Gowns by Adrian : The MGM Years 1928-1941

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9780810908987: Gowns by Adrian : The MGM Years 1928-1941

From his earliest days working at the colossal movie studio MGM, at the young age of 24, Gilbert Adrian had a vision that would showcase a new era in costume design for the screen. So fresh were his ideas, so original were his designs, and so extraordinary the workmanship that Adrian quite rightly earned the elegant film credit sobriquet, "Gowns by Adrian." He was the first, if not the most publicized, of a Hollywood hybrid known as the costume designer/couturier.
Gowns by Adrian: The MGM Years, 1928-1941 is the first comprehensive look at this prodigiously talented designer in his glory years at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The result of more than 10 years of research, access to previously unavailable MGM personnel files, and containing many unpublished photographs and complete filmography, Gowns by Adrian brings us into the design studio and onto the sound stage and makes us privy to the everyday give-and-take between designer and star. For the reclusive Garbo, Adrian was the only designer who understood her wish to avoid revealing necklines or fur; Shearer was particular in another way: two versions of every dress were de rigeur before she would choose one of them; and Crawford, was there ever a star more demanding or more determined? As Adrian once exclaimed, "Who would have thought that my entire reputation as a designer would rest on Joan Crawford's shoulders!"

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About the Author:

Howard Gutner has contributed to Theatrical Designers: An Annotated Bibliography and Entertainment Weekly's The 100 Greatest Stars of All Time.

From Booklist:

Any longtime Hollywood fan would readily agree that nothing succeeded like excess--especially in the movies of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. And much of that success, claims researcher-editor Gunter, was due not only to the skills of such stars as Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford but also to the genius of one little-known costume designer--Gilbert Adrian, or simply Adrian, as L.A. dubbed him. The book starts with Adrian's predilection for the arts--born of talented parents and educated at Parsons--and, from there, almost instantaneous stardom when he joined MGM in 1924. Stars mentioned and movies cited will be familiar to almost anyone, including Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story, Greta Garbo as Mata Hari, and the wacky and wonderful Wizard of Oz. Best yet are the photographs, mainly in black and white, that showcase memorable "still" moments and the elusive process of artistic creation. Filmography appended. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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