Fashion

Edith Head (1897 - 1981)

Certainly the most important Hollywood costume designer of all time, the “Dress Doctor”, her so called tip book, is responsible for some of the most memorable film wardrobes in history. Interestingly, she became a true fashion authority for many American women, conveying timeless styling tips. Is it because she studied French culture in Stanford University that she has this uncanny sense of couture but when she started to work for Hollywood studios she almost knew nothing about costume design. She gained public attention for the top mink-lined gown she created for Ginger Rodgers in Lady in the Dark in 1944 and became a favorite among the leading female stars of the 50s such as Bette Davis, Shirley MacLaine, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. Her record-breaking run of fifteen Award nominations and eight wins made her the more Oscar awarded Hollywood woman ever. With her black glasses and fringe, she had this very modern peculiar look, reminding of those fashion influential ladies such as Diana Vreeland or Isabella Blow whose business was to sell beauty and whose own beauty was glamorously coarse.

Edith Head, Grace Kelly Life Magazine, 1955.
Edith Head, Grace Kelly Life Magazine, 1955.
Tippi Hedren, in
Tippi Hedren, in "the birds" directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1963
Edith Head, All about Eve , 1950. Directed by L. Mankiewicz, Bette Davis
Edith Head, All about Eve , 1950. Directed by L. Mankiewicz, Bette Davis
Edith Head, drawing for Elizabeth Taylor in A place in a sun, 1951.
Edith Head, drawing for Elizabeth Taylor in A place in a sun, 1951.
Edith Head, Elizabeth Taylor in A place in a sun 1951 with Montgomery Clift directed by George Stevens
Edith Head, Elizabeth Taylor in A place in a sun 1951 with Montgomery Clift directed by George Stevens
Edith Head has been nominated 35 times for an Oscar, winning 8 The Heiress 1 directed by William Wyller 1949, Samson et Delilah directed by Cecil.B.DeMille 1949, All about Eve directed by L.Mankiewicz 1950, A place in a sun  directed by George Stevens 1951, Roman Holidays directed by William Wyller 1953, Sabrina directed by Billy Wilder 1954, The facts of Life directed by Melvin french and Norman Panama 1960, The Sting directed by George Roy Hill 1973
Edith Head has been nominated 35 times for an Oscar, winning 8 The Heiress 1 directed by William Wyller 1949, Samson et Delilah directed by Cecil.B.DeMille 1949, All about Eve directed by L.Mankiewicz 1950, A place in a sun directed by George Stevens 1951, Roman Holidays directed by William Wyller 1953, Sabrina directed by Billy Wilder 1954, The facts of Life directed by Melvin french and Norman Panama 1960, The Sting directed by George Roy Hill 1973
Edith Head, Self portrait and autograph
Edith Head, Self portrait and autograph
Edith Head and Audrey Hepburn, 1953 © Bob Willoughby
Edith Head and Audrey Hepburn, 1953 © Bob Willoughby
Edith Head and Gloria Swanson, 1950
Edith Head and Gloria Swanson, 1950
Edith Head, Grace Kelly in To Catch A Thief directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1955
Edith Head, Grace Kelly in To Catch A Thief directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1955
Edith tweaks a costume for the 1944 movie
Edith tweaks a costume for the 1944 movie "Here Come the Waves"
Edith Head, 1950's
Edith Head, 1950's
Edith Head,  drawing for
Edith Head, drawing for " Any thing goes " costume to be worm by Zizi Jeanmaire, 1955
Edith Head, costume designer, 1955
Edith Head, costume designer, 1955
Edith Head in her studio 1955
Edith Head in her studio 1955
Edith Head and Alfred Hitchcock on Family Plot 1976 © Larry Barbier
Edith Head and Alfred Hitchcock on Family Plot 1976 © Larry Barbier
Edith Head, Actress Grace Kelly at home, putting white glove on as she chats with her escort, Paramount producer Don Hartman, costume designer Edith Head (2L) & French ballerina Renee (Zizi) Jeanmaire preparing to attend the 27th annual Academy Awards ceremony.
Edith Head, Actress Grace Kelly at home, putting white glove on as she chats with her escort, Paramount producer Don Hartman, costume designer Edith Head (2L) & French ballerina Renee (Zizi) Jeanmaire preparing to attend the 27th annual Academy Awards ceremony.
Edith Head, Veronika Lake in This gun for Hire, 1942
Edith Head, Veronika Lake in This gun for Hire, 1942
Edith Head, Vivian Fosters, Orry Kelly, Bernard Newman, Travis Banton,, Adrian, and Irene. 1941.
