These interiors are from Bullocks downtown Los Angeles store and were designed by Tony Duquette in about 1940 to represent various seasons in the season-less Los Angeles climate. I found this interesting lecture by Hutton Wilkinson, who was Duquette’s business partner. Wilkinson talks about Duquette and the various people he knew and worked with (Vincent Minelli, Gilbert Adrian, Elsie De Wolfe), and there is a lot of good fashion information.
The Fashion History Museum has partnered with the Grand River Film Festival again this year, this time with a display of fashions by Gilbert Adrian (1903 – 1959). While he was the head designer at MGM studios Adrian costumed over 230 films including: Mata Hari (1931), The Women (1939), Wizard of Oz (1939), Philadelphia Story (1940), and Woman of the Year (1942). He influenced fashions by promoting a broad shouldered silhouette that would become the dominant style of the 1940s. From 1942 to 1952, Adrian reduced his costuming work to concentrate on mainstream fashion, creating suits and dresses for high-end department stores.
For thirty years Adrian costumed many of Hollywood’s most successful films including: The Bishop’s Wife, Philadelphia Story, Ninotchka, Grand Hotel, The Women, and The Wizard of Oz. Adrian entered the world of high fashion in 1942, selling an exclusive line of suits and gowns through 25 department stores across the U.S. Adrian retired from both his film costuming and fashion businesses in 1952 and died in 1959.
The blue and white gingham dress worn by 17 year old Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz in 1939, sold for U.S. $480,000 this past weekend. It had been in storage since 2005 when it was sold in London for less than half that amount. Adrian, the designer of the iconic gingham jumper (or pinafore if you are English), reportedly made ten identical examples for the star and stand-in to wear, but the one that just sold is the only one to appear in the film. Adrian reportedly told his seamstresses to use a cheap cotton gingham because he wanted it to look like yardage Auntie Em would buy from the local general store. To add to the authenticity, the dress was apparently sewn at MGM on a treadle sewing machine brought in by one of the seamstresses. The colours in the dress seem grey in comparison to how it appears on film, but the film was shot in three strip technicolour film, which produces a high resolution and saturated colour. There may also be some overall even fading due to a shift in the colour caused by the chemical deterioration of the blue dye.