Best Dressed: Fashion from the Birth of Couture to Today
With Hollywood the glamour capital of the world, costume designers Adrian and Irene influenced fashion far beyond the confines of the silver screen. Adrian was head designer for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from 1930 until 1942, when he established his ready-to-wear and custom clothing salon in Beverly Hills. In the early 1930s he introduced the broad-shouldered, slim-hipped look that became the fashionable shape during World War II. His intricately perfected cut is evident in this green and brown twill suit from 1947. The diagonal of the fabric is complemented by the jacket's front seaming and is repeated in diagonal, welted pockets, while the curved seam on the chest is mirrored in the collar and repeated by the hanging oversleeves. Irene, who was head of the custom department at Bullocks Wilshire during the 1930s, followed Adrian as head designer at MGM where she too dressed the studio's stars, including Joan Crawford. She also opened a wholesale ready-to-wear business in 1947 and was the first important costume designer to have boutiques in department stores throughout the United States. Her tan and mocha striped suit, sold by Nan Duskin of Philadelphia, demonstrates her masterful manipulation of geometric-patterned wool in slim yet not severe suits.
Dilys E. Blum and H. Kristina Haugland, from Best Dressed: Fashion from the Birth of Couture to Today (1997) pp. 42-43.