Playboy bunny costumes
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The History of the Playboy Bunny Costume
The bunny costume was the trademark of the waitresses at the Playboy Clubs. The clubs were in operation from nineteen sixty to nineteen eight-eight. There were several bunny jobs, including cigarette bunny, door bunny, and the drink serving floor bunny. There were even jet bunnies, who also trained as flight attendants and served on the Playboy jet.
The bunnies purpose was for eye candy but patrons were not allowed to touch the bunnies. The official bunny costume consists of a corset, bunny ears with a satin lining, a white collar and cuffs, a black bow tie, a fluffy white tail, and a name tag. The name tag is a white satin rosette with two hanging ribbons and is worn pinned over the right hip. Sheer black tights and matching pumps with three inch heels complete the ensemble.
The earliest costume had taller ears, a smaller tail, and no collar, cuffs, and bow tie. It was basically modeled on a one piece strapless bathing suit. In nineteen sixty-two a French seamstress, Renée Blot, added the collar and cuffs and made the tail larger and fluffier. By the middle sixties the corset style replaced the swim suit cut. The original costumes came in about ten colors, with black reserved for bunnies who had achieved special status. As the sixties became more psychedelic so did the bunny suits, exploding in an array of bright patterns and neon colors. The latest incarnation was designed by Roberto Cavalli for the Las Vegas Club.
Each bunny’s costume was custom sewn for her. Every club had a full time seamstress. The corset came in pieces, with the fronts being pre-sewn in various cup sizes, and the backs hand fitted to each girl. The satin corsets were made from rayon, and were washable and unexpectedly durable. Corset boning and a snug fit keep the strapless costume up surprisingly well.
A true vintage Playboy costume is hard to find. Bunnies were required to turn their costumes in when they left. Playboy Enterprises keeps them in storage and occasionally auctions them off a few at a time, keeping the prices high.
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