Having the right costume in a film is right up there with having the right music score. Edith Head was the Hollywood queen of costume design during her illustrious fifty year career.
Is there is a correlation between best costume and the actress who wears it? That is, the more elegant the attire the brighter the star? From Grace Kelley to Dorothy Lamour to Audrey Hepburn and hundreds in between, Edith Head designed more fabulous dresses than anyone and the actresses who wore them became larger than life.
Grace Kelly, To Catch a Thief
Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
After Edith Head passed away in 1981, new costume designers set out to establish their reputations. The other day I read the Time Essay reader’s poll of favorite costumes in film, and the winner for finest dress ever in a film went to Keira Knightley’s emerald gown in Atonement.
Alexandra Byrne is a current costume designer who is a particular favorite of mine. She designed the exquisite period pieces in Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age for which she won an academy award.
Which costumes from Hollywood’s history stands out for you? What film’s legacy rests heavily on the costume?