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The Costume Designer: Edith Head and Hollywood

An exhibition celebrating the virtuosity of an iconic costume designer.
By Lucy McNabb
December 18, 2017
By Lucy McNabb
December 18, 2017

If you know anything about the golden era of Hollywood, then you'll have heard of Edith Head. Today celebrated as the single most significant costume designer in the history of cinema, she spent nearly 50 years working at Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios, dressing the stars and starlets of the era in nearly 1000 movies. She also holds the records for the most Academy Awards won by a woman (eight, by the way — no big deal).

The Costume Designer exhibition at Bendigo Art gallery draws from the archives of Paramount, the Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design and private collections, collating over 70 costumes designed by Head from the 1930s to the 1960s. You'll see designs from classic films like Vertigo and Sunset Boulevard and costumes worn by iconic performers including Veronica Lake, Gloria Swanson, Olivia De Havilland, Dorothy Lamour, Jane Russell, Hedy Lamarr, Fred Astaire and Yul Brynner. Costume lovers should definitely make the trip for this rare opportunity to see these seldom-displayed designs.

Image: Edith Head and Hollywood, 2017, installation view, courtesy Bendigo Art Gallery.

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