- Gilbert Adrian (1903 - 1959) : : Personal Quotes

"When the glamour goes for Garbo, it goes for me as well." - the reason Adrian gave for leaving MGM.

Gilbert Adrian was born Adrian Adolph Greenburg, in Naugat

uck, Connecticut, on March 3, 1903. Gilbert Adrian's parents, who were both milliners, encouraged his artistic ideas and sent him to the School of Fine and Applied Art in New York and the Parsons school in Paris.

In 1921, while studying in Paris, Adrian, as he would come to be known professionally, was invited by Irving Berlin to design costumes for the musical "Music Box Review.”

Returning to the United States in 1922, he designed costumes for New York Broadway shows. This continued until 1925 when he moved to Hollywood to design for Rudolph Valentino, and from 1926 to 1928 working for the De Mille Studios.

He began his professional career while still attending the New York School for Fine and Applied Arts (NYSFAA) by contributing to the costumes for "George White's Scandals" in 1921 using his created name of Gilbert Adrian, a combination of his father's first name and his own. He transferred to NYSFAA's Paris campus until autumn of 1922 when he returned to New York and began work on Berlin's 1922-1923 edition of "The Music Box Revue". Adrian continued to work on the Berlin reviews as well as other theatrical and film projects.

It is rumored that songwriter Irving Berlin hired the then 18 year old designer for a Broadway presentation of "The Music Box Revue" after seeing his creations in Paris, but it was Natacha Rambova, the wife of Rudolph Valentino and movie art director, who gave Gilbert Adrian access to Hollywood royalty in the 1920"s. He designed for two of Rudy's films and the rest is history.

His big film break for designing costumes came in 1925 for movie of Mae Murray for the film entitled "The Merry Widow".

In mid-1925, Adrian was hired by Cecil DeMille to become head of the wardrobe department at his new studio and in 1928 when DeMille moved to MGM Adrian moved with him. When his DeMille contract expired, Adrian signed with MGM. Gilbert Adrian became the head designer at MGM from 1929 and remained with that studio until 1941 when he abruptly resigned following an argument with Louis B. Mayer.

At MGM, Adrian designed designed costumes and hats for Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow and Joan Crawford; creating many pieces that would influence fashion for years to come. Adrian turned ordinary actresses into immortal icons during the age of Hollywood glamour. His reported favorite was Greta Garbo, but his clientele also included Joan Crawford with those never to be forgotten big shoulder pads, Norma Shearer and Jean Harlow. He designed costumes for all of MGM's lead actresses for 13 years. He was the Head Designer for over 250 movies and had an illustrious career dressing some of the world's most famous women. One of his well-known work was the ruby slippers worn by the character "Dorothy" from The Wizard of Oz. He is credited for having given many of those same actresses the "look" for which they were known. However, despite of all his beautiful designs, Gilbert Adrian, never won an Oscar because the category of costume design was not created until after he left MGM.

In 1942, a year after he resigned from MGM, he opened a custom salon on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills and had begun manufacturing high-end ready-to-wear. Adrian had taken a huge risk, opening with World War II going on. Although he encountered a lot of problems his venture was a success, and department stores across the country vied with one another for the honor of selling his best designs.

Adrian's design emphasis was on simplicity but he had the ability to drape fabrics that is still unrivaled to this day. His designs were characterized by bold silhouettes and patterns, Dolman and Kimono sleeves, long tapering waistlines and diagonal fastenings. He favored asymmetric lines and bias-cut evening gowns.

He was a 1944 winner of Coty Award for Fashion. He also received a Lord & Taylor award for his work on Marie Antoinette (1938) in 1938 and a special award from Parsons, the successor to NYSFAA.

