Monokini

dievca appreciates the NY City Law that she can go topless.  she’s not interested in walking around her city without a top unless Her Master tells her to (he’s not interested that either), but she is interested in laying in the sun on her fire escape…. topless….

Yes, the law was passed in 1992 for NYC to allow women to go topless (like Men).
But, dievca thinks the conversation started in the mid-1960’s with the~

Monokini!

Model: Daphné Dayle
Photographer: Paul Schutzer

Who’s idea was it?

Rudy Gernreich’s idea.

An influential designer in the 1960s-70s from America; he was most known for his sport clothes and radical styles including the topless swimsuit, see-through blouses, and “no-bra” bras.

Swimsuit as a statement:
Gernreich purposefully used his designs to advance his socio-political views. He wanted to reduce the stigma of a naked body, to “cure our society of its sex hang up”, as he put it. Gerreich stated, “To me, the only respect you can give to a woman is to make her a human being. A totally emancipated woman who is totally free.”

Gernreich said, “Baring the breasts seemed logical in a period of freer attitudes, freer minds, the emancipation of women.” Gernreich told Time magazine in 1969, the monokini “is a natural development growing out of all the loosening up, the re-evaluation of values that’s going on. There is now an honesty hangup, and part of this is not hiding the body—it stands for freedom.”

“Every girl I knew was offended by the dirty-little-boy attitude of the American male toward the American bosom. I was aware that the great masses of the world would find the topless shocking and immoral. I couldn’t help feel the implicit hypocrisy that made something in one culture immoral and in another perfectly acceptable.”

In January, 1965, he told Gloria Steinem in an interview that despite the criticism he’d do it again.

“A designer stands or falls on the totality of each year’s collection, not just one item. At the moment, this topless business has done nothing but take away from my work, but in the end, I’m sure having my name known internationally will be a help. But that isn’t why I’d do it again. I’d do it again because I think the topless, by overstating and exaggerating a new freedom of the body, will make the moderate, right degree of freedom more acceptable.”

Nowadays — the Monokini has a top and bottom connected in some format covering the breasts. The swimsuit Rudy Gernreich designed would be called a unikini.

Thank you to LIFE Magazine, Messy Nessy Chic, and Wikipedia.

And if you want to know if your area of the country is topless…

gotopless.org — topless laws map

 


26 Comments on “Monokini”

  1. darkgemdom says:

    One word…..
    Boobs

  2. Pelelotus says:

    Thanks for bit of topless history, cheers Rudy for his contribution to freeing us. X

    • dievca says:

      It comes up every once in awhile here in NYC. The Mayor was having problems with some painted bodies in Times Square. No problem with the “Naked Cowboy” who wanders Times Square, though…

  3. Devonne says:

    Very interesting post. I remember being a little girl and thinking it so unfair that my brothers were allowed to take their shirts off on a hot day but I was not “because you are a girl”. I thought it was so unfair, we looked the same at that point. Even now I say FREE THE BOOBIES!!! LOL

    • dievca says:

      Uhhh, I have some great photos of me running around in the sun topless with my brother’s sport equipment airing out in the background. That must have been where it all started. I guess my parents weren’t too worried about it. 😉

  4. Ret MP says:

    I so appreciate the post, d. Historical move, not fully embraced even today. Steinem has been the topic of my book club more than a few times over the years. I find her most inspirational when she connects with others and brings focus to the culture of sexism through something as obvious as what we can and cannot wear strictly defined by gender. Think about the color Pink. Think about the comment shouted out by the instructor at my work out, “Keep up the good work ladies,” followed by an apology to the one man in the group for including him with the ladies. But if he says, “Keep up the good work guys” there would be no apology to the men or the women in the group…

    • dievca says:

      Just a funny — I consistently used the word “Guys” when I addressed a group of female young adults from Europe. They giggled and loved it it. I always thought of the word (and still do) as non-gender. I don’t know why.
      “Hey Guys, take a look at that gorgeous Lady in the Monokini” said to both Men and Women. XO

  5. Yuriy Ku says:

    She is just an attractive woman and the breasts were always a matter of attraction for both men and women. : )

  6. LOVE these pics!
    Topless is a wonderful feeling, ooh, the sun on my boobs, mmhmm.

    Ash

    • dievca says:

      Isn’t she beautiful? If I’m not mistaken, I think she was a French Actress and perhaps a dancer.
      Two assets, lovely breasts and an elegant back with good skin. XO

  7. I like it– but I don’t really see them around much.

  8. Marty says:

    It brings to mind the Peter Sarstedt song “Where Do You Go To My Lovely” that contains the line … “with your carefully designed topless swimsuit …”


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