Edith Head

11 Feb

Edith Head, in case you didn’t know, is one of the most influential costume designers the world has ever known.

Edith Head stepped into her first job at Paramount in 1924 with almost no experience.  She had taken a few drawing classes, but borrowed a friend’s sketches to get the position.  Before she was done with Hollywood, she became the first female design head, garnered 35 Academy Award nominations and 8 wins (the most of any woman), and fashioned wardrobes for over 1,000 movies.

She was known for consulting with her actresses when designing their garments, which made her a great favorite to those lucky enough to work with her- Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, Ginger Rogers, etc.  Her work also had a restrained, timeless quality that appealed to many studio executives and directors, such as Hal Wallis and Alfred Hitchcock.

Films you might know her from, just to name a few:

  • Holiday Inn
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Double Indemnity
  • Roman Holiday
  • Sabrina
  • White Christmas
  • To Catch a Thief
  • The Trouble with Harry
  • The Court Jester
  • Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
  • Funny Face
  • Vertigo
  • Sweet Charity

Head herself was quite an icon.  With her dark, severe haircut and sunglasses, she was an instantly recognizable figure.  The consistency also had the added bonus of making her look ageless.

And don’t forget The Incredibles

Some tips:

• “The cardinal sin is not being badly dressed, but wearing the right thing in the wrong place.”

• “Your dresses should be tight enough to show you’re a woman and loose enough to prove you’re a lady.”

• “Clothes not only can make the woman; they can make her several different women.”

Check out this blog for more sketches:  Cinema Style

For the full list of films: Edith Head


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