Before big-name commercial fashion labels like Lanvin, Chanel, and Gucci bogarted their way on to the backs of actresses on the big screen via product placement, there was in-house costume designer, Edith Head.
Head (1897-1981) designed magnificent ensembles for more than 400 films during her 50-year career in Hollywood as a lead costume designer at Paramount and Universal Studios. She dressed classic movie stars Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis, Robert Redford, Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly. And she was the fashion genius behind Patrica Neal for the iconic clothing in the 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany's. Head was nominated 35 times for the Costume Designer of the Year Academy Award - she has the most Oscars of any woman to date.
Fashionably speaking, I'm grateful to Head for her love of the shirtwaist dress - the dotted shirtwaist dress a la Lucille Ball is one of her trademarks. And it's one of my favorite things to wear.
To celebrate Head, Running Press published the coffee table book this year: Edith Head: The Fifty Year Career of Hollywood's Greatest Costume Designer. Pittsburgh-born photographer, Jay Jorgenson culled rare never seen before sketches, fabric samples, costume tests and behind the scene photos that document her career. When I was a child, my mom - a fan of classic movies and the classic styles of Audrey Hepburn - often sited Edith Head. At the time I had no idea who she was. Little did I know she'd be responsible for so much fantastic fashion. Do you have any favorite Edith Head styled movies?