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9780060194284 Edith Head is widely considered the most important figure in the history of Hollywood costume design. The glamour and style of her creations continue to inspire generations of designers. Her career spanned nearly half a century and included such classic films as Rear Window and Sunset Boulevard. Her private life and professional achievements, however, have been the subject of speculation since she rose to the top of her field in the late 1940s. Ruthlessly competitive and intensely secretive, Head had few close friends and many detractors. In his unprecedented biography, David Chierichetti offers a privileged glimpse into the personality and emotions behind the famously impenetrable "scboolmarm" faÃ§ade, as well as a comprehensive account of her creative process. As Head's longtime friend and confidant, Chierichetti enjoyed rare access to her home life and reflections on Hollywood. The author's intimate view of Head's life and work, combined with his extensive research and design expertise, result in a clear-eyed portrait of a career often shrouded in misinformation. To find the truth in the notoriously fictionalized accounts of Edith Head, the author turned to her friends, co-workers, and competitors. The result of Chierichetti's meticulous, original research is a fresh and vital portrait of the designer, as well as of the studio era she epitomizes. Edith Head is richly illustrated with more than 150 images, including family snapshots, sketches, and studio portraits of the stars and roles she helped to create. With a full-color photo insert, this informative, thorough, and important biography is also engaging and entertaining, and will appeal to designers, scholars, and film buffs alike.