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I have, in my personal book collection, a book titled “The Life and Times of Hollywood’s Celebrated Costume Designer Edith Head” by David Chierichetti. [HarperCollins, 2003]

I can recall many childhood memories that include having watched a black and white film showing all the stars, where I would marvel at the fashions and set design which were beautiful.

In previous decades, the movie studios often loaned out stars who were under contract, to work for other studios. Edith worked as a sketch artist at Famous Players Lasky Studios which was later named Paramount Studios. She then was promoted to Assistant to designer Howard Greer at Paramount, where she enjoyed a 50 year career.

During her tenure at Paramount, she was instrumental in creating and designing costumes for:

Dorothy Lamour in “The Hurricane” in 1937
Barbara Stanwyck in “The Lady Eve” in 1941
Barbara Stanwyck in “Double Indemnity” in 1944
Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant in “Notorious” in 1946
Hedy Lamar in “Samson and Delilah” in 1949
Ann Robinson and Gene Barry in “War of the Worlds” in 1953
Rosemary Clooney in “White Christmas” in 1954
Audrey Hepburn in “Sabrina” in 1954
Grace Kelly in Alfred Hitchcock’s “To Catch a Thief” in 1955
Natalie Wood in “Sex and The Single Girl” in 1964
Natalie Wood in “The Great Race” in 1965
Natalie Wood in “This Property is Condemned” in 1966

According to IMDB (Internet Movie Database) Edith won a total of 11 Oscars, and had 28 nominations. In addition, Ms. Head was the recipient of the Laurel Awards in 1964, received a Star on the Walk of Fame in 1974 for her contribution to the Motion Picture industry, and she was inducted into the Costume Designers Hall of Fame in 1999. Anyone who loves black and white film will appreciate the longevity of her career and the artistic ability of this talented costume designer.

Additional Books written by or about Edith Head:

Edith Heads Hollywood by Edith Head and Paddy Calistro (Dutton Publishing, 1983)

The Dress Doctor, Prescriptions for Style, From A to Z by Edith Head (Harper Design, 2008)

How to Dress for Success by Edith Head (Random House, 1967)

Edith Head: A Complete Treasury of the Fifty-Year Career of Hollywood’s Greatest Costume Designer by Jay Jorgensen (Running Press, 2010)

Edith Head cover Edith head with Gloria Swanson Edith Head with sarong dress