Style Crush: Edith Head

Edith Head's "style crush" post is one I've been meaning to write for awhile and a few people have suggested. For Edith Head it's not just about her personal style, although that was also distinctive and likely the inspiration behind Edna Mode in The Incredibles, but rather her impact on celebrity and film fashion. She worked as a costume designer and even if her name is new to you, her designs are not. She won eight Academy Awards for Best Costume Design; a few of the films she contributed designs to were Double Indemnity (one of the best film noirs!), Roman Holiday, Sabrina, Funny Face, Rear Window, etc. Of course not every design in those films were by Edith and controversially enough from a modern perspective she received awards and attention for clothing actually made by other designers (like Givenchy for Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina) but the clothing was made in her costume department. Still Edith Head wasn't only a favorite for awards, but also one of the more popular costume designers among actresses because she spent a lot of time with actresses discussing their roles and characters and allowing them to contribute feedback towards the final film wardrobe. I love that collaborative spirit and many of the dresses she designed are among my favorites from film. One of these days I'd love to read one or both of the books she authored; The Dress Doctor or How to Dress for Success which discuss her career and design philosophy.



  1. "Your dresses should be tight enough to show you're a woman and loose enough to show you're a lady." That one is a classic from her, one of the 10 commandments of style. Thank you for this reminder, Edith Head is a true legend.

  2. Great!! I love the designer 50´s... The Gold Age inspire me!

  3. Have you seen the film What A Way to Go!? Edith Head designed so many costumes for Shirley MacLaine's character that it boggles the mind. They're all very sixties, too.

  4. "Roma Holiday", my favourite film! Thank you Rebecca: I didn't know Edith Head :)
    And I like very much her advice about dresses ;)

  5. Sorry, I meant "Roman Holiday" ;)

  6. Edith Head is mythic! I did a post sometime ago about fashion in film featuring some of my favorite films from a fashion perspective and I realized she's styled a good amount of them. For me, Grace Kelly in "To Catch A Thief" and Audrey in "Sabrina" and "Funny Face" were iconinc moments in fashion history. It just goes to show how a costume designer can help transform an actor into a timeless icon. Huge inspiration. Lovely post.


  7. Roman Holiday, Sabrina, Rear Window -- all big favorites of mine and the clothing is stunning! that top picture tripped me up, though - I was like, hmm, looks like audrey hepburn to me, but idk...? haha silly me. love love her designs. they're so gorgeous.

  8. @Lottie, that is Audrey Hepburn in the first image; she's talking to Edith Head who is in the right side of the image--it was actually one of the only high-resolution photographs I could find of Edith Head (likely b/c it does feature Audrey).

  9. @Rebecca Schiff, oh yes What A Way To Go is one of my favorite films ever! MacLaine is also one of my favorite actresses, so underrated for her talent.

    1. She's fantastic. I love her as Fran in The Apartment.


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