Heard Of Edith?

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Two of my favorite Grace Kelly moments, the Rear Window and To Catch A Thief had costumes designed by Edith Head. If you haven’t seen them already, you ought to.

Edith Head, a languages ((Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Romanian, and Catalan) teacher started off as a sketch artist and went on to become one of the leading costume designers of her time. During her career, she won eight Oscars, was nominated all of thirty-five times and created some major cinematic-fashion moments.

Edith Head (Far Left) And Grace Kelly In ‘Rear Window‘ (Centre, Far Right)

Grace Kelly In ‘To Catch A Thief

An understated and restrained designer, she shot to fame with the “sarong dress” that Dorothy Lamar wore in The Hurricane and a mink-lined (the times were different then) gown that Ginger Rogers wore in Lady In The Dark. In her career, she dressed some of the biggest movie-stars of the time like Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman, Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth and Tippi Hedren among others. Edith had long working relationships with actresses and directors and in fact worked on many Hitchcock films… When Alfred Hitchcock moved from Paramount to Universal, so did she.

Of course, she had her share of controversies but none that took away from the beautiful ensembles she created for the movies she worked in.

L To R: Bette Davis In ‘All About Eve‘, Elizabeth Taylor In ‘A Place In The Sun‘, Doris Day In ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much‘, Anne Baxter In ‘The Ten Commandments‘ And Kim Novak In ‘Vertigo

Edith Head had this signature look, bangs, a tight chignon and round glasses. She never took those glasses off! And if you care for trivia… She at first wore ’em to see how clothes would look in a black-and-movie, later they just became a part of the persona. What’s that, more trivia you say… Fine, did you know in the animated movie The Incredibles, Edna was modeled on Edith Head? 🙂

Edna, The Incredibles

And seriously, if you haven’t seen Rear Window and To Catch A Thief, go see it now.

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  1. Just a few observations. I think you might just want to proofread your material before you actually post it online. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to come across as a keener! I am an avid reader of your blog and just thought you’d appreciate a few casual comments. Your grammar and spelling are a little off sometimes. For instance, in the first paragraph of this post, I think you mean ‘language’ teacher instead of languages. Also, I think you meant ‘went on to’ and not ‘went onto’. And lastly, before I completely annoy you, when you say ‘nominated all off’, I think you meant to say ‘nominated all of’.

    Great work on the blog though!

  2. so good to see a lesson in days gone by on this website…shows that you girls are genuine lovwers of fashion and style and not just slaves to current trends and the here and now!
    keep it up!!

  3. Oh I love that movie ‘To catch a Thief’! Though I didn’t like her as an actress very much, Grace Kelly looked her best in it.
    And thanks for the trivia about Edna- I always thought her an Anna Wintour spoof, never thought it’d be otherwise!

  4. Love her love her !! love everything Grace Kelly wore … on screen and off screen.. did you’ll ever see the Grace Kelly exhibit with all her beautiful gowns and her fab collection of Hermes “Kelly” bags .. it was stunning !!

    • Agree, but I think film fashion journalism in India is next to nil so the info and resources available about the past are sadly abysmal. Not to imply that P&P may not be well informed.
      A great starting point would be Bhanu Athaiya for instance, from pyaasa to gandhi to lagaan I am not even any hollywood designer can boast of such a career graph.
      Nice article btw!

  5. Such a great post guys! I admire Edith Head and I think I have seen each of the movies mentioned atleast 5 times. I very much prefer these sort of posts of yours. i am so in love with the elizabeth taylor dress.

  6. I was just reading your Audrey Hepburn post yesterday and was left wanting more! Can’t help it I’m a total blog glutton.
    The only thing that would make it better is more Bette Davis.

    I love you ladies.
    I finished reading Edith's biography last week. Grace was her favorite actress.

  8. umm..guys,the actress was dorothy lamour,not lamar.am pointing it out coz edith head dressed another very beautiful actress, hedy lamarr, as well. another interesting factoid is that edith was upset that people called her personal style monochromatic and restricted to suits, so cary grant gifted her some Spanish toreador shirts with big collars, the kind she is wearing in the photo.they became a part of her signature style.really nice article.

  9. There are some fascinating deadlines in this article but I don?t know if I see all of them heart to heart. There may be some validity however I’ll take hold opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like extra! Added to FeedBurner as nicely


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