We're Biased: Couture Designer Charles Kleibacker's Gowns on Exhibit in Ohio

comments (0) June 7th, 2008     

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Charles Kleibackers couture creations will be on display at Ohios Riffe Gallery through July 6.
Charles Kleibackers couture creations will be on display at Ohios Riffe Gallery through July 6.

Charles Kleibacker's couture creations will be on display at Ohio's Riffe Gallery through July 6.

Photo: Courtesy of Riffe Gallery

"Master of the bias" Charles Kleibacker has brought his haute-couture gowns and ready-to-wear dresses to the Ohio Art Council's Riffe Gallery in Columbus for the early part of the summer.

The show, called Kleibacker: New York Designer to Ohio Curator, is designed in two sections. The first answers questions about the early part of Kleibacker's career and takes a look at the garments along the way in his journey from assistant to famed singer Hildegarde to fashion designer with his own New York atelier and clients such as actress Diahann Carroll and first lady Pat Nixon clamoring for his designs in the 1960s. The second leg of the tour brings together fashion pieces from the last 11 exhibits the designer has curated in Ohio since the 1980s. The show attempts to draw a line connecting Kleibacker's work designing garments with the later work showcasing garments in the art world.

In both professions, the designer has made an effort to focus on timeless ideas and fluid design. He eschews the trendy and "fashiony," in favor of the beautiful and flattering.

He was lauded by Women's Wear Daily, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Town and Country. His off-the-rack designs could be found at Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel and Bonwit Teller.

He often draws comparisons to designers Madame Gres and James Galanos. The trio all focus on classic, beautiful, flattering garments cut on the bias or draped to perfection.

Today, the designer curates and teaches at various museums and universities around the country including Ohio State, Columbus Museum of Art, Mount Mary College and Kent State University.

The Riffe Gallery is at 77 South High St. in Columbus. The free exhibition stays up until July 6 and is open daily except Mondays. Call 614-644-9624 or visit the Riffe Gallery Website.

posted in: couture, art, exhibit, gown, Kleibacker, Gres

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