Thursday, November 17, 2005

Alfred Hitchcock

Edith Head wrote about working with director Alfred Hitchcock in her autobiography, Edith Head's Hollywood (with Paddy Calistro; E.P. Dutton, Inc.; 1983, page 58):
Notorious was my first opportunity to dress Ingrid [Bergman] the way she should be. For such a big woman, she was a joy to dress. I was able to do evening clothes, sports clothes, street clothes-the whole gamut. I just had to be sure that was what I did pleased Hitch. He was very specific about costumes for his leading ladies. He spoke a designer's language, even though he didn't know the first thing about clothes. He specified colors in the script of they were important. If he wanted a skirt that brushed a desk as a woman walked by, he spelled that out tool. For Notorious, he repeated many times that the clothes must not be a focal point, that Bergman was to be a believable secret agent.
The job was tricky. Her clothes couldn't be smart in the ordinary sense. They had to avoid the fussy and extreme. And they had to be right for her. . .
I learned my restraint lessons very well. In what was one of the sexiest love scenes ever on screen, Bergman and Grant were totally dressed, but who remembers what they wore?
Miss Maven wonders who cares?!
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