“America is not like a blanket — one piece of unbroken cloth, the same color, the same texture, the same size. America is more like a quilt — many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven and held together by a common thread.”
— Jesse Jackson, 1984 Democratic National Convention
Tristan Detwiler (b. 1997) began reworking antique quilts into garments in 2018. A chance encounter with 80-year old quilt maker Claire McKarns introduced Detwiler to the Bumann Quilters of Olivenhain, California. After becoming a member, he applied the groups shared knowledge to his autumn/winter 2021-22 collection.
He constructed this ensemble using a a late nineteenth-century one-patch pattern quilt given to him by McKarns. By cutting the jacket and trouser patterns directly from the quilt, he was able to maintain its original design.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit America: A Lexicon of Fashion on View at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC Through September 5th, 2022.