Monday, February 21, 2011

2. Natalie Kiryk ~ EDITH HEAD

Edith Head started her career in the early 1920's. It was by the 30's that Edith was recognised as one of Hollywood's leading costume designers. She worked at Paramount for 44 years before moving to Universal Pictures, where she was chief designer up until her death in 1981. During her outstanding career she was nominated for 35 academy awards, winning 8 Oscars, more than any other women.

Her association in 1937 with the "sarong" dress designed for Dorothy Lamour in The Hurricane made her well-known among the general public.

In 1944 she gained public attention yet again for the top mink-lined gown designed for Ginger Rogers in Lady in the Dark.

The institution of an Academy Award for Costume Designer in 1949 further boosted her career as it began her record breaking run of Award nominations and awards, beginning with her nomination for The Emperor Waltz, where she designed with the highest standard of glamour and elegance.

In the 50's is when her career reached its peak and her best work was achieved. Her designs were worn by all the top actresses as she created distinct and memorable outfits.

She actually preferred to dress men and one of her most effective wardrobes was for Paul Newman and Robert Redfords in the movie The Sting. Her subtle use of accessories, especially hats, was executed perfectly. She sometimes set fashion trends from her designs, although she had no intention of influencing what the public wore.

During her career, which spanned nearly six decades, Head's productivity achieved legendary proportions. She is estimated to have contributed to more than 1000 movies during her lifetime. Just as importantly she raised the profile of costume designers by appearing on tv and writing her books.

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