More than any other garment, Adrian was known for his suits. Using the broad-shouldered, narrow skirt silhouette he had created for Joan Crawford, Adrian's suits were masterfully designed and constructed. Pockets became a point of focus when given the Adrian treatment, with curved seaming and self-appliques that created patterns. He also loved experimenting with fabrics, and often worked with fabric designers to achieve the effect he desired. Also, Adrian always create his original designs from the silhouettes of the actual historic period clothes

Adrian also produced glamorous evening gowns and beautifully cut little black cocktail dresses. Due to illness, Adrian closed his salon in 1952 after only ten (10) years of production.

His last film was in 1952 for the movie "Lovely to Look". He retired from the fashion industry in 1952 after a heart attack. He relocated to Brazil with his wife (since August 14, 1939) actress Janet Gaynor and their son, Robin.

He returned to the U.S. to do "Grand Hotel", a musical with Viveca Lindfors and Paul Muni. His last career credit was the costume design for the Broadway musical "Camelot". He was preparing the costumes for the original Broadway production of Alan Jay Lerner's "Camelot" when he died of a heart attack on September 13, 1959.

Gilber Adrian had posthumously won Broadway's 1961 Tony Award as Best Costume Designer (Musical) for "Camelot," along with his co-designer Tony Duquette.

Gilbert Adrian was a trend setter, the most popular trend that he started was the padded shoulder fashion trend that became a "trademark" of actress Joan Crawford and many women during that time. Until the baptism of my son in 1985, I was still wearing a dress with a big padded shoulder.
Gilbert Adrian may not have won an Oscar, yet he is considered by most as Hollywood's greatest costume designer.

Below are the list of Gilbert Adrina's list fo work:

Costume Designer:


1. "Ford Star Jubilee" (1 episode, 1956)
- The Wizard of Oz (1956) TV episode (archive footage)
2. Lovely to Look at (1952) (gowns)

3. Smart Woman (1948)
4. The Bishop's Wife (1947) (uncredited)
5. Without Reservations (1946)
... aka Thanks God, I'll Take It from Here
6. Crepe Is the Star (1946)
7. Mrs. Parkington (1944) (uncredited)
8. His Butler's Sister (1943)
9. Hi Diddle Diddle (1943)
... aka Diamonds and Crime (USA: reissue title)
... aka Try and Find It
10. Hers to Hold (1943)
11. They Got Me Covered (1943)
12. Flight for Freedom (1943)
13. The Crystal Ball (1943) (gowns)
14. The Powers Girl (1943)
... aka Hello Beautiful
15. We Were Dancing (1942) (uncredited)
16. Woman of the Year (1942) (gowns)
17. Two-Faced Woman (1941) (gowns)
18. The Feminine Touch (1941) (gowns)
19. The Chocolate Soldier (1941) (gowns)
20. Smilin' Through (1941) (gowns)
21. Lady Be Good (1941) (gowns)
22. When Ladies Meet (1941) (gowns)
23. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) (gowns)
24. They Met in Bombay (1941) (gowns)
25. Blossoms in the Dust (1941) (gowns)
26. A Woman's Face (1941) (gowns)
27. Ziegfeld Girl (1941)
28. Rage in Heaven (1941) (gowns)
29. Come Live with Me (1941) (gowns)
30. The Philadelphia Story (1940) (gowns)
31. Comrade X (1940) (gowns)
32. Bitter Sweet (1940) (gowns)
33. Escape (1940) (gowns)
... aka When the Door Opened
34. Dulcy (1940) (gowns)
35. Boom Town (1940) (gowns)
36. Pride and Prejudice (1940) (gowns)
37. New Moon (1940)
... aka Lover Come Back
38. The Mortal Storm (1940) (gowns)
39. Susan and God (1940) (gowns)
... aka The Gay Mrs. Trexel (UK)
40. Florian (1940)
41. Waterloo Bridge (1940) (gowns)
42. Strange Cargo (1940) (uncredited)
43. Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) (gowns)
44. I Take This Woman (1940) (gowns)

