Plaid Dress, 1960-1965
Gift of Dr. Albert J. Greenberg
At first glance, this dress might seem like an odd mixture of stripes and plaids. In actuality, it is a lesson in clever textile design and fabric manipulation. Designer Chester Weinberg is oft-quoted in saying, “I love fabrics more than anything. Fabrics set the whole mood of my collection. I cannot design a dress before I know what the fabric will be.” And this dress could have only been created with a specific textile in mind. The secret; the whole dress is made from a single plaid fabric that has been carefully pleated and sewn to create multiple visual effects. The textile has woven stripes of pale blue, black, and pink in one direction. The other direction is woven with bright blue, green, black, and pink stripes, overlaying the pale stripes to create a plaid.
Aficionados of patterning and construction will appreciate the time and care Weinberg put into the dress’s design. The top is created through horizontal pleats, carefully aligned and stitched to create a seamless bold stripe visual, concealing the paler stripes. On the skirt, knife pleats create thick blue and thin white vertical stripes. A sweet surprise appears when the pleats release and reveal a hidden pale stripe pattern! It is only on the sleeves that the true nature of the fabric is revealed. Weinberg shows us the entire plaid fabric, unifying the design
Learn more about what's going on in the museum by reading the latest issue of the GMD magazine!