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Happy Birthday, Edith Head, you marvelous creature.

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Google Doodle for Edith Head’s 116th Birthday

My motto is that the audience should notice the actors, not the clothes. – Edith Head

I just saw the Google Doodle for the day, and it’s in honour of one of our heroes, Edith Head.  She won 8 Academy Awards, but she easily could have walked away with several dozen.  She was the costume designer for countless films at Paramount and Universal, and created unforgettable looks for the characters in so many of our favourite movies:  Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.  Tippi Hedren in The Birds.  Kim Novak in Vertigo.  Grace Kelly in Rear Window.

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“Right off the Paris plane.”

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“Well, if there’s one thing I know, it’s how to wear the proper clothes.”

Look at how she made Kim Novak in Vertigo look like two different women, just with costuming suggestions: a stiff grey suit and tightly coiled hair when she plays Madeline, a looser, more disheveled and “cheaper” look when she plays Judy:

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Novak said Madeline’s suit forced her to keep her back perfectly straight.

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Judy’s more of a slouchy sweater girl.

We always try to think of Edith Head when we are costuming our videos for Socratica.  We try to give our actors the look that suggests an identity – it helps us believe they know this material, they are the very person we need to hear from, the expert.  As Edith Head said,

 What a costume designer does is a cross between magic and camouflage. We create the illusion of changing the actors into what they are not. We ask the public to believe that every time they see a performer on the screen he’s become a different person.

Here’s our playlist on YouTube called “Fashion Demystified,” all about fashion essentials.  What direction did we give to our actress, playing the “Fashion Maven?”  Channel Edith Head.

KHH

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