Amy Zerner’s Fashion Sense: Hollywood Glamour – Adrian

Garments by Adrian
Garments by Adrian, Photo: Courtesy Amy Zerner

I was watching a Greta Garbo film, The Painted Veil, and saw in the credits that the beautiful clothes were designed by Adrian.

Hollywood has always had a strong tradition of amazing costume designers, such as the incredible Adrian (born Adrian Adolph Greenberg, 1903–1959). He designed costumes for The Wizard of Oz in 1939—including Dorothy’s iconic ruby slippers (worn by Judy Garland)—and many, many other films. He is best known for his costume design work for MGM from 1928–1941.

Adrian’s reputation skyrocketed as he also dressed Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy, Norma Shearer and Jean Harlow. His name is still synonymous with Hollywood glamour, which, in turn, helped define high American style. He is probably one of the most famous alumni of Parson’s School of Design in New York City. In 1942, he started his own fashion house with great success and it continued until he closed his salon in 1952. With clean, feminine lines and subtle yet interesting details, his work was truly wearable art.

A quote from Adrian:

“It was because of Garbo that I left MGM. In her last picture they wanted to make her a sweater girl, a real American type. I said, ‘When the glamour ends for Garbo, it also ends for me. She has created a type. If you destroy that illusion, you destroy her.’ When Garbo walked out of the studio, glamour went with her, and so did I.” 

Amy Zerner is the Hamptons number one fashion blogger and fashion designer.

You can find her creations at Bergdorf Goodman in NYC or at The Enchanted World Emporium, 8 Main Street, East Hampton, next to Rowdy Hall Restaurant,631-324-7695.

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