1970s Clothing

1970s Rudi Gernreich dress wool knit op art | S-M

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Size: S-M
Bust: measures 34” flat and will stretch up to 40” maximum, for best fit
Waist: measures 27.5” flat and will stretch up to 30” maximum
Hip: full/free
Length: 56.5” from shoulder to hem in front, with 1.5” hem
Back of neck to waist seam length: 15”
Underarm to waist length: 8.5”
Sleeve length: 22”
Shoulder to shoulder: measures 14.75” flat and will stretch up to 17” maximum
Label: Rudi Gernreich Design for Harmon Knitwear, 100% Wool

This early 1970s wool knit op art maxi dress by designer Rudi Gernreich for Harmon Knitwear mixes zig-zag and large checked patterns, in vibrant shades of red and purple—talk about eye-popping! The dress is most likely from 1971, since we found a photo (taken by William Claxton) of Peggy Moffitt modeling the same dress, which is dated to that particular year. The wool knit fabric has a certain amount of give to it, although the waist seam does constrain the waist size a bit more than the bust (see measurements). The long-sleeved, scoop neck bodice is moderately fitted, with a wide, leather-backed, matching belt to cinch the waist. The skirt is gathered where it meets the waist seam, and is full length. The skirt is made in 2 panels, one from waist to just below the hip, and another, longer panel below, in order to combine the differently patterned fabrics. The bodice is made the made way, with the zig-zag pattern for the body, and the large squares pattern used for the three-quarter-length, fitted sleeves. The medium-weight knit is unlined. The dress fastens in back with a plastic zipper. In excellent condition, this 1970s maxi dress by Rudi Gernreich is a great example of his avant-garde, geometric print designs, and in a fab color combo, too!

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