It came as no surprise to me when I started researching jumpsuits - they were designed by a man.
So what do we know about their creator? Thayaht is the pseudonym of Ernesto Michahelles. He was an artist and designer, born in Italy in August 1893.
He was also a pretty prolific inventor. He invented “taiattite”, a “silver and aluminum alloy with which he made jewelry of primitive style and of a contemporary taste” as well as cross-diciplinary creative pursuits, from fabrics, to sculpture, to painting.
The TuTa (what would become the jumpsuit we know and love today) began it’s life as more of an overall or a boilersuit style. His original plan for the TuTa was as an everyday workwear for the masses. Unfortunately it became a bit of a fad within Florentine society and only caught on for a brief time.
It’s weird to think of how ubiquitous the jumpsuit is now, how practical and useful it can be when you’re after something simple, compared to it’s almost fast-fashion past…
The jumpsuit became an icon of female empowerment with Rosie the Riveter in the 1930s. The lack of working men at ‘home’ required more female-power, and so the Siren Suit became the outfit of choice for its practicality. A feminised version of the male overall, they were used by air raid wardens, field and munitions workers.
It’s worth noting that nobody thought of an easier way for women to go to the toilet. I guess because they are modelled on the original TuTa, designed for working men, who wouldn’t need to worry about public indecency orders.