Monday, 13 June 2011

Inspiration: EDITH HEAD

Edith Head (October 28, 1897 – October 24, 1981) was an American costume designer who had a long career in Hollywood that garnered eight Academy Awards—more than any other woman in history.

My favourite film that she worked on was The Birds, working closely with Tippi Hedren.

In 1924, despite lacking art design or costume design experience, Head was hired as a costume sketch artist at Paramount Pictures in the costume department. Later Head admitted to borrowing another student's sketches for her job interview. She began designing costumes for silent films commencing with The Wanderer in 1925, and by the 1930s had established herself as one of Hollywood's leading costume designers. She worked at Paramount for 44 years until she went to Universal Pictures on March 27, 1967, possibly prompted by her extensive work for director Alfred Hitchcock, who had moved to Universal in 1960.

She married set designer Wiard Ihnen on September 8, 1940. Their marriage lasted until his death in 1979.

During her long career she was nominated for 35 Academy Awards, including every year from 1948 through 1966, and won eight times – more Oscars than any other woman. She was responsible for some of the best-known Hollywood fashion images of her day, with her costumes being worn by the most glamorous and famous actresses in films. Head's influence on world fashion was far reaching, especially in the 1950s when she began appearing on Art Linkletter's television program and writing books on fashion.

Although Head was featured in studio publicity from the mid-1920s onward, she was originally over-shadowed by Paramount's Head Designer, first Howard Greer then Travis Banton. It was only after Banton's resignation in 1938 that she achieved fame as a designer in her own right. Her association with the "sarong" dress designed for Dorothy Lamour in The Hurricane made her well-known among the general public, albeit as a more restrained designer than either Banton or Adrian. In 1944 she gained public attention for the top mink-lined gown she was credited with designing for Ginger Rogers in Lady in the Dark, which gained notoriety as it was counter to the mood of wartime austerity. The institution of an Academy Award for Costume Designer in 1949 further boosted her career as it began her record breaking run of Award nominations and awards, beginning with her nomination for The Emperor Waltz.

No comments:

Post a Comment