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Happy birthday, Gilbert Adrian!

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2020 at 10:19 am

Screenshot 2020-03-03 at 4.43.14 AMNo other Hollywood designer fed the imagination and fantasies of an entire planet as did he. And practically every modern designer from his time on has cited him as a huge influence, while constantly borrowing ideas formulated by him in the MGM wardrobe department and, later, in his own salon, when he left movie work in 1942.

His clothes gave Garbo her mystery, Crawford her brash and bracing American  glamour, Shearer her sexiness, Harlow ditto (although she never needed any help in that department), and he transformed Jeanette MacDonald into a beruffled and beribboned human Valentine, most appropriate for the fanciful operettas which shot her to super stardom.

 

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Norma Shearer, ‘Strangers May Kiss’ 1931

His final diva was Julie Andrews who played Guinevere in ‘Camelot’ on Broadway which brought him out of a happy retirement in South Brazil with longtime wife Janet Gaynor, whom he transformed from a little brown wren into an immaculate icon of fashion, and an internationally best-dressed list staple. Sadly, he died of a heart attack at age 58 in 1959, before seeing his last production through to opening night.

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Julie Andrews in ‘Camelot’

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with Janet Gaynor

 

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a design from CAMELOT for which he was given a posthumous Tony award for best costumes

 

 

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Garbo, ‘Inspiration’ 1931

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Jean Harlow, ‘Dinner at Eight,’ 1933

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Jeanette MacDonald (1934)

 

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Joan Crawford in ‘Letty Lynton’ 1932

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