Clothes make a statement Costumes tell a story - Zig Ziglar (American author, salesman, and motivational speaker)

The Flying Nun, a TV show in the 70's made me think I could fly.

The character, Sister Bertrille was so small that when it was windy and using her habit (they looked like little airplane hats back then) she could fly. To me it was so realistic I decided I wanted one so I could fly too! I took a wire coat hanger, bent, shaped it and covered it with fabric. It didn't look anything like hers, was uncomfortable and of course didn't make me fly but perhaps that's when I started to notice that what a character wore made all the difference in believability (is that a word?). I think that's when I discovered costume design.

My all time favorite costume designer is Edith Head who designed costumes for some of the most iconic movies of her era, 1940-1980. She is credited with starting the Best Costume Design category at the Oscars (nominated 35 times, won 8, more than any other designer of her time. She had very little art training, studying briefly in high school. Edna Mode, the superhero fashion designer in The Incredibles is said to be inspired by her.
Adrian, another movie costume design trendsetter of the same era designed the ruby red slippers in The Wizard of OZ (originally silver in the book but changed to exhibit the vibrancy of Technicolor and pop against the yellow brick road), and the force behind Joan Crawford's famous shoulder pads, which became a huge trend. 
Back then, costume design was rarely included in movie credits. 
Edith's last movie was Dead Men don't wear Plaid, a Steve Martin comedy that I saw at the theater solely for that reason.
She designed all of the outfits for Shirley MacLaine in What a Way to Go  which IMO showcases the best Edith Head designs. This is my favorite scene from that film. 
I have to mention Orry-Kelly (also the lover of film star Cary Grant) if for no other reason than to include Auntie Mame (Rosalind Russell) and Gypsy (Natalie Wood), stunning design. 


  1. I often see old costumes and would say to myself, "I'd wear that now."

    1. Me too! It's often surprising to see how much effort is taken with what appears to be the most basic costumes in movies.


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