Edith Head, Vivian Fosters, Orry Kelly, Bernard Newman, Travis Banton,, Adrian, and Irene. 1941.
Edith Head, Grace Kelly in Rear Window, 1954
Edith Head, Grace Kelly in Rear Window, 1954
Edith Head, Ilona Massey, 1942
Edith Head, Ilona Massey, 1942
Edith Head, Vera Elen dancing to White chrismass, December 1954, photo by Loomis Dean
Edith Head, Vera Elen dancing to White chrismass, December 1954, photo by Loomis Dean
Edith Head, drawing for Bette Davis in
Edith Head, drawing for Bette Davis in "All about Eve" directed by L.Mankiewicz, 1950
Edith Head, drawing for Marilyn Maxwell  in
Edith Head, drawing for Marilyn Maxwell in "Rock a Bye Baby"
Edith Head, Gloria Swanson in
Edith Head, Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Blvd" directed by Billy Wilder, 1950
Edith Head, Kim Novak in Vertigo directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1958
Edith Head, Kim Novak in Vertigo directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1958
Edith Head, Sophia Loren
Edith Head, Sophia Loren
Edith Head and Grace Kelly review sketches for To Catch A Thief
Edith Head and Grace Kelly review sketches for To Catch A Thief
Edith Head, Mae West in She Done Him Wrong (1933, Paramount)
Edith Head, Mae West in She Done Him Wrong (1933, Paramount)
Edith Head, Dorothy Lamour in Jungle Princess (1936, Paramount)
Edith Head, Dorothy Lamour in Jungle Princess (1936, Paramount)
Edith Head,Gail Patrick in Her Husband Lies (1937, Paramount)
Edith Head,Gail Patrick in Her Husband Lies (1937, Paramount)
Edith Head,Anna May Wong in Dangerous to Know (1938, Paramount)
Edith Head,Anna May Wong in Dangerous to Know (1938, Paramount)
Edith Head,Barbara Stanwyck in Ball of Fire (1941, RKO)
Edith Head,Barbara Stanwyck in Ball of Fire (1941, RKO)
Edith Head,Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief (1955, Paramount)
Edith Head,Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief (1955, Paramount)
Edith Head, Claudette Colbert in Zaza (1939, Paramount)
Edith Head, Claudette Colbert in Zaza (1939, Paramount)
Edith Head, Audrey Hepburnn Funny Face directed by Stanley Donen, 1957
Edith Head, Audrey Hepburnn Funny Face directed by Stanley Donen, 1957
Edith Head, Audrey Hepburnn Funny Face directed by Stanley Donen, 1957
Edith Head, Audrey Hepburnn Funny Face directed by Stanley Donen, 1957
Edith Head, Audrey Hepburnn Funny Face directed by Stanley Donen, 1957
Edith Head, Audrey Hepburnn Funny Face directed by Stanley Donen, 1957
Edith Head, Grace kelly in rear Window directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1954
Edith Head, Grace kelly in rear Window directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1954
Edith Head, Shirley MacLaine
Edith Head, Shirley MacLaine
Edith Head, Mel Ferrer, and Audrey Hepburn blow out the candle on Head's birthday cake at a party at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1955.Photo by Darlene Hammond/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Edith Head, Mel Ferrer, and Audrey Hepburn blow out the candle on Head's birthday cake at a party at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1955.Photo by Darlene Hammond/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Edith Head, Mae West in She done him wrong 1933, directed by Lowell Sherman
Edith Head, Mae West in She done him wrong 1933, directed by Lowell Sherman
Edith Head, Audrey Hepburn in Roman Hollydays directed by William Wyler, 1953
Edith Head, Audrey Hepburn in Roman Hollydays directed by William Wyler, 1953
Edith Head, Kim Novak in Vertigo directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1958
Edith Head, Kim Novak in Vertigo directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1958
Edith Head, Tippi Hedren in Marnie directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1964
Edith Head, Tippi Hedren in Marnie directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1964
Edith Head, Gloria Swanson in
Edith Head, Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Blvd" directed by Billy Wilder, 1950
Edith Head, Gloria Swanson in
Edith Head, Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Blvd" directed by Billy Wilder, 1950
Edith Head, Gloria Swanson in
Edith Head, Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Blvd" directed by Billy Wilder, 1950
Edith Head, 1951, photo by Bud Freakier
Edith Head, 1951, photo by Bud Freakier
Edith Head, 1960's.
Edith Head, 1960's.