Friday, September 23, 2011

Fashion in Film Blogathon: Miss Stanwyck, meet Miss Head.

Hello Everyone,

     When I heard about this blogathon my first thought was to do a post on some of my favorite Stanwyck costumes (seeing as how she’s my favorite actress and I like to think she’s incredibly fashionable). Then, all of these ideas started pouring into my mind. Things such as a blog on all of Ginger Rogers’ fantastic dresses in her movies with Fred Astaire (especially the dress she wore for the “Pick Yourself Up” number in Swingtime, probably one of my all-time favorite movie dresses). I also considered doing a blog on costumes from “Stella Dallas” (1937) because they are so ridiculous it makes me want to cry, or a blog solely honoring the hats from “The Women” (1939) because they are also more than ridiculous. Then there's all those fur coats from "The Mad Miss Manton" (1938) to "Christmas in Connecticut" (1945) which could be interesting.
     At some point I may end up writing about these aforementioned subjects because I think they’re worth my time, but for this blogathon I finally decided to talk about my favorite actress, Barbara Stanwyck; my favorite costume designer, Edith Head; and the work they did together. Both Edith Head and Barbara Stanwyck are incomparably brilliant and I hope this post does that brilliance justice:

     I know, from what I've seen and read, that Barbara Stanwyck had a nice figure, but was a hard actress to dress because she had a long waist. Edith Head solved the problem by: (1) drawing a viewer's attention up around Stany's chest and shoulders, (2) using wide belts, and (3) by bringing the waists of Stanwyck's clothing higher up.
     Barbara Stanwyck was apparently so pleased that she made sure Edith head designed the costumes for as many of her films as possible, as well as her personal wardrobe.

 Edith Head was the costume designer for 12 of Barbara Stanwyck’s movies, including:

Remember the Night (1940)

The Lady Eve (1941) - my personal favorite as far as costumes go.

The Great Man’s Lady(1942) 

and Double Indemnity (1944)
     Not pictured: The Bride Wore Boots (1946), The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), The Other Love (1947), Sorry Wrong Number (1948), The File on Thelma Jordan (1950), No Man of Her Own (1950), The Furies (1950), Roustabout (1964)

     Edith Head also designed Stany’s costumes in:

Ball of Fire (1941)

Lady of Burlesque (1943)

and Cry Wolf (1947) 

Not pictured: My Reputation (1946)

     In addition to all of this, Edith Head designed the female costumes for California (1947), the gowns in You Belong to Me (1941), and Babs’ gowns in: The Gay Sisters (1942), Flesh and Fantasy (1943), Christmas in Connecticut (1945), and The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947).

     Now we come to the part of the show where yours truly points out just a few (because this list could get long) of her favorite Edith-Head-designed Barbara Stanwyck costumes. I’ll also be pointing out some hats, because I have this 'thing' for hats. 

Did I mention I also have a thing for fur coats? This one is from The Lady Eve. And I love this hat she's wearing.

The Lady Eve, again. <3 that hat! Oh...and I like the rest of her get-up too.

From California. I love this dress. In the movie, it's red. A most incredibly gorgeous shade of red, which only serves to make a gorgeous period costume even more so.

This dress from Double Indemnity = Love.
Possibly my all time Stanwyck dress. It's also a good example of Edith Head's brilliance when dressing Barbara Stanwcyk: high waist - check. Ruffled top that draws attention up - check.
Wide[r] belt - check.

 Best. Hat. Ever. 
From The Lady Eve.

And one more: from The Lady Eve.  
How pretty is this?

Until Later On~

P.S. Thanks a million to Angela at The Hollywood Revue for hosting this blogathon!! Also, check out the other great contributions here.


  1. Ooh, this was a fun post! I'm going to write my post for this tomorrow, and truthfully I don't even know quite exactly what I'm going to do. ;) But Edith Head was a GENIUS and Stany looks so chic and fashionable in all the pictures you shared -- I love 1940's fashion. If only we could still dress that way!

    Oh, and a lit off topic but you mentioned in your post "The Bride Wore Boots"... have you seen it? And if you did, how? (I don't think it's on Netflix, where about 95% of my movies come from). I really want to see it because one of my favorite actresses plays Barbara's daughter in that!

  2. A beautiful post. As noted, Edith Head was supreme and agreed, Stanwyck was not exactly easy to dress, but boy, she sure looked great in those 40s fashions. Great post and pictures!

