Tag Archive | joan crawford

Gilbert Adrian-Hollywood Costumer Extraordinaire

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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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Famous Flappers and their Fabulous Fashions

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The  women’s rights movement in the 1920’s sparked a major fashion revolution.  Young women rebelled against the restrictive garments that had been worn by their mothers and opted for loose fitting dresses that downplayed their curves.  Of course, in the flapper era,  wearing clothing that was easy to dance in was also a plus.  Can’t exactly do  Charleston kicks  in  tight fitting corsets and  long gowns!  And just like today, young women looked to celebrities for their fashion inspiration. Below are photos of  some of the most famous fashionable  flappers of the 20s stage and screen.

Clara Bow, the “It Girl”, wearing a stunning pleated, print dress. How about those adorable ankle socks with the heels?  So much for thinking it was just an 80s thing!

Clara Bow 1920s Dress

Clara Bow in 1920s Dress

 

Headbands were very big back in the 1920s.

Clara Bow Head Band

Clara Bow wearing Head Band

Mlle. Rhea was an actress and dancer in the 20s. Here she is with her handy dandy little garter flask. No self respecting prohibition era flapper would leave home without it! Note the Mary Jane pumps.  Along with the T strap and Louis heel, it was an iconic shoe style of the era.

Mlle Rhea dancer 1920s

20's dancer Mlle. Rhea with her handy garter flask

 Louise Brooks was the bad girl of  the silver screen. She’s the actress who made the bobbed haircut famous.  Her dropped waist dress and cloche hat were the height of fashion in the 1920’s.

Louise Brooks

Louise Brooks in fur trimmed coat, cloche hat and drop waist dress

You may think of Joan Crawford as a popular actress from the 40s, but here she is with Dorothy Sebastian and Anita Page in the 1928 film  “Our Dancing Daughters”.   Joan, along with Anita and Dorothy were the quintessential flapper girls!

Joan Crawford, Dorothy Sebastion, Anita Page

Joan Crawford, Dorothy Sebastion, Anita Page

Photos of Clara Bow, Joan Crawford, Dorothy Sebastian, Anita Page courtesy of Cabonated’s Photostream on Flickr

 

If you love the fashion looks of the Jazz Era, are planning a 20s wedding or  have a 20’s themed event to attend, then check out Blue Velvet Vintage for our dresses and accessories inspired by the fabulous fashions of the 1920’s!

20's inspired fashins 1920s style clothing

20s inspired fashions

1. Nataya embroidered ivory tulle 20s style dress  2. Black satin T strap pumps

3. Black and silver T strap dress sandals  4. Black flapper style beaded lace dress

5. Ivory beaded 20’s reproduction flapper dress  6.  Bronze beaded fringe evening bag

7. Deco style faux pearl and rhinestone bracelet  8. Nataya 20’s inspired ivory chiffon dress w/rose accent

9. Black beaded fringe reproduction flapper dress  10.  White beaded fringed reproduction flapper dress

11. Beaded fringed black tulle shawl  12. Ivory cloche hat with lace and crystal trim

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