Exploring Fashion's "Total Look"

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Moffitt Total Look

Starting in the 1950's a trio of creatives working in Los Angeles dramatically changed modern fashion and photography: fashion designer Rudi Gernreich, his model and muse Peggy Moffitt, and the photographer (and Moffitt's husband) William Claxton. Their famously stylized, ultra mod imagery wherein all elements of the outfit from dress to makeup coordinated was dubbed "The Total Look," and a new exhibition, The Total Look: The Creative Collaboration Between Rudi Gernreich, Peggy Moffitt and William Claxton opens on February 26 at MOCA PDC to celebrate this unique collaboration. Frances speaks with the exhibition's curator, Cameron Silver, owner of the vintage clothing boutique Decades, about the groundbreaking, controversial and sometimes shocking fashions, like Gernreich's Topless Swimsuit. Then Frances visits Peggy Moffitt at her home to find out what it was like to work with Gernreich and Claxton as the face of "The Total Look."


Moffitt newsprint Moffitt swimsuit

The "typeface" dress and matching tights designed by Rudi Gernreich, 1968; Moffitt wearing a Rudi Gernreich Resort 1971 one-piece wool knit "Rouault" swimsuit.  Photos by William Claxton

Top image: Peggy Moffitt wearing Rudi Gernreich design. Photo by William Claxton, 1968