Charles Kleibacker

“He’s the master of the fluid line. Charles Kleibacker knows about clothes that show the body. He does it with bias, with seaming that makes a dress fit like a second skin.”

“A great individualist among the American fashion designers is certainly Charles Kleibacker, whose ultra-simple, bias-cut black crepes stood out with the same distinction as a Mme Grès Collection in Paris.”
– EUGENIA SHEPPARD, New York Post, 1972

“Charles had a studio and was making clothes for women in the way a couture house would make them. Specialized in the most incredible bias cuts. Wool crepe, cut on the bias, fitted snugly, flared on the bottom, completely lined in silk shantung, also cut on the bias. All the stitching hidden – hemlines and everything. All by hand. High level of couture for ready-to-wear. The dresses were sublime. These dresses were all about the feminine figure. You wore the dress. It moved with you. It was so carefully cut on the bias. It was like wearing nothing. The garments just floated.”
– COCO HASHIM, retired fashion executive for The Limited,
John Wanamaker, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s,
Henri Bendel, Bonwitt Teller

Certain designers always seem to be with it, no matter what the current fashion. Charles Kleibacker is such a man.

– KAY THOMAS, New York Daily News, 1970

Charles Kleibacker

Nov. 20, 1921 – Jan. 3, 2010



3 responses to “Charles Kleibacker

  1. These dresses are breathtaking. The third one in particular reminds me a bit of what Philo is doing at Celine. I’d never heard of Kleibacker until now and I’m glad you wrote about him! I’m writing a fashion/retail biz blog and just interviewed the Curator of Fashion and Textiles for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, would love to you check it out!
    Maybe we can work on something?

  2. OMG! What a surprise today to discover your blog and fanzine. I have to obtain a copy as soon as possible. I love that you have something on Charles! He was a genius and an amazing person! I am so happy to have been able to learn from him and call him my mentor.

  3. Elizabeth Davic

    Charles Kleibacher was an American original! So talented and so generous in sharing his techniques! It was truly a privilege to know him and watch him work with students! He was also a kind, good person and I miss him.

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