Dressmaking & Tailoring
Dressmaking: From the 1950s to Today
The mid-twentieth century was the American golden age of luxurious ready-to-wear. One of the
most influential and talented designers of the time was Charles Kleibacker. Little known today,
in the early 1960s Kleibacker was often
hailed as the “master of the bias.” He was
also noted for his complex piecing, and
for his use of the double fabric technique
in lieu of linings.
Few American designers today cut and sew their own creations. Two who still do are Jean Yu
and the design team Costello Tagliapietra.
Yu’s delicate designs begin as minimally cut pattern pieces before being deftly folded and
tucked, then sometimes connected to contrasting grosgrain ribbons. Costello and Tagliapietra
are patternmakers, adept at working with fabrics from fluid jersey to dense Ultrasuede.