45. Balalaika (1939) (gowns)
46. Ninotchka (1939) (gowns)
47. The Women (1939) (gowns)
48. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
49. Lady of the Tropics (1939) (gowns)
50. It's a Wonderful World (1939) (gowns)
51. Broadway Serenade (1939) (gowns)
... aka Serenade
52. Honolulu (1939) (gowns)
53. Idiot's Delight (1939) (gowns)
54. Sweethearts (1938)
55. Dramatic School (1938) (gowns)
56. The Shining Hour (1938) (gowns)
57. The Great Waltz (1938) (gowns)
58. Vacation from Love (1938) (gowns)
59. Three Loves Has Nancy (1938) (gowns)
60. The Shopworn Angel (1938) (gowns)
61. Marie Antoinette (1938) (gowns)
62. The Toy Wife (1938) (costumes: women)
... aka Frou Frou (UK)
63. The Girl of the Golden West (1938) (gowns)
64. Love Is a Headache (1938) (gowns)
65. Mannequin (1937) (uncredited)
66. The Last Gangster (1937) (gowns)
67. Conquest (1937) (gowns)
... aka Marie Walewska (UK)
68. Double Wedding (1937) (gowns)
69. The Bride Wore Red (1937) (gowns)
70. The Firefly (1937) (gowns)
71. Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937) (gowns)
72. Between Two Women (1937) (gowns)
... aka Surrounded by Women (USA: TV title)
73. The Emperor's Candlesticks (1937) (gowns)
74. Parnell (1937) (gowns)
75. Maytime (1937) (gowns)
76. The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937) (gowns)
77. Camille (1936) (gowns)
78. Born to Dance (1936) (gowns)
79. Love on the Run (1936) (gowns)
80. The Gorgeous Hussy (1936) (gowns)
81. Romeo and Juliet (1936)
82. San Francisco (1936) (gowns)
83. The Great Ziegfeld (1936) (gowns)
84. Wife vs. Secretary (1936) (uncredited)
85. Rose-Marie (1936)
... aka Indian Love Call (USA: TV title)
... aka Rose Marie (USA: poster title)
86. I Live My Life (1935) (gowns)
87. Anna Karenina (1935) (gowns)
88. Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935) (gowns)
89. China Seas (1935) (gowns)
90. No More Ladies (1935) (gowns)
91. Reckless (1935) (gowns)
92. Mark of the Vampire (1935) (gowns)
... aka Vampires of Prague
93. Naughty Marietta (1935) (gowns)
94. After Office Hours (1935) (gowns)
95. Biography of a Bachelor Girl (1935) (gowns)
96. Forsaking All Others (1934) (gowns)
97. The Painted Veil (1934) (gowns)
98. What Every Woman Knows (1934) (gowns)
99. Outcast Lady (1934)
... aka A Woman of the World
100. The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934) (gowns)
... aka Forbidden Alliance (USA: TV title)
101. Chained (1934) (gowns)
102. The Girl from Missouri (1934) (gowns)
... aka 100 Per Cent Pure (UK)
... aka Born to Be Kissed (USA)
103. Paris Interlude (1934) (uncredited)
104. Operator 13 (1934) (gowns)
... aka Spy 13
105. Hollywood Party (1934)
106. Sadie McKee (1934) (gowns)
107. Riptide (1934) (gowns)
108. Men in White (1934) (gowns)
109. The Mystery of Mr. X (1934) (gowns)
110. The Cat and the Fiddle (1934) (gowns)
111. Nana (1934)
... aka Lady of the Boulevards (UK)
112. La veuve joyeuse (1934/I)
113. Queen Christina (1933) (gowns)
114. Going Hollywood (1933) (gowns)
... aka Cinderella's Fella (Australia)
115. The Women in His Life (1933) (gowns)
116. Should Ladies Behave (1933) (gowns)
117. Dancing Lady (1933) (gowns)
118. Bombshell (1933) (gowns)
... aka Blonde Bombshell (UK)
119. The Solitaire Man (1933) (gowns)
120. Stage Mother (1933) (gowns)
121. Penthouse (1933) (gowns)
... aka Crooks in Clover (UK)
122. Beauty for Sale (1933) (gowns)
... aka Beauty
123. Turn Back the Clock (1933) (gowns)
124. Dinner at Eight (1933) (gowns)
