Designer: Tina Leser (American, 1910–1986)
Date: late 1940s
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. John Saril, 1988
Accession Number: 1988.402.1a, b
Tina Leser, born in Philadelphia, started her first fashion business in Hawaii, where wraps, djellabahs, playsuits, and beach cover-ups were the order of the day, often influenced as much by the East as the West. After 1941, she worked in New York but continued in the same mode of inventing textile-rich cover-ups and leisurewear. This red-and-white checked smock seems loosely seized from a picnic tablecloth and from pure Americana, but here with an easy untailored silhouette tempered by Eastern dress.