I’ve been reading through David Chierichettis’ biography of Edith Head. It’s an interesting read about a very private woman, but what I’m taking away from it are two sewing-related items.
The first is to do with Audrey Hepburn’s sheath dresses in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and here’s a quote from the book:
The Givenchy sheaths seem simple to the eye, but Renie conley found out otherwise when she saw Head and Hepburn cooking up some more phony Givenchys in other fabrics at Western Costume after Breakfast at Tiffany’s finished shooting. “They had taken one of the dresses apart to copy it, and it was full of horsehair stuffing and lead weights to make it fall a certain way,” she remembered.
Really? Horsehair stuffing and lead weights to make a sheath dress hang the desired way? I have a LOT to learn about dressmaking.
And the second was how she costumed Bette Davis, who apparently was a bit of a nightmare to clothe because of the “several serious problems: bowed legs, very round shoulders, and a long broad neck. Worst of all were her breasts, which hung almost to her waist. She refused to wear brassieres with underwires because she thought that the wire would cause breast cancer.” (p. 86)
This was very interesting to read, because I’ve never particularly noticed any “flaws” per se when watching a Bette Davis film. And yet all these things were beautifully made to disappear with the right design elements in her costumes.*
Now, of course most of this is not news to anyone who has done the smallest amount of reading or looking or what have you when it comes to fashion. Dress to maximize your good points is what we’re supposed to do. And where I get stymied for the most part. It’s a lesson to look at all the photos of oneself wearing whatever it is one wears. Some things look amazing and others look dreadful. And yet others can be made to look wonderful with the right bit of photography!
I make a lot of things that don’t fit perfectly, and my one and only goal this year is to do just that: take the time and make the effort to ensure the best possible fit. Oh, and only shop my stash!
*This photo is scanned from David Chierichetti’s book – no copyright infringement intended! It’s the perfect photo so show the perfect fit of Davis’ dress!