I have always associated Edith Head with the glamorous fashions of 1940s Hollywood. Her career, however, began much earlier than this. In the late 1920s she began work at Paramount Studios. Edith worked at the studio during the time two other top Hollywood designers were there: Howard Greer and then Travis Banton. After Banton left Paramount in the late 1930s, Edith rose into a position of prominence at the studio.
“Edith Head & Co.” is the current exhibit at The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio. It features costumes Edith designed for such stars as Barbara Staynwyck in “The Lady Eve” with its clever use of a sheer fabric under a beaded midriff to give the appearance the actress is not wearing anything underneath. There are also costumes designed by Greer and Banton that provide a basis for comparison and contrast to Edith’s designs. Into this are mixed the creations of other famous Hollywood designers like Irene and modern costume designers such as Colleen Atwood. On display are also accessories and jewelry used in films from the 1920s through today.
You can see a preview of the exhibit at Youtube. Each costume is beautifully presented in a space that creates the sense of entering a temple of enduring glamor and elegance. I think actually visiting the exhibit will add to the experience since the costumes may be viewed up close and in relationship to the other costumes they are grouped with.
The exhibit runs through August 14th, 2016 at:
Decorative Arts Center of Ohio
145 E. Main St.
Lancaster, Ohio 43130
For further information please visit http://www.decartsohio.org/exhibitions.html