Dahlia Brater, a tall, slender blonde who was a showroom and fit model par excellence, died Nov. 19 at the age of 65.
Brater worked with Bill Blass, Halston, Anne Klein and Geoffrey Beene, and was with Liz Claiborne the day she opened her first showroom. Puritan Fashions and the Leslie Fay companies were also among her clients.
Brater was a link to a time when most lines were manufactured in the U.S.A. and in-house models like her were sought out for their intimate knowledge of style and fit. She worked throughout the 1400 Broadway building and took a Body Design by Gilda class every day.
Friends, who remember her for her honesty, say that she never forgot a look or a shape — something that she put to good use in her later career as a consultant. According to her longtime colleague Ellyn Steiner Greenspan, she went to every fashion show and Broadway play she could and liked “Project Runway” and “Gossip Girl.”
“She did have an unbelievable laugh,” adds Greenspan. “But I must tell you, she was crisp, she was proper. She could tell you the exact measurements of every size. Patternmakers would shake in her fittings.”
Brater is survived by her son, Brian Bater. A private memorial service will be held at the Ritz Carlton in New York on Sunday. Those wishing to make contributions in her name can send them to the Gynecological Research Fund of the NYU Cancer Institute, One Park Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, New York 10016.