edith-head

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This chilly ensemble immediately removes all trace of inner warmth from Frances and then the rest of the film is spent gradually restoring it while infusing her character with a dry and quite naughty sense of humor.

During their first meeting, dashing Robie cuts through this glacier easily enough, even receiving an unexpected goodnight kiss. Yet Frances, and by proxy Grace Kelly, has now been established as the principal object of fascination for characters and audience. Prioritizing her as so central to the narrative (directly involving her with Robie), even hints that Frances could possibly be ‘The Cat’, an idea that is subtly reinforced by several costume choices further into the film. (x)

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How great was costume designer Edith Head?

The legendary designer Edith Head was nominated for 35 Academy Awards and won eight of them — more wins than any other costume designer. That’s also the most Academy Awards won by a woman, in any category.

“While other designers were busy starring their clothes in a film, Edith was making clothes to suit a character; for her, the character always came first,” Bette Davis wrote in the foreword to Head’s autobiography. During her career, she designed for some of the biggest stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age: Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Lucille Ball and Audrey Hepburn.

Edith was a UC Berkeley alum who studied French and started her career working as a language teacher. She began taking drawing classes at night and in 1924, she was hired by Paramount as a costume sketch artist — despite lacking experience in design — and worked her way up.

Some people even speculate that she was the inspiration for Edna Mode from “The Incredibles.”

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Edith Head 

1957

Costume sketch for Marlene Dietrich from Witness for the Prosecution

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1951

Costume sketch for Elizabeth Taylor from A Place in the Sun

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1956

Costume sketch for Doris Day from The Man Who Knew Too Much

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1962

Costume sketch for Vera Miles from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

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1954

Costume sketch for Grace Kelly from The Bridges at Toko-Ri

1954

Costume sketch for Grace Kelly from Rear Window