Mod is a trend that never went completely out of style – instead of fading into obscurity it managed to blend seamlessly into other looks. You can see a touch of mod in the current obsession with color blocking or the endless parade of graphic black and white prints. There will always be the cool girls dressed like they stepped out of a 1960s issue of Vogue. Even in its more outlandish moments there is a simplicity to the design of mod clothing. Sure, there are cutouts and plastics and stripes galore but the shapes are linear. An a-line shift almost always looks good – even (or especially) when its embellished.
One of the most memorable designers to balance the everyday with the outlandish was Rudi Gernreich. His clothing spent just as much time on the backs of fashionable women as it did in the headlines. With shocking inventions like the monokini and pubikini (yes its exactly what you think it is) he created quite the stir but when he wasn’t raising eyebrows with his swimwear he was designing equally imaginative ready to wear.
The futurism of Gernreich’s work may seem slightly dated by today’s standards but the clean lines and strong patterns still resonate. Add to this his inventive use of contrasting color – just the right shade of pink as a girlish accent to black and white. Here in images from the current exhibition of Gernreich’s work you can see that his talent lied in much more than shock value. Sadly the Gerneich Bold exhibition is in Ohio and far from my eyes but for those of you in the Midwest its a must see.