofficial poster girl for innovative and -dare I say it- strange fashion ideas, such as mirror suits and wool earrings that reach far below the shoulder. She modeled well into the seventies, and received the trademark to Rudi Gernreich's name upon his death in 1985.

(Photos are scans from The Rudi Gernreich Book and Radical Rags. Click on them - they're particularly beautiful!)

Look out for a Peggy Moffitt makeup how-to in the near future!


Smashingbird said...

Gotta love the Moffitt! Total icon. Have you seen pics of her recently? She looks exactly the same - haircut & all! x

Anonymous said...

Great pics as always!

A Dandy in Aspic said...

Great post, That photo of her in Op-art dress is amazing!