January 2, 2011


Spend Sunday with model Peggy Moffitt (Blow Up, Who Are You Polly Maggoo?). Peggy became famous in 1964 for modeling Rudi Gernreich's topless bathing suits and for her many collaborations with Gernreich and husband, photographer William Claxton. Peggy below with Steve McQueen and his Ferrari (photo by William Claxton).

The team created a short fashion film in 1967. William Claxton recounts the project in an interview printed in the Times Magazine: “In 1967 Peggy and I had just returned from ’swinging London’ and Paris to work in New York. We were commissioned by a small commercial production company to come up with something which would serve as my ‘reel’ in order to get hired to direct TV commercials. While sitting on our bed at the Algonquin Hotel, we collaborated in writing a shooting script that would show fashion, makeup, and hair on three beautiful models wearing the fashion designs of avant-garde Rudi Gernreich’s collection for that fall. We shot the film on a weekend, had original music composed for the sound track and Basic Black was born. It was very well received, won several awards and has been referred to as the first fashion video.” Basic Black (1967):

Peggy Moffitt looks through her 1999 Rudi Gernreich book, and talks about her collaborations, the 60s, and the recent loss of her husband, William Claxton in this 2009 interview at her home in Los Angeles:


  1. I love where your inspiration comes from.

  2. thank you! yes, i can't help but love playful, well-dressed adventure :)

  3. The first fashion film in 1967 by William Claxton and Peggy Moffitt.
    A true art film with a great music post score by David Lucas.
    It is now in the Museum of Modern Art.


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