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August 28 2014

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2 posts tagged "William Claxton"

Cameron Silver Opens His MOCA Exhibit

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“Oscar weekend brings out a lot of art lovers, and this is the best of art and fashion and celebrity,” curator Cameron Silver explains of The Total Look: The Creative Collaboration Between Rudi Gernreich, Peggy Moffitt, and William Claxton, opening today. On display at MOCA Pacific Design Center in what is now a yearly Oscar weekend debut tradition (last year, Rodarte unveiled its Black Swan designs in the space), the collection celebrates a collaboration that found its roots in Los Angeles. “I can think of no other model/muse relationship,” Silver recalled of the iconic, boundary-pushing model and oft-referenced designer. “It was really collaborative—and then you bring in William Claxton [Moffitt's husband], who was taking the photos, and it was almost Peggy and her two husbands.”

The multimedia experience conveys some of Claxton’s most notable imagery (including never-before-seen pointillisms of Moffitt he produced before he died), in addition to a continuous reel of what some consider to be the first fashion film, The Total Look. But for Silver, Moffitt’s legacy lies in the 66-piece collection, which includes the one thing that started it all: the topless swimsuit. “It signifies the liberation of women in fashion and it’s such a hallmark in fashion history—it’s the birth of modern fashion.”

Photos: Courtesy Photos

Peggy Moffitt Celebrates William Claxton

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With the Met’s Costume Institute gala nearing, its theme—the role of fashion models as muses—has become party talk even on the West Coast. Last night, at a memorial celebration for legendary lensman William Claxton, who died a day shy of his 81st birthday last October, it was abundantly clear that no subject offered more grist for the photographer than wife Peggy Moffitt. While working with Peggy on planning this event for the past few weeks, I discovered that Peggy’s own muse had become a life of 48 years with her husband, lived to the max.

Before hundreds of friends that ran from James Galanos and Vidal Sassoon (above, with Moffitt) to Liz Goldwyn and Sandy Schreier to Greg Gorman and Matthew Rolston, the Claxtons’ collaborations were on vibrant display last night inside the Bing Theater at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Following a comedic series of tales from Bernie Taupin, a self-avowed fanatic of Bill’s work, Burt Bacharach’s tender “Alfie” turned up the waterworks. Peggy art-directed every ebb and high of the evening, from pal Benedikt Taschen’s opening words to the rousing New Orleans band that capped the night and had us all dancing up a storm in the museum courtyard. No one better than Bill knew the seamless synergy between muse and artist, and how one breathes life into the other until it’s impossible to tell them apart.

Photo: Tyler Boye