Edith Head is interviewed about how costume design helps a motion picture like Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn. We see some of the costume tests with Hepburn and Head explains how choices were made.
Ten Interesting Facts about Edith Head:
1. Her 35 Oscar nominations and 8 awards make her both the most honored costume designer and woman in Academy Award history to date.
2. Rarely did her own sketching because of her time schedule. Almost all sketches of “hers” one sees today were actually done by a devoted staff of sketch artists.
3. During the 1920s, she taught French and art at the Hollywood School for Girls.
4. Edith Hall measured in at 5′ 1½” tall.
5. The Costume Department building on the Paramount lot is named after her.
6. The character “Edna Mode” in Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles (2004) was modeled on her.
7. She is tied with composer Alan Menken for third most Academy Awards won. Each of them have eight.
8. A photograph of Miss Head working on a dress design appears on one stamp of a sheet of 10 USA 37¢ commemorative postage stamps, issued 25 February 2003, celebrating American Filmmaking: Behind the Scenes. The stamp honors costume design.
9. Her trademark “sunglasses” were not “sunglasses” but rather blue-lensed glasses. Looking through a blue glass was a common trick of costumers in the days of Black and White film to get a sense of how a color would photograph. Edith had a pair of glasses made out of the proper shade of blue glass to save herself from looking through a single lens. Her friends commonly would see her in regular “clear” glasses.
10. Extremely diplomatic, she went out of her way to get along with co-workers and rarely gossiped. In later interviews, however, she mentioned that she did not enjoy working with Mary Martin, Claudette Colbert or Hedy Lamarr. In Paulette Goddard’s case, she thought it was insensitive for the glamorous star to bring her bulging jewelry boxes to the studio workroom and tell her seamstresses (who were working for minimum wage) that they could “look, but not touch.”