Sunday, December 19, 2010

HEAD'S UP





Never underestimate the power of a smartly chosen present. Presents ROCK, let's face it. My adorable friend just sent me a copy of Jay Jorgensen's sumptuously illustrated book about prolific Hollywood costume designer Edith Head, she of the rockabilly fringe and little round glasses.

The book is full of brilliant stories about Edith's gutsy attitude to life - like the time she toted a giant portfolio of sketches along to her first Hollywood job interview, none of them her own. When, the next day, she tearfully confessed, her boss was already so impressed with her ideas, and her ability to speak French and Spanish, that he kept her on.

I love Edith's designs for Grace Kelly in pretty much every film you can think of, and her creations for leopard swathed Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. I love the elegant dresses she designed for Audrey Hepburn and her low-backed vamp gown for the young Shirley McClain. But most of all I have to say I love Edith's personal style - kooky to the max, she honed her signature look and stuck to it for decades. And my, didn't it work? We won't forget Edith in a hurry.

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