This might come as a shock to you but the woman who bagged the most Oscars was not a screen star, but rather, a costume designer. Yes, we’re talking about Edith Head, who offered her aesthetic genius to the film industry.
As the saying goes: the devil’s in the details, this industry was the most apt representation of the details that went into creating screen-worthy costumes. It would be a huge understatement to say that classic movies in the Golden Era didn’t focus on the visuals as much as modern films.
Nestle in your couch with your family and be ready for the show that some of the most famous classics will put up for you. Here are some of the most acclaimed costume designers from the classic past.
“Your dresses should be tight enough to show you’re a woman and loose enough to show you’re a lady.”
With eight Academy Awards to speak for her greatness, Edith Head was no less of a star herself. Her costume designs have not only been a huge success on the big screen but have also earned her a reputation that’s unmet by none other. She spent four decades of her life working for Paramount Pictures as a costume sketch artist. From there she went on to work with Alfred Hitchcock and designed costumes for movies like Rear Window, Vertigo and The Man Who Knew Too Much. Divas like Barbara Stanwyck, Gloria Swanson and Bette Davis have worn her designs and Audrey Hepburn’s onscreen look was also spun by Head in Roman Holiday and Sabrina.
Hubert de Givenchy
Givenchy was one of the most prominent fashion couturiers of his time. His designs have ruled in their time, in productions like Sabrina. As the story goes, Audrey Hepburn found herself in his studio, desperate to find dresses to wear in the next release, Sabrina. Since this was to be a fantastical, Cinderella-esque story, the gowns had to match the standards. Nothing less than extraordinary could cut it but Givenchy, as usual, did an exceptional job with his ensembles and they went on to win him Academy Awards.
Started off his career as an aspiring actor, Plunkett followed his true calling and entered the costume department at FBO Studios later. During the time he worked there until 1939, the department transformed from an ordinary costume wardrobe into a spectacular selection of assets. His designs were featured in some of the greatest classic productions of his time such as King Kong, Morning Glory, Alice Adams and Flying Down to Rio. Stars like Katharine Hepburn and Gingers Rogers had the honor of starring on-screen in his costumes. Safe to say, no one beat the authority he was on period costumes in Hollywood.
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