KS 101Midterm Essay

Submitted By Kelsey22154
Words: 1287
Pages: 6

Kelsey Smith Smith 1
Professor Carriger
Theater 101A
11 November 2014
Eau De Nil Green Edith Head and Alfred Hitchcock had arguably the best film collaboration between designer and director. One of the most successful screen collaborations was the green suit worn by Tippi Hedren in The Birds. The silhouette and color of the suit were discussed endlessly, and attention to detail was paid all the way down to her earrings. The total ensemble tells the audience that her character is from money and class. This costume is so iconic it has not only been in one museum but two. It inspired women’s fashion immediately and continues to inspire fashion designers today. Hitchcock’s leading ladies were over sexualized blonds, who unravel by the end of the movie. I will attempt to prove that this classic modest silhouette still emphasise the sexuality of Tippi Hedrens character and is critical in Hitchcock’s goal of tearing down the seemingly perfect woman. This famous green suit is currently on display at the Hollywood Costume Exhibit at LACMA and is on loan from the Museum of Style Icons at New bridge Silver in Kildare, Ireland. It is a “Green sleeveless wool crepe sheath dress, knee-length, nipped in at the waist with high round neckline, small rear vent, matching big buckle belt and darted front – the dress fastens to the rear with zip and single button; matching hip-length edge-to-edge jacket with wide lapel collars, two patch pockets and three-quarter length raglan sleeves with turnback cuffs; knee-length mink fur coat, medium width collar; brown snakeskin frame handbag with gold clasp; gold beaded necklace; gold

Smith 2 hook stud earrings; chunky gold ring; gold bracelet watch; dark gray pointed toe high heel leather shoes; grey suede gloves; ecru silk scarf.” (The Birds: Tippi)
All this fine detail results in a simplistic ensemble that is quite hard to achieve. Hitchcock wanted Tippi in green or blue, so Edith Head went through countless shades of green. She ended up creating the final shade her self and naming it Eau De Nil Green. Head and Hitchcock needed to make sure that what ever color they chose the audience wouldn’t get tired of it since it is practically the only thing Tippi’s character wears (“The Hollywood Costume Exhibition At The Academy”). In the museum, the impact of the suit is lost amongst the theatrics. It is the simplest in design amongst all the costumes, and the intense lighting does not enhance the look. With that said the costume’s simplicity is beautiful. It perfectly shows off Tippi’s figure like Edith Head famously said, “your dresses should be tight enough to show you're a woman and loose enough to show you're a lady.” Since this green suit is so iconic does the color distract the audience? Thus being the reason we all remember it so well. Edith and Hitchcock agreed on the same principle that “costume should support, rather than compete with, story and character development”(Valentine). The suit is so important that it almost deserves its own line in the credits (says). In an effort to not distract the audience Edith and Hitchcock chose green because, “Unless there is a story reason for a color, we keep the colors muted because Hitchcock believes they can detract from an important action scene. He uses color, actually, almost like an artist, preferring soft greens and cool colors for certain moods “ (“The Hollywood Costume Exhibition At The Academy”). A more subtle detail is the fact that the two, “love birds” are also green, and it helps tie Tippi’s character back to the Smith 3 birds(Derry). The color of the suit well thought out to be comforting but not distracting to the audience. Perhaps this suit is so important because it has inspired fashion for the everyday woman. Edith Head became a fashion icon by