ADRIAN / MGM costume designer extrodinare - the man was brilliant !
Been watching Garbo, Crawford, Shearer, etc. in all their films, and realize Adrian was an amazing designer. He, & Janet Gaynor, bearded in a marriage
for years. But his dresses, for the real screen queens, were sublime.
Think he beat Head by a mile. She frequently took credit, for outfits other's designed ( like Audrey Hepburn, in "Sabrina" - all done by Givenchy, but Head got screen credit). He made everyone look good.
He was the one who designed and made, Dorothy's ruby red 'slippers' - which were really pumps.
Adrian, and Janet Gaynor were called a lavender couple. Actor Bob Cummings once said ' Janet Gaynor's husband was Adrian, but her wife was Mary Martin'.
Hepburn (Katherine) , never looked better than in "Philadelphia Story". Adrian glammed her up, which she needed.......badly
I'm too confused by all of OP's commas.
Adrian's costumes are too fussy!
I agree, Adrian Goldberg was extremely talented.
The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum mounted a stunning exhibition of his work several years ago.
One of the most surprising things I learned at that show was that there were restrictions on fabric during the war, which were specified in allowable widths collars and lapels, and the number of pocket flaps.
Adrian was a master of making elegant, dazzling costumes with a minimum of froufrou.
R 7 - That's not what R 6 thinks. Frou frou = fussy. But I agree with you. R 6 is obviously someone who doesn't really know his work well.
R8 meant to write:
R7 - That's not what R6 thinks. Frou frou = fussy. But I agree with you. R6 is obviously someone who doesn't really know his work well.
R8 doesn't know how to post a proper link.
OK Mr. Webby - I already know you hate me from way back, but don't start this shit again !
He created Joan Crawford's padded shoulders to accentuate her already broad shoulders. THAT look, the padded shouldered suit, was one of his most iconic and enduring contributions to fashion. It has endured to this day, making a major resurgence in the 1980's.
He created Crawford's Letty Lynton dress which became a sensation in 1932, becoming a template for the silhouette of women's gowns until the late 1930's. This dress design helped ushered in a move away from the flat chested dropped waist 20's flapper styles.
I do know Adrian's work very well. As a lover of old movies, I have watched many films where Adrian did the costumes.
He just does not compare to Edith. Edith's outfit continues to look modern today.
Adrian's costumes were fussy and they look very period.
R 12 - ok pardon me , who do you like better between Orry-Kelly and Travis Banton ?
Crawford's huge shoulders were to draw focus away from her wide hips.
Is there a biography on Adrian? I tried to find one and I was stunned that there is nothing but just coffee table books on his clothes. He seems like he would be very interesting to read about.
Always heard that Barbara Stanwyck, whom I love, had what Edith Head called a 'low slung derriere' - that's why she always designed outfits to de-emphasize it, including higher waist dresses, or pieces that would flow down over it, and cover it subtly, and building up the shoulder area, with busy prints,
or ruffling, to take the eye away from the ass.
How would Adrian have costumed Bette "Tits down to her waistline" Davis? I employed a complex system of straps and pulleys, myself.
Adrian also did all the dresses for "The Women " , the all time gay loving bitch-fest. Not only did he dress all the stars, in many outfits for each , he also did all the outfits for the 10-minute (in color) fashion show - at the time, the epitome of chic, and glamour.
I love Adrian and MARIE ANTOINETTE is breathtaking but my favorite is Travis Banton, especially his Dietrich stuff. It's still so modern.
Anything from the pre-Code with those flimsy evening gowns. Some of the women in those dresses may as well have been naked.
Did Adrian and George Cukor ever fuck?
r 20 Oh no, I liked em young, and hung. And gentile.
I saw a design of his on a mannequin at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. My jaw dropped open. It was a simple grey dress. The composition and tailoring made it a piece of art, no doubt. that remarkable.
Garbo would not have been GARBO , without him. He left MGM, when she left, saying ' When Garbo goes, the glamour goes.......and so do I'. He left, and opened his own atelier, dressing the wealthiest women in Hollywood, including many of the same stars he had dressed, while under contract at Metro.