125. Another Language (1933) (gowns)
126. The Stranger's Return (1933) (gowns)
127. Storm at Daybreak (1933) (gowns)
128. Midnight Mary (1933) (gowns)
129. Hold Your Man (1933) (gowns)
130. When Ladies Meet (1933) (gowns)
... aka Strange Skirts (USA: TV title)
... aka Truth Is Stranger (USA: TV title)
131. Made on Broadway (1933) (gowns)
132. Peg o' My Heart (1933) (gowns)
133. The Barbarian (1933) (gowns)
... aka A Night in Cairo (UK)
... aka Man of the Nile
... aka The Arab
134. Reunion in Vienna (1933)
135. Looking Forward (1933) (gowns)
... aka The New Deal
136. Gabriel Over the White House (1933) (gowns)
137. The White Sister (1933) (gowns)
138. Secrets (1933)
139. Today We Live (1933) (gowns)
140. Men Must Fight (1933) (gowns)
141. The Secret of Madame Blanche (1933) (gowns)
142. Strange Interlude (1932) (gowns)
... aka Strange Interval
143. Rasputin and the Empress (1932) (gowns)
... aka Rasputin the Mad Monk (UK)
144. The Son-Daughter (1932) (gowns)
145. Fast Life (1932) (gowns) (uncredited)
146. Payment Deferred (1932) (uncredited)
147. The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) (gowns)
148. Red Dust (1932) (gowns)
149. Faithless (1932) (gowns)
150. Smilin' Through (1932) (gowns)
151. Blondie of the Follies (1932)
152. The Washington Masquerade (1932) (gowns)
... aka Mad Masquerade (UK)
153. Unashamed (1932) (gowns)
154. Red-Headed Woman (1932) (gowns)
155. As You Desire Me (1932) (gowns)
156. Huddle (1932) (gowns)
... aka The Impossible Lover (UK)
157. Letty Lynton (1932)
158. Grand Hotel (1932)
159. -But the Flesh Is Weak (1932) (gowns)
160. The Wet Parade (1932) (gowns)
161. Arsene Lupin (1932) (gowns)
162. Polly of the Circus (1932) (gowns)
163. Lovers Courageous (1932) (gowns)
164. Emma (1932) (gowns)
165. Mata Hari (1931) (gowns)
166. Private Lives (1931) (gowns)
167. The Cuban Love Song (1931) (gowns)
168. Possessed (1931) (gowns)
169. Flying High (1931) (gowns)
... aka George White's Flying High
... aka Happy Landing (UK)
170. The Guardsman (1931) (gowns)
171. The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931) (uncredited)
... aka The Lullaby (UK)
172. Susan Lenox (1931) (gowns)
... aka Rising to Fame
... aka The Rise of Helga (UK)
173. The Squaw Man (1931) (gowns)
... aka The White Man (UK)
174. This Modern Age (1931) (gowns)
175. The Man in Possession (1931) (gowns)
176. Five and Ten (1931) (gowns)
... aka Daughter of Luxury (UK)
177. A Free Soul (1931) (gowns)
178. Laughing Sinners (1931) (gowns)
179. Strangers May Kiss (1931) (gowns)
180. Dance, Fools, Dance (1931) (gowns)
181. Inspiration (1931) (gowns)
182. The Bachelor Father (1931) (gowns)
183. Anna Christie (1931)
184. New Moon (1930) (gowns)
185. Paid (1930) (gowns)
... aka Within the Law (UK)
186. Passion Flower (1930) (gowns)
187. A Lady's Morals (1930) (gowns)
... aka Jenny Lind (UK)
... aka Soul Kiss (UK)
188. Madam Satan (1930) (gowns)
189. Die Sehnsucht jeder Frau (1930)
190. Romance (1930) (gowns)
191. Our Blushing Brides (1930) (gowns)
192. Let Us Be Gay (1930) (gowns)
193. The Florodora Girl (1930)
... aka The Gay Nineties (UK)
194. The Lady of Scandal (1930) (gowns)
... aka The High Road (UK)
195. In Gay Madrid (1930) (gowns)
196. The Rogue Song (1930)
197. The Divorcee (1930) (gowns)
198. This Mad World (1930)
199. Redemption (1930)
200. Montana Moon (1930) (gowns)
201. A Lady to Love (1930)
202. Not So Dumb (1930) (gowns)
203. Anna Christie (1930) (gowns)

