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Chester Weinberg Part II and Mom's Designer Addiction

by Tyna C.

Mom was a bit of a fashion hound. Nothing wrong with that: she was beautiful, younger than most of the other kids’ mothers, and she’d moved to the Midwest from the “big city” of Boston. Sometimes, that drove her to sew—she was good at that—but often, impatience precluded that solution.

Fashion First

I remember two times in the 1970s that Mom came home with designer dresses. The one I remember most clearly was the time she bought a smoky blue Ultrasuede outfit when she and I took a trip into the big city together. Ultrasuede was the new big thing, and she looked great in the outfit. This extravagance proved to be beyond what the family budget could absorb, so she returned that beautiful blue Ultrasuede outfit for a refund to the store credit card. I don’t recall the designer of her dress, but I know that Halston was one of the first to start using Ultrasuede.

Chester Weinberg

The other designer purchase that I recall was a truly gorgeous (and dare I say, timeless) black silk shantung cocktail dress: a sleek halter top with a tiered ruffle skirt. I don’t know where or for what she bought it or what she paid for it, but I know she always called it her “Chester Weinberg.” The label confirms that it is, in fact, a Chester Weinberg, and the hand-stitching at the seams shows that it was a very nicely-made one!

While I do not remember, specifically, seeing her wear it, I do recall that she did. She doesn't remember specifically either but, she assumes it was for a cocktail party. She held onto that dress long after she neither had a place to wear it nor the ability to fit into it.

Lucky me, because when I was invited on an over-the-top date at age 21, I got to pull it out of mothballs and wear it. It was the ‘80’s, the summer of 1982 to be precise, and while I wasn’t usually much for ruffles, this worked. I wore it to the one and only Hollywood event I ever attended.

I was a starving UC San Diego student, but I was dating a young man whose father, a developer in Los Angeles, was a major donor to the Jules Stein Eye Institute, which happened to be one of the charities that was set to benefit from a huge gala opening of the Universal Amphitheatre (since closed).

It was the days before digital cameras, let alone Instagram, so I have no photos of me in the dress, but it was perfect. I’d like to think I looked pretty good, but I’m sure I looked like a child in her mother’s dress. I still remember the disappointed photographers when my date, his brother and I emerged from the car to step onto the red carpet that led into the Amphitheatre. Nobodies. Inside, I sat with my boyfriend to my right, and Barry Manilow to my left (Charlton Heston was a few rows behind me). Surreal. Thank you, Chester Weinberg, and thank you, Mom, for lending me the dress.

Thanks Tyna - I had no memory of the dress!

Now Here is a Chester Weinberg Patterns that are for sale.

Kinseysue Has a Vogue Americana 2352

a very stylish and currently in style Mini Dress with a circle skirt!

Other Chester Weinberg Vogue Americana Patterns That I did not find listed for sale.

Vogue 2154, 2079. 2080 ( TOP ROW)

1987, 1986. 1927 (BOTTOM ROW)

VOGUE 2583, 2584, 2353 (TOP ROW)

2261, 2262, 2202 (BOTTOM ROW)

VOGUE 1964,1853, 1784, TOP ROW

1783, 1856 BOTTOM ROW

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Unknown member
Apr 08, 2023

I think I remember my mom making (and wearing a lot) a Chester Weinberg shirtdress - Classic. (Looked like 2261 pictured above!)


Unknown member
Mar 30, 2023

Love to learn about a new designer...these are all delightfully "mod." (Love your mom's dress!)

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