Monday, 4 March 2013

Glamour went with her, and so did I

Famous for his bold, dramatic styles, Gilbert Adrian became MGM Studios' top designer during the 30s aand 40s. He caused a fashion frenzy by the introduction of shoulder pads, and created the most glamorous clothes in the world for the likes of Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Jean Harlow and Norma Shearer. He also designed the legendary ruby slippers Dorothy wore in The Wizard Of Oz. His favourite "model", however, was Greta Garbo.

Adrian left the "studio system" in 1941 to set up his own independent fashion house, saying:
"It was because of Garbo that I left MGM. In her last picture they wanted to make her a sweater girl, a real American type. I said, 'When the glamour ends for Garbo, it also ends for me. She has created a type. If you destroy that illusion, you destroy her.' When Garbo walked out of the studio, glamour went with her, and so did I."

Gilbert Adrian (Adrian Adolph Greenberg, 3rd March 1903 — 13th September 1959)


  1. And he was married (!) to Janet Gaynor. Genius.

    1. "Numerous sources claim that Gaynor's three husbands were gay. The second was MGM's legendary fashion designer, Gilbert Adrian, and the two had a son. (Rumor had it that during labor, doctors told Adrian his wife might lose the baby, to which he replied, "Oh no, I'll have to go through that again!") According to C. David Heymann's authoritative biography Liz, Adrian was busy himself, having a long affair with Elizabeth Taylor's father, Francis, while married to Gaynor. Not that Gaynor minded. William Mann's meticulously researched book Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood 1910-1969 says that Gaynor was a lifelong lesbian, seriously involved with at least two other stars, Margaret Livingston and, most significantly, Mary Martin. Actor Robert Cummings once quipped: "Janet Gaynor's husband was Adrian, the MGM fashion designer. But her wife was Mary Martin."


      And yes, he was a genius! Jx


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