A century after his birth, Rudi Gernreich’s pieces still stop you in your tracks, still turn heads, still water the eyes. They discreetly provoke, they quietly astonish.

A Gernreich is never shy, nor it is showy. You are revealed and yet discreet. Conspicuous and yet modest. For the wearer, the body is fundamental, a vital freedom only achieved by paring back, reducing commotion, silencing the noise. Minimal, monochrome, muted yet monumental. You are strong, you are spirited, you are ardent. Your purest self.

Each realisation is at once passionate, playful, and powerful, as much for lascivious lounging as throwing extravagant tantrums at sundown. Gernreich is light and unlaboured, exuberant and exacting. There are no missed stitches, no negatives. There is wit without foolishness. A reverent irreverence.

A hundred years have passed since Gernreich’s birth, a century of subtle opulence. From the world’s first ever thong, to the risqué monokini, these are pieces of design history, fashion folklore. The past is not to be tinkered with, no amendments, no revisions, no notes. The past is to be revered, remembered and reiterated. Gernreich’s phrases are echoed from the bygone, re-whispered to us today, a shorthand for a simmering and potent allure.

Stride out in the Gernreich archive, through the annals of style, onto the beach and into the water. Everybody is watching from behind their sunglasses. The heads are turning again. You can feel it. You are the provocateur.