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Peggy Moffitt Topless Maillot in Studio

Studio, America
10 July 1964 PM6410

   Rudi Gernreich black center-strapped topless maillot (a.k.a. t-front topless maillot).

   TL doff TLB.

   Peggy Moffitt models the first topless swimsuit design. Life shows a picture of her with her hands covering her breasts (1), but she models topless also, hands at sides and all freely uncensored (2).

   "And here is the topless suit that started the whole thing. 'I really rattled the world,' says Rudi. 'The topless suit isn't lewd, though the attitude with which it is worn may be. Sex isn't what a woman puts on--or what she takes off either.'" --Life magazine, 1964. The documentation begins on a Chicago beach (TL6410).
   And although Life doesn't show the maillot topless in the air, it does show it topless underwater (L196410).
   Gernreich has varied this costume since his original thoughts earlier this year (PM6405). He has abandoned the overdress and raised a very high waistline augmented with shoulder straps.
   Moffitt has what will later be called "goth tendencies."
   Twenty-five years later, when the swimsuit gets revived, the pose will be similar (EM8908)

   Photos by William Claxton. #1 from Shana Alexander, "Fashion's Best Joke on Itself in Years," Life , July 10, 1964, p.57.
   #2 from Peggy Moffitt and William Claxton, The Rudi Gernreich Book, Rizzoli, New York, 1991. See this book for a detailed account of Gernreich's maillot, Moffitt's attitude toward it and the photographs of her wearing it, and Carol Doda's introduction of the costume into her swim club act. 2 pictures.
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