The Bride Wore Boots ain't a great movie, but it's an afternoon's entertainment, and a great example of Edith Head's mid-40's designs. And who could be a better clothes hanger for those outfits than Barbara Stanwyck, who stars in the movie as Sally Warren, a woman who loves horses and having her way. Opposite her is Robert Cummings as her horse-hating husband, Jeff Warren, a Civil War historian. Conflict arises when the youngest member Jeff's fan club, played with seduction by grown-up child star Diana Lynn, takes a real shine to Jeff. Through a series of unfortunate accidents, Barbara gets the wrong idea about Jeff's intentions and readies a quick divorce...
|Leopard! She's on the prowl.|
Edith truly had a wandering childhood, although she never spoke much about it. Bits and snippets gathered by her close friends hint at parents who never married, a portion of her young life spent in mining camps in the west and in Mexico, and finally high school in Los Angeles and college at Berkeley.
She was taught to sew as a young child and got her first break in costuming at the studio that would soon become Paramount, where she found a job working as a sketch artist and assistant to Howard Greer. She would continue to work at Paramount for over 40 years. She married twice and had no children.
|Edith and Edna (rogerebert.com)|
Over her many years as a costume designer, Edith found insulation from volatile studio politics by working with the stars to give them what they requested and by being extremely diplomatic. Films she would design in her long career included The Lady Eve, Holiday Inn, Roman Holiday, The Birds and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Her final memorial was a black-and-white film set in the 40s, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, with Steve Martin, released soon after she died in 1981.
Links and Sources
Costume Designer's Guild
This one looks interesting, lots of pictures, good text: Edith Head: The Fifty-Year Career of Hollywood's Greatest Costume Designer by Jay Jorgenson
A great overview text by a man who knew her well: Edith Head: The Life and Times... by David Cherichetti
Edith Head, Wikipedia
Edith Head's How To Dress For Success