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Edith Head: The Fifty-Year Career of Hollywood's Greatest Costume Designer Hardcover – October 5, 2010
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The Independent (UK), 10/4/10
"There’s fierce, and there’s Edith Head. The name to drop in the golden age of Hollywood, Head was wardrobe consultant on Rear Window and All About Eve, to name a couple of classics.
This stunning new book chronicles her 50-year career with sketches and archive material."
Harper’s Bazaar, October 2010
"It’s a must-have book for connoisseurs of fashion and film alike.”
Donna Marie Smith, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., FL- Library Journal’s Xpress Review 10/29/10
"The golden age of Hollywood sparkled with glamorous stars and extravagant cinematic productions. Costume designer Edith Head won five Oscars and epitomized—along with actors she clothed such as Barbara Stanwyck, Grace Kelly, and Audrey Hepburn—the star quality of these heady days. Jorgensen (editor, Peterson's Photographic magazine) captures a behind-the-scenes look at the world and work of this dedicated, prolific artist. He includes background information and gorgeous color photographs and illustrations of the costumes she meticulously designed. While incorporating biographical information about Head, Jorgensen focuses primarily on the clothes, which perfectly personified the characters in films like All About Eve, Roman Holiday, and Sunset Boulevard.
Verdict For fans of classic Hollywood movies and students of fashion, photography, and film. Those who want a more in-depth look at the personal life of this iconic Hollywood figure should read David Chierichetti's Edith Head: The Life and Times of Hollywood's Celebrated Costume Designer.
BookPage, December 2010
“…scrupulously researched and handsomely assembled work… Filled with pithy anecdotes and never-before-seen sketches, Edith Head is the book for the costume design enthusiast.
“The book is a treat. A spectacular repository of on-set pictures of Ms. Head at work, plus her costume designs, and even a recipe for Chicken and Potatoes Casa Ladera (her home in the 50s), we get a full-bodied picture of her career . . . . fun . . . beautiful.”
“[Author Jay Jorgensen’s] pictures are a revelation. He has excellent images of Head's designs, at their best when based on character rather than dazzle.”
“Edith Head: The Fifty-Year Career of Hollywood’s Greatest Costume Designer is a beautifully done book. The flow of the chapters, the extensive photos comprised of stars and the costumes alone are quite remarkable and create a fascinating read for Hollywood fashion aficionados.”
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Men and women. When I had to choose clothes for my first job hunt, I COPIED her ideas and got a great job.
While the book itself is a magnificent production, including the graphics, layout, photography and cover fabric, there are a few aspects that go wanting, but do not detract from anything but the highest recommendation.
I find that the pictorial coverage is most stingy with her designs for The Ten Commandments, even though the picture of Anne Baxter's elegant and stylized portrayal of Nefretiri is captured by the one and only photograph devoted to this motion picture.
Of special note is that despite the computer and editorial staff, the text which is sufficient except again for The Ten Commandments, has numerous spelling, syntactical, and possibly typographical errors. While I think nobody can attest to any accuracy regarding her early years, nor certain facts regarding her most personal interior life, the text is informative, and not burdensome in presentation of her typical daily activities. It is to the point!
It is especially a noteworthy book because we are treated to photography that we have never seen in other books about this most highly-acclaimed and most sensitive artist. While one may find that she may have been highly protective of her billing and her Oscars, one understands that it was out of necessity, due both to her formulative years and instinct to guard and protect her artistry. Had she not guarded her designs, one can only imagine that the system in which she worked could have concealed her rightful acknowledgements.
I applaud both Edith Head for giving so many of us such magnificent pleasure over so many decades, and for the author and staff who made this book happen.
Ray W. Clarke
Cleveland & Palm Beach
Great pictures with plenty of her costume drawings. It's also got a lot of information on her life that I didn't know and covered more than just the basics that you see everyday.
I was visiting Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds for a signing of art I created and what a surprise but to discover Edith's estate is where they currently reside
Along the way I got my hand on some Hollywood film magazines where I was introduced to the art of the studio publicity still photos which featured the best images of the stars working at that time. I never went to the movies often and much later when I did see some of the vintage films I became acquainted with Edith Head and her work. I thought she was bizarre with her severe look, her carefully coiffed hair and her dark glasses; later I realized this was probably intentionally done to make her stand out. I also saw a short film on her career which fuelled my interest even more.
When this book was announced, I immediately and ordered it from Amazon, read it cover to cover when I got it and it is now a permanent addition to my library. The most important feature of the book to me is the quality of the photos. They are the best because they had to pass the approval of the studios publicity department; BUT, in this book there are no defects in the photos that one sometimes finds in even to most pricey "coffee table" books. The overall quality of the book is as good as that of the photos, even down to such nice touches as using silk screen printing on the dust jacket, something that most people wouldn't even notice.
I recommend this book to any one interested in fashion, or photography, and especially to those of you who want to know more about this interesting and talented woman.