204. Their Own Desire (1929) (gowns)
205. Devil-May-Care (1929)
206. Dynamite (1929) (gowns)
207. Untamed (1929) (gowns)
208. The Kiss (1929) (gowns)
209. The Thirteenth Chair (1929) (gowns)
... aka The 13th Chair (USA: promotional title)
210. The Unholy Night (1929) (gowns)
... aka The Green Ghost
211. Our Modern Maidens (1929) (gowns)
212. The Single Standard (1929) (gowns)
213. The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1929) (gowns)
214. The Trial of Mary Dugan (1929)
215. The Godless Girl (1929)
216. The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1929)
217. Wild Orchids (1929) (gowns)
218. A Single Man (1929)
219. Marianne (1929/II)
220. A Woman of Affairs (1928) (gowns)
221. Dream of Love (1928)
222. A Lady of Chance (1928) (gowns)
223. The Masks of the Devil (1928)
... aka The Masks of Satan
224. Walking Back (1928)
225. Skyscraper (1928)
226. Midnight Madness (1928)
227. The Blue Danube (1928)
... aka Honour Above All (UK)
228. Stand and Deliver (1928)
229. Let 'Er Go Gallegher (1928)
... aka Gallegher (UK)
230. A Ship Comes In (1928)
... aka His Country (UK)
231. Almost Human (1927/I)
232. Chicago (1927)
233. My Friend from India (1927)
234. The Wreck of the Hesperus (1927)
235. The Main Event (1927)
236. The Forbidden Woman (1927)
237. Dress Parade (1927)
238. The Wise Wife (1927)
239. The Angel of Broadway (1927)
240. The Country Doctor (1927)
241. The Fighting Eagle (1927)
242. His Dog (1927)
243. Vanity (1927)
244. The King of Kings (1927) (uncredited)
245. The Little Adventuress (1927)
246. Gigolo (1926)
247. For Alimony Only (1926)
248. Young April (1926)
249. Fig Leaves (1926)
250. The Volga Boatman (1926)
251. Cobra (1925) (as Gilbert Adrian)
252. The Eagle (1925) (uncredited)
253. Her Sister from Paris (1925)
254. What Price Beauty? (1925)
255. The Hooded Falcon (1924)

Costume and Wardrobe Department:


1. Rope (1948) (dress: Miss Chandler)
... aka Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (USA: complete title)
2. Possessed (1947) (wardrobe: Miss Crawford)
3. Humoresque (1946) (wardrobe: Miss Crawford)
4. Shadow of a Doubt (1943) (gowns: Teresa Wright)
... aka Shadow of Doubt (USA: poster title)
5. Keeper of the Flame (1942) (gowns: Miss Hepburn)
6. Gallant Sons (1940) (gowns: Miss Patrick)

7. The Women (1939) (fashion show)
8. The Ice Follies of 1939 (1939) (gowns: Miss Crawford)
9. The Great Ziegfeld (1936) (gowns: fashion parade)
10. The Merry Widow (1934) (gowns: Miss Mcdonald)
11. Daddy Long Legs (1931) (wardrobe)

12. Marianne (1929/I) (wardrobe)
13. The Hooded Falcon (1924) (costumer)
source: IMDB