What Would Cecil B. DeMille Wear?



“Remember you’re a star. Never go across the alley even to dump the garbage unless you’re dressed to the teeth.” Cecil B.

This, by the way, is the costume that drove Edith Head to the brink. She knew the concept was not period appropriate but she also knew the extravagance would appeal to DeMille. It was the only sketch she ever presented that he had a kind word for and she was rewarded by his approval with a mandate to go to his ranch during molting season and collect feathers – her staff collected nearly 2,000.

“The cape, which attached at the shoulders and formed a train several yards long, was covered with iridescent feathers, each hand-sewn or glued in place.” Edith Head’s Hollywood by Edith Head and Paddy Calistro.

Click on the photo if you want a ton of detail, and above if you want a copy of the book.


  1. Dearest V
    Edith Head!!
    One of the Dandy’s heroine – surely one of the recipients of the most Academy Award nominations and every one – well almost every one ahem, ahem – well deserved.
    Do you have a favourite film she costumed? I’m having to think very hard…
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  2. She won an Academy Award for “Samson and Delilah” and she was somewhat disgruntled by the honor as she believed she had done better work on films she hadn’t gotten recognition on – and that were more historically appropriate. I know she thought DeMille was hard to please, but she sounds like a bit of business herself!

  3. I need a cape like that. It would solve my daily fashion mistake of doing just what Cecil B. says we shouldn’t do, when I run out to empty the trash or get a cup of coffee. Throw it on and no one will notice my hair’s flat, and I forgot blush and mascara, because the cape’s got all the attention.

  4. Atreyu Crimmins

    I want that cape. Every peacock feather should belong to me and my opium den empire. Mine, all miiiiine! Okay FINE. I’ll let you have one. Together with the entire remastered back catalogue of Hitchcock. I’ll even throw in some freshly baked flaky buttery strudel. Yours across gulls, pirates, and questionable poppy flowers, A xoxo

  5. When I was a young ‘un the Cecil B. DeMille estate was walking distance from my house, it was quite a walk and once in a while it involved blisters. He was way dead by the time I would walk around the property (you know how bold kids are) and I had no idea who lived there at that point – but I always thought of that cape thrown over a couch somewhere in that HUGE house…
    You are a joy, and I’m looking forward to a strong pot of tea and slice of buttery strudel with you!
    So many kisses you can’t count,

  6. There must have been a lot of naked and cold peacocks at the ranch that winter!! That reminds me…did I ever tell you about how I murdered my grandparents turkeys in Fontana when I showed up for a visit with the chicken pox?? I put an end to their little turkey farm endeavor.

  7. George Kaplan

    What Would C.B. DeMille wear? A silk blouse, pencil skirt, feather boa, and a cloche hat… Please be so kind as to call him Cecilia…

  8. Pingback: Happy Birthday Edith Head | waldina

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