The Bunnies are Back - Page 5 of 5
Playmate Deanna Brooks at
Hef's birthday bash last May.
Hef often made the most attractive Bunnies into Playmates,
and today a handful of Playmates are donning the famous satin
ears once again. At Hef's directive, the classic 1962 costume
was brought back in late 1997 for Playmates to wear exclusively
at certain Playboy-sponsored events.
Annie Thompson, who worked at the LA Club from 1968 to 1979
and later traveled to fit Bunnies in Atlantic City, Miami and
Greece, is the only seamstress Hef allows to fit Bunny costumes
on Playmates today. "The Bunnies back at the Club were usually
average sized," Thompson says, laughing, "but these Playmates,
they're about nine feet tall!" So far she's fitted 15 Playmates
for everything from Mansion parties to events for Playboy's
international editions. At Hef's request, she even made the
first-ever gold lamé costume for PMOY 1999 Heather Kozar. And
no, the Playmates don't have to stuff their bras, Thompson says.
View the list of
Playmate Bunnies past and present.
View the gallery of
Pin the tail on the Bunny:
PMOYs Jodi Ann Paterson
and Heather Kozar at play.
And as for the original costumes? They're almost impossible
to find. Each girl was required to turn in her suit once she was
no longer a Bunny, and Playboy rarely parts with the Bunny
costumes in its archives. The Chicago Historical Society and the
Women's Museum in Dallas are two museums lucky enough to have
one in their collection. "The Bunny costume is one of the most
significant representations of women in American culture in the
20th century," says Jacqueline M. Bell, marketing director for
the Women's Museum. "The image of the Bunny itself certainly has
its own legacy, but it also has a special significance for many
famous women featured in other parts of the museum who once wore
the costume." Deborah Harry of Blondie and fashion model Lauren
Hutton are among the celebrities who got their start wearing the
famous satin ears.
But for the original Club Bunnies, the sex appeal of the
costume itself will always hold a certain mystique. "It's an
amazing experience to stand there in those high-heeled shoes and
stockings and see yourself in the mirror," Scott says. "It
really, literally takes your breath away."