Tuesday, January 5, 2010

In Fond Memory

Charles Kleibacker -1965

One of the more interesting people I have been fortunate enough to meet is Charles Kleibacker. My mom sadly informed me yesterday when Charles passed away so I thought I'd put up something in his honor as he was such a wonderful and talented person.

Kleibacker designs - mid 1950's
Images via Threads Magazine

Born in a tiny town in Alabama Charles knew he wanted to be a designer from a very young age and went on to do just that. I'll never forget sitting with him in the atrium of the Columbus Museum of Art and him telling me about sitting in his own boutique within Bergdorf Goodman selling his couture dresses. Can you even imagine??

He was one of the few American designers to find success in doing only couture and no mass produced ready-to-wear lines. When I read articles or biographies about him I actually find them hard to believe because he was truly one of the most down-to-Earth people you could ever meet. He started his fashion career as an assistant designer in the house of Lanvin in Paris and opened his own studio in New York in 1960. He is famous for his bias-cut which requires painstaking attention to detail, high quality fabrics, and extraordinary talent which is why it truly can only work on couture designs.
Image from The Fashion School at Kent University

In 1984 he accepted a position at The Ohio State University and the art world in Columbus would never be the same! He did so much good for OSU, Kent University, The Columbus Museum of Art, and so much more. While is presence will undoubtedly be missed his legacy will absolutely live on.

The images below do not do the dress justice but Charles was kind enough to give this dress to my mom and it is absolutely stunning. What I find most interesting about it is on the inside you can see all the construction and architecture that goes into making a couture gown. I didn't fully understand or appreciate what his famous bias cut did for the shape of a garment and of its wearer until I saw this dress.

*Information from Kent University

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm glad I found yours. You will have to come to the next Boston blogger meet up! We did one this past summer and it was really fun.