skirt, 2-piece


This micro-miniskirt was part of a “futuristic fashion” collection designed by Rudi Gernreich, featured in Life Magazine in 1970 and displayed at Expo ’70, a world’s fair in Osaka, Japan, although never produced and sold commercially. Gernreich, born in Austria in 1922, emigrated with to the U.S. with his mother in 1938, fleeing Nazi persecution of Jews and settling in Los Angeles. Along with his then-partner, activist Harry Hay and others, he was a founding member of the Mattachine Society, an early LGBTQ/gay rights organization, around 1950. Gernreich first worked as a dancer and in costume design in Los Angeles, eventually becoming known for avant-garde fashion designs. Many of his clothes were “unisex,” intended for men and women alike, as he sought to detach clothing from gender—designing skirts for men, pants for women—and remove the stigma of nudity. His body conscious and often minimalist designs can be interpreted as celebrations of the body and statements against sexual repression.

Date Made: 1970

Designer: Gernreich, Rudi

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: LGBTQGay RightsLGBTQ RightsGeneral Subject Association: FashionGenderAvant-garde (Aesthetics)Gay liberation movement


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Costume, Clothing & Accessories


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Estate of Rudi Gernreich (through: Oreste F. Pucciani)

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1986.0013.42Accession Number: 1986.0013Catalog Number: 1986.0013.42

Object Name: Skirt, 2-PieceOther Terms: Skirt, 2-Piece; Lower Body; Main Dress; Unisex

Measurements: overall: flat: 8 3/4 in x 23 in; 22.225 cm x 58.42 cmoverall; overall, mounted: 9 in x 17 1/2 in x 11 in; 22.86 cm x 44.45 cm x 27.94 cm


Record Id: nmah_375160

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