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Edith Head Doodle salute: Designer's costumes and bangs were legend

October 28, 2013|By Adam Tschorn

Today's Google Doodle is particularly fashion-focused, celebrating what would have been the 116th birthday of eight-time Academy Award-winning costume designer Edith Head.

The doodle depicts the instantly recognizable caricature of Head -- with her distinctive haircut and eyeglasses -- standing in front of six costume-design sketches rendered in Google's traditional color scheme.

Some 438 costume designs are credited to Head on Over the course of her career, the costume designer took home Oscar gold (some singlehandedly; on other films, she shared the honor) for “The Heiress,” “Samson and Delilah,” “All About Eve,” “A Place in the Sun,” “Roman Holiday,” “Sabrina,” “The Facts of Life” and the “The Sting,” and was nominated for more than two dozen other films.

In addition to toiling off screen, Head occasionally appeared on screen as well (we recently caught her playing herself in a episode of "Columbo," actually), and Los Angeles Times fashion critic Booth Moore shared a couple of interesting facts about Head's career:  

-- In 1953, the first year the Academy Awards were televised, Head had the distinction of being named the Oscars’ first fashion consultant and was charged with making sure the stars dressed modestly so that they wouldn't run afoul of the censors. “I was appointed guardian of hemlines and bodices,” she once said of the role, which she occupied until 1981.

-- In 1955, Grace Kelly collaborated with Head on one of the most famous Oscar gowns ever -- an icy-blue draped sheath that Kelly wore when she won for lead actress in “Country Girl.” Kelly had worn the gown to the premiere of the film, and she wore it again on the cover of Life magazine.  The dress cost $4,000 -- at a time when cars didn’t cost that much.

She was born Edith Claire Posener in San Bernardino on Oct. 28, 1897, and died just four days short of her 84th birthday on Oct. 24, 1981.


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