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See It Big! Costumes by Edith Head

Feb 2 — Mar 10, 2019

Edith Head was more than Golden Age Hollywood’s most famous, in-demand costume designer—she is one of the most important figures to ever work in the studio system. For Head, who designed the wardrobes for many of Hollywood’s greatest stars in their most iconic roles—Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, Grace Kelly, Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, to name just a few—costuming was not about just style: Glamour was synonymous with practicality, and wardrobe spoke volumes about character. American film history is unthinkable without this diminutive powerhouse, who won eight Academy Awards, the most competitive Oscars ever won by a single person. (In total, she was nominated a staggering 35 times.) For this special See It Big! series, just in time for Oscar season, experience some of her most memorable looks in this series of some of the greatest films she designed for; each of these, featuring some of Hollywood’s greatest and boldest actresses, is a reminder that brilliant costume design is as essential an element of film grammar as cinematography, editing, performance, and music.

See It Big! is an ongoing series organized by Reverse Shot editors Michael Koresky and Jeff Reichert, and Curator of Film Eric Hynes.