OU-Lancaster To Host Edith Head Film Festival

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An Edith Head Film Festival will be held in the Ohio University Lancaster Wagner Theatre on Saturday, Aug. 16. 

The event, which is free and open to the public, is being presented in conjunction with the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio. The Designing Woman: Edith Head at Paramount 1924 – 1967 exhibit, featuring costumes designed by Head, is on display at the Decorative Arts Center through Aug. 24.

"With the growth of the OUL Theatre program, I thought there was a natural fit with costume design. We really wanted to share some of Edith Head’s films on a big screen," said Decorative Arts Center of Ohio Executive Director Julie Parke. "Attendees will get the chance to see two great films with Edith Head’s costumes."

The romantic comedy The Lady Eve (1941) stars Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda. It will be shown at 2 p.m., followed by To Catch a Thief, the 1955 Hitchcock classic starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant, at 4 p.m.

Head is one of the most recognizable names in film fashion history. During her 60-year career, she worked on more than 1,000 films, garnered 35 Academy Award nominations and won eight. 

Head designed many of the iconic costumes worn by Barbara Stanwyck, Loretta Young, Veronica Lake, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour. The exhibit opened June 7.

"The films are free, and Edith Head will be with us (as portrayed by Susan Claassen) to introduce the films and point out costume highlights to watch for," said Parke. "The two film choices allow for a variety in the costumes, coming from first the early '40s film followed by the mid-'50s. Edith Head’s favorites were Grace Kelly, Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock."

Head Exhibit Curator and Paramount Pictures Costume Archivist Randall Thropp, a Lancaster native, will be at the film festival to discuss Head’s remarkable career and the Paramount costume archive. The archive houses more than 20,000 costume pieces and 12,000 pieces of jewelry.

"I truly expect people to have a fun afternoon with two classic films, but I also believe guests will come away with a greater appreciation for Edith Head and for costume design in film," said Parke. "We’re grateful to Dean Jim Smith and the OUL team for sharing the Wagner Theatre for this fun afternoon, and the Decorative Arts Center hopes to continue this partnership in the future with other program opportunities."