Thursday, July 25, 2024

Fashion Trivia: The Couturier and the Costume Designer

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Today’s question combines the topical themes of balletcore, the Oscars and red-carpet fashion.

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Test your fashion-industry knowledge with our new-old weekly series, Fashion Trivia! There’s no prize (yet) for having the right answer, but you get theoretical bonus points for not using Google.

Q: In 2011, Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy were vocal about how unhappy they were with the lack of recognition for their work on ballet costumes for “Black Swan” during awards season. (The costume designer on the project was Amy Westcott, who clarified the situation here.)  More than 50 years prior, a famous couturier contributed costumes to a similarly acclaimed film in much the same way, but kept quiet when its actual costume designer was nominated for — and won — the Oscar. Who was it?

Hint: the film marked the beginning of the couturier’s years-long designer-muse relationship with its star.

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A: Hubert de Givenchy is credited with designing three of Audrey Hepburn’s looks in 1954’s “Sabrina” and would go on to work with Hepburn on nearly every subsequent film and red carpet. The costume designer was the legendary Edith Head (who later downplayed Givenchy’s involvement in the film, according her protégé’s account, published in 2010). 

Today, costume designers continue to struggle for the recognition (and compensation) they deserve, especially on projects that include collaborations or deals with fashion brands and designers.

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