Adrian's designs for a Garbo film, Unconquered, I think it's called, included a little slouched and tilted brim hat that created a vogue that set the template for ladies hats throughout the 1930s and spelled the death of the 1920s cloche.
But frankly, Travis Banton at Paramount was more talented. Just compare Dietrich, Lombard and Mae West's film wardrobes n the 1930s to those worn by MGM's Shearer, Crawford and Garbo.
Edith Head (who replaced Banton at Paramount) wasn't even in the running. She just outlived them all.
R 24 - your last line is so true. Head became the most well known, as a personalty, making tons of appearances on TV, in the 50's thru 70's, but she was not the best at what she did.
Was Walter Plunkett good at contemporary clothes too, or was his brilliance just in period costumes? Obviously his designs for GONE WITH THE WIND were superb.
But r23, when Garbo left MGM she said to a shocked Adrian, "You know, I never really liked any of those clothes you dressed me in."
By the 1940s most of the major studios had replaced their famous resident male costume designers with women.
Adrian (MGM), Orry-Kelly (Warner Bros.),and particularly Travis Banton (Paramount) were all considered to wield too much power with their female stars and too often went over budget. Female designers like Edith Head, Helen Rose and Irene were more practical and loyal to their bosses, even if their designs were more mundane (which in the war-torn 1940s wasn't the greatest sin).
Jean Louis at Columbia was one of the few men to survive and continued working well into the 1960s.
Jean Louis was all man and I was the dame to prove it!
What was the deal with Jean Louis ? Never heard anything, one way or the other. Just know he married Young when he was what , 80 something.
Jean Louis is another designer ,which there is no biography. Again, only coffee table books on his clothes. Why are there any written biographies on these male designers?
Travis Banton actually collaborated with Marlene Dietrich on all her 30s Paramount films. It was more of a 50/50 partnership. Dietrich's daughter went into great detail about their creative process in her book.
R20 From the gossip I have read Adrian was banging Elizabeth Taylor's father.
Huh, what ? Liz Taylor's dad ? That's juicy. Did Liz know ? More please !
I don't believe that The Taylors arrived in the US until the early 1940s, at which time Adrian had left MGM.
Not that that means anything. But they certainly didn't meet at the Metro commissary.
There is an wonderful interview book featuring many of the biggest stars, directors, and backstage employees during the golden years of the Hollywood era by John Kobal (of the famous Kobal photo archive) called "People Will Talk". Among the interviews with people like Louise Brooks, Stanwyck, Crawford, and Hepburn there is a wonderful piece with Jean Louis. It's pretty dishy and he loved being a little bit naughty about the stars' egos and figure problems. Lots in this interview about Rita Hayworth.
I also remember some other really hilarious interviews in this book with Jack Cole, the dance director, and John Engstead, the still glamour photographer.
Great book, R36. Some really interesting stories. I loved the Jack Cole interview and the Vincent Sherman one is good too.
37 comments in and not ONE pic...you bitches are slipping.
"when Garbo left MGM she said to a shocked Adrian, "You know, I never really liked any of those clothes you dressed me in."
Yes, she said that. But that was Garbo. She had no interest in clothes whatsoever. In her private life all she wore were slacks and nondescript sweaters. She NEVER wore dresses. She also never wore jewelry and almost no makeup. But she had that FACE and that was enough.
Adrian was kinda cute. I bet he had a nice butt...the Jewish men I've been with all have great asses.
[quote]I also remember some other really hilarious interviews in this book with Jack Cole, the dance director, and John Engstead, the still glamour photographer.
The Jack Cole interview is one of the best in that book. Surprisingly, my other favorites are the Loretta Young and the Joel McCrea interviews. The Hepburn interview is good, but the Stanwyck and Crawford interviews are a little flat.
The Joan Fontaine interview makes me laugh, mainly because of Kobal's speculation that she has a buzzer timed to ring anytime mention of her sister Olivia deHavilland is made and thus, end the interview.
The photo of Adrian is indeed delightfully snazzy but that key light is doing more work than Dietrich's, Shearer's and Crawford's combined!
That picture of Harlow at R38 is sensational. She must have been 24 or 25 at the time. Imagine a young starlet today being photographed with that sort of romanticism and sophistication.