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The Total Look - MOCA, Los Angeles

The Creative Collaboration Between Rudi Gernreich, Peggy Moffitt and William Claxton

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, is currently playing host to a selection of photographs and films that explore the role of 60s icon Peggy Moffitt as a muse for fashion designer Rudi Gernreich and her late husband, the photographer William Claxon. Whilst London and Italy are often credited as the birthplace of Mod, California born Moffitt established herself as 'the American Twiggy' with her Vidal Sassoon asymmetric haircut and kabuki-inspired heavy eye make-up and false lashes.

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Peggy Moffitt modelling a Rudi Gernreich design,1968, photo by William Claxton

The designer Rudi Gernreich became well known for his futuristic and boundary pushing modernist designs, and lived by the motto “fashion will go out of fashion”. Together with Moffitt and William Claxon, the trio became central figures on the Los Angeles art scene in the 1960s and ‘70s and were well known for their friendships and collaborations with other key influencers. For a short period of time Gernreich extended his talents to mainstream sportswear and swimwear manufacturers, and received recognition and awards for new innovations such as the knitted tube dress and the first unconstructed swimsuit. After a while the designer grew tired of the commercial compromises he was forced to make and, never one to shy away from controversy, Gernreich caused a media frenzy in 1964 when he presented Moffitt wearing the very first ‘topless swimsuit’.

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 Peggy Moffitt modelling a Rudi Gernreich design, 1971, photo by William Claxton

William Claxton started out as one of America’s most famous Jazz photographers, who also became known for his celebrity portraits and album cover designs. After shooting Gernreich's designs in 1957, Claxton went on to marry his muse and create what was is deemed as many as the first fashion film: Basic Black: William Claxton w/ Peggy Moffitt (1967). The exhibition explores how these three creatives independently and collectively made their mark on the world of fashion, film and photography. Christopher Claxton, the son of Moffitt and Claxton and Director of the Claxton Archive has helped coordinate the presentation of photographs and films alongside curator Cameron Silver, assisted by Ethel Seno and Jhordan Dahl.

The Total Look: The Collaboration Between Rudi Gernrich, Peggy Moffitt and William Claxton is open now until 27th May 2012, at the MOCA Pacific Design Centre. For more information, including ticket prices and directions, click HERE.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, 250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012

www.moca.org 

 

Dave Edwards at Selfridges London

On Saturday 31st March, DJ Dave Edwards will take over the Fred Perry concession at Selfridges London for an afternoon of Rhythm & Blues, Ska and 60s Soul. Dave first donned a Fred Perry shirt back in 1979 and has been a fan ever since, collaborating with us on a series of exclusive events. As a Mod DJ and promoter, Dave has played sets across Europe including a residency at London’s famous 100 Club. Dave has also compiled albums for the likes of Acid Jazz, Trojan and Detour Records.

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The event will take place on the first floor from 1-6pm. A leather Fred Perry smartphone case will be given to all visitors who spend over £100 at the concession, whilst stocks last. We hope to see you there!

Fred Perry, 1st Floor Menswear @ Selfridges London, 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB

Lloyd Johnson: The Modern Outfitter

Legend has it that a Chelsea local was wandering down the King's Road about five or so years ago, only to see Bob Dylan standing puzzled outside the dry cleaners that now occupies number 406. After plucking up the courage to ask what was wrong, Dylan replied: "Didn't there used to be a great rock 'n roll clothes shop here?" The shop in question was Johnson's, the iconic fashion store which had operated at that spot for more than two decades; selling carefully crafted designs that changed the face of popular music from the 60s to the 00s. Owner and designer Lloyd Johnson dressed everyone from Tom Waits and Keith Richards to the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Specials; with even Jack Nicholson and Fred Astaire becoming fans.

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Paying homage to the work of the designer is Paul Gorman, who has curated the exhibition Lloyd Johnson: The Modern Outfitter at the Chelsea School of Art and Design. Celebrating Johnson's position as one of the central figures operating at the cross hatches of popular music and fashion design; the exhibition is centered on his core archive of garments, artwork and personal items, with key clothing from customers and collectors around the world.

The exhibition will take place at the Chelsea Space gallery from 24th January - 3rd March 2012.

Read a write-up of the Private View event on Paul Gorman's official blog HERE.