This absolutely phenomenal dress is an example of Adrian’s creative ability to use silk fringe to transform a relatively simple black rayon crepe dress into a masterpiece. There are a few snags and some very minor underarm discoloration. Signature Adrian 1940s shoulder pads (ala Joan Crawford) and exquisite fringe! Remarkably good condition! The custom label was used for his one of a kind and couture pieces. You can have the privilege of owning a piece of fashion and Hollywood history! We acquired this dress from an auction years ago, but we were recently fortunate to find 3 additional original Gilbert Adrian 1940s dresses that will be available on our site from the estate of a high end department store owner.
|Shoulders from seam to seam across the back||22"|
|Length from front center to waist||22"|
|Length from waist||42"|
|Length from center back to waist||18"|
Joan Crawford in Gilbert Adrian dress
He was born Adrian Adolph Greenburg, in Naugatuck, Connecticut, on March 3, 1903. Adrian trained at the Parsons School of Fine Arts. 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. 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 design emphasis was on simplicity but he had the ability to drape fabrics that is unrivaled to this day. He was a 1944 Coty award winner but unfortunately never won an Oscar because the category of costume design wasn’t created until after he left MGM. 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 my favorite of his accomplishments is that he designed costumes, including the ruby slippers, for The Wizard of Oz. He married the actress Janet Gaynor and they lived in Brazil in the last years of his life. Sadly, he died at the young age of 56 of a heart attack. Gilbert Adrian left a lasting impression that will forever define the most glamorous era of Hollywood's history.