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Original Issue


California's knitted swimming suits take on a new peekaboo piquancy

When Rudi Gernreich received SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S first citation for the young designer of "greatest promise" last June he was hailed in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED with the lines: "Oh sew me up in a fire-red sheath/ Skintight from head to toe;/ Then on with the scissors to show beneath/What good fashion meant me to show!" The scissors of Designer Gernreich snipped in new directions for his third and most prophetic collection of knitted bathing suits. Manufactured by Westwood Knitting Mills, the suits will be available at Lord & Taylor, Burdine's and Jax now through January.

Vest-Top bathing suits are worn by Suzy Ruel (left) and Jimmy Mitchell at Three Arch Bay, South Laguna, California. Suzy's suit ($30) is of Ivy League stripe with solid color vest front; Jimmy's (also $30) is solid color except for checked back, has leather half belt buckled above waist.

Ladder-Back cutouts extend 'from the fourth to the 12th thoracic vertebra on an otherwise classic red sheath suit ($23) worn by Jimmy Mitchell.

Empire silhouette in orange-and-pink striped wool has a high waistline, bloused bodice ($23), here pictured in shadowlight of sunset on Suzy.