  3. The Bride Wore Boots is on youtube, just type in TheBrideWoreBoots (1946) 1 and it'll come up.

  4. Rianna - Thanks! I know, I'd love to dress so prettily. I mean, even their pajamas are awesome... ;) And here's the link to TBWB: I really like this movie - it's hilarious. Oh, and I just realized a couple weeks ago that that little girl was Natalie Wood and it made me think of you. What a cute kid.

    FlickChick - Thanks for your comment! I'm so glad you liked my post, and that you agree that the Stanwyck looks as fantastic as I think she does. ;)

    Anonymous - Thanks for the help!

  5. Considering how amazing Edith made Barbara look on-screen, I can't blame Barbara one bit for having Edith dress her off-screen as well! I love that stocking cap from The Lady Eve, there's something so whimsical about it. I've really got to get around to watching A Lady of Burlesque, I've heard a lot of great things about the costumes in that one! Great post, thanks for contributing!

  6. Yep. <3 Stany looked great. Lady of Burlesque definitely has some fun costumes - I just rewatched it the other day - not exactly the best movie ever, but it's pretty fun. And worth the watch if only to see Stanwyck: sing, dance, cartwheel, and do the splits.

    Thanks, again, for hosting! I'm so glad I could be a part of it!

  7. Barbara Stanwyck is my favorite actress too, and when you combine a Stanwyck post with Edith Head fashion, well it's like floating in a great big swimming pool of happiness for me.

    I love the Ball of Fire nightclub dress for sheer wow factor. I'm also rather partial to this outfit from The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. And most of her The Lady Eve costumes.

  8. Great post! I love both Stanwyck and Edith Head

  9. Rachel- I love how you described that! :) I also really like that outfit from TSLOMI but I wasn't able to find a picture of it.

    Meredith- Thanks! SO glad you liked it!

  10. I really enjoyed your post and looking at all of the great fashions that Stanwyck wore. I love Stanwyck, too -- and I especially appreciated seeing the outfits that were unfamiliar to me, like the dress from The Great Man's Lady. And that hat on the magazine cover is to die for!

  11. I'm glad you enjoyed it! :) I really love that magazine-cover hat too. Thanks for your comment!

  12. Barbara Stanwyck is sooo marvelous. I looove her costumes in "Christmas in Connecticut" I think my favorite is that white suit she wears when she is supposed to get married...the first time.

    Also love those tights Head had her wear in "Lady of Burlesque"-very fashion forward and something someone would wear now...though it was supposed to be for a rather trashy woman haha.

    I really encourage a post about Stella Dallas's wardrobe! That would be very interesting :)

    P.S.) I also have a thing for furs.

  13. Amen! Stanwyck was absolutely marvelous! I love the CIC outfit when she's decorating the tree. :)

    Yeah, I'm serious about doing something with Stella Dallas soon! I am really excited to.

    P.S. Glad I'm not the only fur lover!

  14. I just re-watched Barbara in Breakfast For Two, and her outfits are quite beautiful in the film. The white fur coat she wears in the beginning is stunning. I never realized how her clothes were specifically made to accent her body type - a slim one I wish my own was like! Thank you for posting about Hollywood fashion. It's so interesting, and I'd like to learn more about it. Maybe sometime you could do a post on hats in the movies? I wonder when wearing a hat went out of style?

  15. Oh, yes! Breakfast for Two is one of Stany's that I need to rewatch. It used to be on YouTube, but I haven't been able to find lately. And, now that you've suggested it I will most definitely do a post on hats! I love them. I dont know when I'll get around to that though, as I've got quite a bit of stuff lined up already to be written about. :) As far as when hats went out of style, I have no idea...I'd be inclined to blame the 70s.

  16. I haven't seen "Cry Wolf," but that outfit you've highlighted makes me want to, big time. Thanks for the fun post!

  17. I'm glad you liked this post!! Cry Wolf is a very good movie, if you get to watch it I hope you like it. :)

  18. I love this post!! I'm so glad I found your blog! Barbara Stanwyck is my favorite actress :)

  19. I liked the white coat with black slacks she wore in The Lady Eve when she planned her strategy with her "uncle" Sir Alfred. It was a gorgeous coat, and she looked so lovely in this film.


I love getting comments so feel free to leave one! <3