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Iconic Costume Designers

Costume Designers

A costume designer is a person who designs costumes, for a film production or television show. Focusing on key periods (or moments) in time, to ensure that the garments depict an authentic representation of the period of time, the genre, or the tone of the film.

Let's take a look at some of the most well known designers, from some iconic films.

Designer: Edith Head

Was one of Hollywoods greatest costume designers, while working in a field largely dominated by men in the 1930's and 1940's, she designed costumes for more than 1,100 films. Considered to have had one of most prolific & celebrated careers in the history of motion pictures. She was nominated for thirty-five academy wards and won eight of them.

Born: 1897

Died: 1981

Most Famous Creation(s): Grace Kelly in "Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window" 1954

Designer: Walter Plunkett

Plunkett' best known work is featured in two films "Gone with the Wind" and "Singing in the Rain". In 1951 Plunkett shared an Oscar with Orry- Kelly and Irene Sharaff (both costume designers) for the 1951 film, An American in Paris.

Born: June 5 1902

Died: March 8, 1982

Most Famous Creation(s): The scarlet red silk velvet dress in the 1939 film "Gone With The Wind".

Designer: Ruth E. Carter

During her 30 year career Carter has been nominated three times for the academy award for best costume design, she received her first historical win in 2018 for her work on the film "Black Panther"

Born: April 10,1969

Still Alive

Most Famous Creation(s): The 2018 film "Black Panther", Angela Basset wore an intricate structured royal African inspired gown & head piece.


Designer: Irene Sharaff

An American costume designer for stage and screen. Her work earned her five Academy Awards and a Tony Award. She gained her start working as a fashion illustrator, before turning to set and costume design. Her debut production was in 1931 on Broadway's Alice & Wonderland.

Born: January 23, 1910

Died: August 10, 1993

Most Famous Creation(s): Sharaff was apart of many classic films including, the 1956 film "The King and I" , The satin ruffled sleeved ball gown & Dorothy's Dandridge's costume in Porgy & Bess 1959 and 1963 "Cleopatra" starring Elizabeth Taylor.

(left) Fashion Illustration for the film Cleopatra

(Right) Irene working with Elizabeth Taylor

Designer: William Travilla

Would become synonymous with Marilyn Monroe after working on several films with the actress. He won many awards including an Oscar and an Academy Award for his work on "How to Marry A Millionaire" in 1953 & "Theres No Business, Like Show Business", in 1954 both featuring the actress.

Born: March 22, 1920

Died: November 2, 1990

Most Famous Creation(s): The 1953 film "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", & the ensemble worn by Marilyn Monroe , he was also well known for his beautiful sketches.


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