Tag Archive | golden era

Gilbert Adrian-Hollywood Costumer Extraordinaire

A while back I did a post about desginer Gilbert Adrian, and his  fabulous fashions from the 1940s.  And it’s not surprising women were drawn to his creations.  Because  from 1928-1941 he  was the couturier for some of the most famous stars in Hollywood.   His unforgettable costumes epitomized the glamour of the Golden Era of films.  Known  just as “Adrian” this man certainly had the talent  for making a woman look sensational and beautiful!

He was solely responsible for the signature looks of Jean Harlow in her clinging bias cut gowns and  Joan Crawford. whose  narrow waisted, broad shouldered suits became a huge fashion trend in the 40s.  He also designed for Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn and Norma Shearer, just to name a few!

A slinky Adrian gown for Jean Harlow, who played Kitty Packard , Wallace Beery’s wisecracking wife,  in Dinner at Eight. Her evening dresses from this movie became the  fashion rage in the 30s.

adrian harlow dinner at eight 1933

Jean Harlow in Adrian gown-Dinner at Eight 1933

Adrian designed this glittery gown for Joan Crawford, who played Crystal Allen, the husband stealing hussy in “The Women”

 

Gilbert Adrian-Joan Crawford -The Women 1939

Joan Crawford in shimmery evening gown by Adrian-The Women-1939

A goddess like Adrian gown for Helga, a.k.a. Susand Lenox, played by Greta Garbo who co-starred with Clark Gable in this film.

Gilbert Adrian-Greta  Garbo in  Susan Lenox, Her Fall and Rise 1931

Great Garbo in Adrian gown- Susan Lenox, Her Fall and Rise 1931

This costume Adrian designed for Greta Garbo in Mata Hari cost $2000.00 to make and weighed 50 pounds!

Great Garbo-Mata Hari-Adrian costume 1931

Adrian costume for Greta Garbo in Mata Hari 1931

Adrian designed this dramatic  gray Persian lamb outfit for Norma Shearer in Idiot’s Delight, where she played a fake Russian countess.  I love the suede platform boots she’s wearing!

Norma Shearer-Gilbert Adrian-Idiot's Delight  1939

Gray Persian Lamb ensemble by Adrian for Norma Shearer in Idiot’s Delight 1939

In the 1930s the movie studios produced many musical extravaganzas.   So Adrian often designed costumes for  the whole cast,  including all the chorus girls. Below is one of his costumes from “The Great Ziegfeld”.

 

Adrian costumes- The Great Ziegfeld 1936

Adrian costume for The Great Ziegfeld 1936

Adrian also designed all the costumes for the “Wizard of Oz”, including the famous ruby red slippers worn by Dorothy/Judy Garland.  Several pair were made during the filming of the movie, and  each shoe supposedly was covered with 2300 sequins.  One pair is on permanent display at the Smithsonian in Wash, D.C.

When Hollywood decided Garbo needed a new, more modern, American look for her last film “Two Faced Woman” , that was pretty much the end of Adrian’s costuming career.  Garbo left Hollywood because she didn’t like the clothes the studio was trying to foist on her, and Adrian followed right after,  saying that “When Garbo walked out of the studio, so did glamour, and so did I.”

Do you have a favorite movie that features designs by Gilbert Adrian?

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Midnight Palace contest-your chance to win three classic movies

Movie contest
 Just discovered a contest being run by The Midnight Palace,  a fun and very informative website about the golden era of classic movies. They're giving  away sets of three famous film classics, Roman Holiday, Sunset Boulevard and Sabrina, all  being released in two disc special editions as part of Paramount's Centennial Collection.

The contest ends on December 4.  You need to answer the question "Which classic actress was known as the "Queen of tap dancing?"  They will choose three winners at random from all the correct submissions and each winner gets all three movies!
For more information go here

Midnight Palace is for lovers of classic Hollywood. Full of reviews, articles and interviews covering the movie industry from 1900-1955. There's even an online course in "film noir" and a forum for like minded enthusiasts of all things classic, whether it be film, radio, tv or fashion.

This website should have a warning label on the home page, as it's very addictive!

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