“What a costume designer does is a cross between magic and camouflage.” Edith Head

From left to right – Model, Orry Kelly, Bernard Newman, Travis Banton, Edith Head, Adrian, and Irene.

With model showing evening gown, 1955:

Edith at bat 1957:

A fashion show from the “Think Pink” sequence at the premiere of “Funny Face” – model Ginni Adams with Edith Head:

Dressing Debbie Reynolds for a benefit, 1960:

Hosting a charity event at her home, Casa Ladera, 1967:

With Tony Curtis, Anne Baxter and Omar Shariff, 1967:

At the Costume Designers Ball with Greer Garson, 1969:

edith-head-greer-garson-1969-costume-designers-guild-ball

35 comments

  1. For a person rubbing shoulders with the stars, and living what was no doubt a glamorous existence, she looks distinctly unimpressed! 🙂

    • That’s the weird thing about working on movies (for the 100+ people who work on set) — it’s not really glamorous. When you’re working on a project it obliterates the rest of your life. There’s actually a period of time when you’re done with a film that you have to come off the rush and readjust to regular hours and meaningful relationships. Some people thrive on it — and some people leave the biz.

      • Heather in Arles

        I love, love, love this post and all of the amazing comments plus your fantastic comments. Ms V, you run a tight ship!

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  3. So, Edith Head was the inspiration for superhero costume designer Edna Mode in The Incredibles. I had no idea until I saw this post and then it was immediately clear. In fact, now that I think about it, I’ve never seen a photo of Edith Head until today. But I sure remember her name in all those movie credits. An incredible career.

    • I wonder what the story was there… I have a friend who invited Anne Baxter over for dinner when he was a young film student in the eighties — and she came and told wonderful stories all night! One of these days I’ll get him to tell us about it.

  4. That evening gown on the model in that second photo is stunning. I love Edith Head’s design sense. She really worked with how the actresses were built instead of trying to turn them into something they weren’t.

  5. George Kaplan

    Vickie – Amazing, Amazing, Amazing! – and I love the comments too.
    Edith Head was a genius. She knew how to elevate women to an a higher goddesshood without anything strained or uncomfortable. As already mentioned – that second photo Holy Mary Mother of God! Astonishing! The beauty of dress and model is made all the better by Edith’s almost disdainful presence “Tch, *of course* it’s great. You’re boring me, Shlomo”.
    Please get your friend to tell the Anne Baxter storie. Pretty please? I *love* Anne Baxter, she’s great!

    • I read in a biography an account of her sending her department to collect peacock feathers from Cecil B. De Mille’s ranch to make a cloak for a bible epic (at the director’s insistence) – and she grumbled about it mightily – but in the end she was always there for her directors.

  6. Karen Hytten

    I had the most excellent experience to work for Edith Head. She was so nice and she inspired me.

  7. Dearest V
    The Dandy adores most everything about Edith Head (who could not), but most of all her own personal appearance.
    It says so much by apparently doing so very little.
    Genius.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

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