Monday, 3 March 2014

An Oscar-winning partnership: Grace Kelly and Edith Head

Dear Reader

I just watched the beautiful Grace Kelly in one of my all-time favourite movies, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window
Heavenly Vintage Wedding Blog, Grace Kelly and Edith Head
Grace Kelly in Rear Window

As always, Grace looks stunning in a range of wonderful 1950s dresses. I was inspired to find out more, so for my first post after the Oscars I'd like to take a look at Grace Kelly’s classic vintage style...
Heavenly Vintage Wedding Blog, Grace Kelly and Edith Head
Grace Kelly in To Catch A Thief
The costume designer for many of Grace’s films was the renowned Edith Head, who worked at Paramount Pictures from 1924 to 1967. Here, Edith set the style for Hollywood's 'golden age' of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, when she designed for all the great leading actresses including Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Bette Davis.
Heavenly Vintage Wedding Blog, Grace Kelly and Edith Head
Edith Head with her amazing eight Oscars!
Head was nominated for 35 Oscars, and won eight (more than any other costume designer before or since.) You might recognise some of her most famous creations, as seen on the great movie clips here

And she designed the dress Grace wore to collect her own Oscar in 1955 - an ice blue silk satin dress with a matching floor length coat. This is arguably one of the best-loved Oscar gowns of all time. It is also reputed to be the most expensive Oscar dress ever made, as the satin alone cost $4000!
Heavenly Vintage Wedding Blog, Grace Kelly and Edith Head
Grace Kelly collects her Oscar, wearing Edith Head
Heavenly Vintage Wedding Blog, Grace Kelly and Edith Head
Ice blue satin Edith Head gown
But now back to Rear Window...! Head clearly enjoyed dolling up Grace Kelly’s fashion-loving socialite in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 thriller. In Edith's words, 
“Hitchcock told me I’d have a field day. I knew that the girl had the model look, but I’d seen her only in ‘High Noon’ and I wasn’t prepared... 
What Grace has is an elegance all her own. The white gloves are her trademark, so is the smooth hair. She looks that way even after sleeping all night on a plane."
Edith also enjoyed her creative partnership with Hitchcock, translating his strong vision for each character into costumes. Together they achieved the most wonderful results. 
Heavenly Vintage Wedding Blog, Grace Kelly and Edith Head
Grace Kelly and James Stewart in Rear Window
Heavenly Vintage Wedding Blog, Grace Kelly and Edith Head
Grace Kelly wears Edith Head
Heavenly Vintage Wedding Blog, Grace Kelly and Edith Head
To Catch A Thief
Heavenly Vintage Wedding Blog, Grace Kelly and Edith Head
Publicity shots for Rear Window
Edith developed a close relationship with Grace (as she did with many of the stars she dressed). And she naturally assumed that she would be invited to design her wedding dress. Grace however chose another superbly talented designer: Helen Rose who worked at MGM studios. And we all know the spectacular results!
Heavenly Vintage Wedding Blog, Grace Kelly 1950s wedding dress
Grace Kelly in Helen Rose wedding dress
Heavenly Vintage Wedding Blog, Grace Kelly 1950s wedding dress
Grace Kelly in Helen Rose wedding dress
Many Hollywood stars came to depend on Edith, and would specifically ask for her when they worked on a film. She had a long career, and left a legacy of some of the most beautiful movie costumes ever made. Pixar even paid tribute to Head in their animated movie 'The Incredibles', with the character Edna Mode who designed all the superheroes' costumes!
Heavenly Vintage Wedding Blog, Edith Head
c. The Incredibles, Buena Vista Pictures 2004
Heavenly Vintage Wedding Blog, Edith Head
The real Edith Head working in her Paramount Pictures studio!

I'll take a look at Edith's costumes for other stars in later posts, there are so many to admire!
Thanks for visiting today.

Love

Helena
Heavenly Vintage Brides