Adrian and The Women

7226f910ddbfd1582726274efe3ccc3aLets talk about one of the best fashion films of all time and the costume designer behind it. The Women 1939 stars only women including the animal extras. Although I am not totally in favor of the way most of the characters behave, to quote Joan Crawford’s character “There’s a name for you ladies, but it isn’t used in high society… outside of a kennel.” The basic plot of the film is high society ladies find out about cheating husbands and take off to Reno to get divorces. I would give The Women a good watch because it has over 300 costumes all of which are fantastic. Although the majority of the movie is in black and white there is fashion show sequence in Technicolor. When the ladies are looking at a night gown that is $235 in 1939 that is about $4000 in today’s money! And Norma Shearer’s character’s wedding ring was worth $175,000 equivalent to almost three million in today’s money. This kind of wealth during the tail end of the great depression in incredible. Some more details about Adrian to follow the costumes.


These Surreal swim looks are a nod to Schiaparelli and Dali, check out the hand clasp.


This lime green gown and PLASTIC turban is my favorite look in The Women.



Joan Crawford’s dress has a bare midriff, when you watch the film the movement is spectacular.



This look is so Avant-Garde, I love the spiked bangles.

Adrian Adolph Greenburg known only as Adrian was born in Connecticut on March 3, 1903. He started designing for the Silver Screen in the early 1920s. Adrian signed with M.G.M in 1928 and remained with the company until 1942. He’s credited for 266 movies, typically as the gown designer and not the costume designer. In 1942 he opened his own Salon in Beverly Hills and then a N.Y.C one in 1948. When the New Look came in style in the late 1940s Adrian stuck with his lean strong shouldered silhouette.  In 1952 Adrian had a heart attack and retired in 1959 sadly committed suicide at age 54. His two most famous films are Marie Antoinette 1938 and The Wizard of Oz 1939.


Adrian by Irving Penn Late 1940s

the-wizard-of-oz-1939 3870-1

Sources: Vintage Fashion GuildNew York TimesIMDBTurner Classic Movies


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