Rudi Gernreich (1922-1985) was born in Vienna, Austria and moved with his mother to the United States following the 1938 Anschluss as Jewish refugees, settling in Los Angeles, California. Gernreich was a dancer with the Leslie Horton Modern Dance Troupe from 1942 to 1948 and, when he moved to the fashion world, took that influence with him translating the flexibility and comfort of dance clothes to high fashion. In 1950, having been convicted in an entrapment case himself, he became one of the five founding members of the Mattachine Society with his lover, Harry Hay. He supported the organization financially albeit anonymously, known only as “R.” He is noted for creating the monokini – the first topless bikini – and the thong, and designed the Moonbase Alpha uniforms in the British sci-fi series Space: 1999. He has been hailed as “one of the most original, prophetic, and controversial American designers of the 1950s through the 1970s” and was named one of Time Magazines All-TIME 100 Fashion Icons.
Rudi Gernreich will be portrayed by Scott Abernethy in Arouet’s production of The Temperamentals in May 2013. Contribute to our Kickstarter campaign today to bring the story of The Temperamentals to the Seattle stage.