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The Dress Doctor
Long before celebrity stylists became as renowned as the Oscar-winning film stars they advise, the legendary costume designer Edith Head was dressing Hollywood's most fashionable women and men, on screen and off, as well as lending her sartorial wisdom to women across the country on radio and television. In 1959, she published a bestselling memoir and style guide, The Dres ...more
Mass Market Paperback
Published 1964 by McFadden
(first published 1959)
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Edith Head's book is "firmly dedicated to Mrs. Average American," who would enjoy the greatest costume designer's quaint celebrity anecdotes: Mae West's white-furred apartment! Kim Novak's rabbit food! Cary Grant matching his shorts to Grace Kelly's dress! The book's more serious therapeutic mission, according to the tough and stern Dress Doctor, is to bring happiness to women with color and texture, and to make them fully participate in life by dressing appropriately. This last goal is undertak ...more
This was light and fun, seemingly intended for women who wanted some behind-the-scenes dish on movie stars of the '50s. What amused me most was that Edith Head somehow managed to compliment each of the stars in slightly different ways. This had to have been a carefully written book; movie stars' egos are so fragile! But with some serious reading between the lines, the reader can figure out whom she really liked (Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis) and who got on her nerves (Mary Martin, Kim Novak).
If you're a fan of Edith Head and the old movie studio system, you'll want to read this book. While this was written as a "how to dress" type of guide, its real value is in the stories she tells about dressing Hollywood celebrities. The "doctor" analogy wears thing pretty early, but it was easy to get past when you get into the stories, and her opinions of, some bygone stars. This book was a lot of fun.
Interesting book. It's very praise-y, gossipy but her analysis of figures and how to dress yourself in the most flattering way holds up even 60 years later. It's a super fast read. If you are a fan of old movies and interested in movie star style from the 20s-60s, you will enjoy this book.
Edith Head was my idol as a young girl. The clothing she designed for the movies made me even more sure that I also wanted that as a profession although women were pretty much limited to teacher, nurse, secretary, or housewife. I kept my dream through high school and then became a housewife.