Barbara Tfank is an American fashion designer who launched her eponymous label in 2001 with a line of vintage brocade cocktail coats and colorful, classically-shaped dresses featured in Vogue. Pairing flattering silhouettes with luxuriant fabrics and hand-tailored craftsmanship, Tfank’s work combines imagination, creativity, and sophistication. Cut individually, each piece is a unique creation—the antithesis of mass-manufactured clothing. Her love of textiles, vintage and modern—many developed by her—together with their unique presentation distinguishes her vision.
Tfank graduated from Skidmore College and Stanford University, becoming a fashion design assistant in New York City, her hometown. Working with Richard Avedon and cinematographer Nestor Almendros opened her up to a world of photography and cinema, and led her to become a costume designer for feature films. This work prompted her to create her own collection. Tfank’s designs have subsequently been worn by such notable figures as Michelle Obama, Uma Thurman, Kate Winslet, and Adele.
Barbara Tfank is the 2023 F. William Harder Lecturer at Skidmore College. The event, which is open to Skidmore students, faculty, and staff, takes place Tuesday, March 21, at 6 pm in the Payne Room, Tang Teaching Museum. Attendance is limited and pre-registration is required via this form. The lecture will also be available via this Vimeo livestream.
The exhibition will include sketches, textiles, video, and twenty original designs. Hours: March 18–19, noon–5 pm; March 21, noon–5 pm; March 23, noon–9 pm; March 24–26, noon–5 pm.