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Designing Woman, California (1957)

Artist/Designer: Edwin B. Willis, Henry Grace

Project Location: California, United States

Figure 1: Designing Woman, directed by Vincente Minnelli. © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 1957. All
rights reserved. Courtesy Photofest.
( Source | Accessed : March 31, 2021 )
Figure 2: Designing Woman. 1957. USA. Directed by Vincente Minnelli. 118 min. ( Source | Accessed : March 31, 2021 )
Figure 3: Narrating and wearing borrowed pants, Mike (Gregory Peck) discovers the posh apartment of his new wife Marilla (Lauren Bacall), when a surprise party ensues, in Vincente Minnelli's Designing Woman, 1957. ( Source )

No Style/Period Assigned.

Primary Material(s):
No Primary Material Assigned.

No Function Assigned.

Related Website(s):

Significant Date(s):
20th Century

Additional Information:
Publications/Texts in Print:
Abbott, James and Elaine Rice. Designing Camelot: The Kennedy White House Restoration. New
York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1998.
Alpert, Hollis. “Movies: Producer says Movie public wants to cry.” Woman’s Day, December 1959,
Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona). “Draperies and Damsels Matched By Movie Set Interior
Decorator.” April 7, 1957, Sec. 5, p. 4. Clipping in Designing Woman (1957), Clippings, Core
Collection, Margaret Herrick Library, AMPAS.
Basinger, Jeanine. A Woman’s View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women 1930–1960. New York:
Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.
Better, Ruth W. “French Provincial gives you Informal Comfort and Elegance.” Better Homes and
Gardens, April 1953, 299–300.
Blackman, Max. “In New ‘Back Street’ Little Seamstress Becomes Designer.” Cincinnati Enquirer,
October 13, 1961, 13.
Blaszczyk, Regina Lee. The Color Revolution. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012.
Brinckmann, Christine. Color and Empathy: Essays on Two Aspects of Film. Amsterdam:
Amsterdam University Press, 2014.
Calgary Herald. “Don’t Copy Movie Stars, Says Hollywood Designer.” January 19, 1961, 33.
Chicago’s American. “Hunter’s ‘Back Street’ Shining Success.” October 12, 1961, 33. Clipping in the
Virginia Grey Papers, Back Street (1961), Clippings, 2.f–12, Special Collections, Margaret
Herrick Library, AMPAS.
Clark, Clifford Edward, Jr. The American Home: 1800–1960. Chapel Hill: University of North
Carolina Press, 1986.
Cloud, Barbara. “Crying Towels Unfurl For ‘Back Street; Film.” Pittsburgh Press, November 2,
1961, 58.
Cook, Peggy. “A Photographer and His Model Make a Pretty Movie.” Cosmopolitan, February
1957, 50–3.
Crowther, Bosley. “Screen: ‘Funny Face’ Brings Spring to Music Hall.” New York Times, March 29,
1957, 16.
Crowther, Bosley. “Susan Hayward Stars with John Gavin.” New York Times, October 13, 1961, 27.
Cue. Untitled clipping. August 3, 1957. Review clipping in Gregory Peck Papers, Clippings
(Designing Woman, 1957), 335.f–3451, Special Collections, Margaret Herrick Library, AMPAS
Daily Oklahoman. “Oklahomans Go To Market . . . Cities are Slated to Play Host to Buyers.”
January 7, 1962, 2D.
Dallas Times Herald. “Designer Problem: Movie Set Apartment Matches.” April 2, 1957. Clipping
in Designing Woman (1957), Clippings, Core Collection, Margaret Herrick Library, AMPAS.
Daves, Jessica. “Graduation Address: Tobé-Coburn School for Fashion Careers.” June 6, 1950,
Edna Woolman Chase Archive, Manuscript Collection, New York, Box 2, Fld. 4.
Daves, Jessica. “Paris Collections Summary.” Vogue, March 1, 1957, 115–21.
De Marly, Diana. Christian Dior. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1990.
Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA). “The Glamorous World of . . . Helen Rose: A Designer’s Director.”
June 15, 1983, A8.
Finamore, Michelle Tolini. Hollywood Before Glamour: Fashion in American Silent Film. New
York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Fogarty, Anne. Wife Dressing: The Art of Being a Well-Dressed Wife (1959). Reprint, London: V&A
Publishing, 2011.
Fraterrigo, Elizabeth. Playboy and the Making of the Good Life in Modern America. New York:
Oxford University Press, 2009.
Getlin, Josh. “Memories of Films’ Heyday Have Home.” Los Angeles Times, March 12, 1980, 5.
Gura, Judith B. “‘A Woman’s Place . . .?’ Women Interior Designers; Part Two: 1950–2000.” In Pat
Kirkham (ed.), Women Designers in the USA 1900–2000, 317–28. New Haven, CT: Yale
University Press, 2000.
Higashi, Sumiko. “Movies and the Paradox of Female Stardom.” In Murray Pomerance (ed.),
American Cinema of the 1950s: Themes and Variations, 65–88. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers
University Press, 2005.
Hopper, Lynn. “Doris Day–Rock Hudson Duo Glitters In Comedy.” Indianapolis Star, November
12, 1959, 42.
Hunter, Ross. “Producer Ross Hunter’s Formula for Movies That Entertain.” Daily Journal
(Vineland, NJ), June 22, 1962, 4.
Kirkham, Pat. Charles and Ray Eames: Designers of the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, MA, and
London: MIT Press, 1995.
Kirkham, Pat. “Humanizing Modernism: the Crafts, ‘Functioning Decoration,’ and the Eameses.”
Journal of Design History 11, no. 1 (1998): 15–29.
Kirkham, Pat. “New Environments for Modern Living: At Home with the Eameses.” In Penny
Sparke, Anne Massey, Trevor Keeble, and B. Martin (eds.), Designing the Modern Interior:
From the Victorians to Today, 171–82. Oxford: Berg, 2009.
Kirkham, Pat and Marilyn Cohen. “Contexts, Contradictions, Couture and Clothing: Fashion in
An American in Paris, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and That Touch of Mink.” In Eugenia Paulicelli,
Drake Stutesman and Louise Wallenberg (eds.), Film, Fashion, and the 1960s, 112–32.
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017.
Kirkham, Pat, and Penny Sparke. “‘A Woman’s Place. . .?’ Women Interior Designers; Part One:
1900–1950.” In Pat Kirkham (ed.), Women Designers in the USA 1900–2000, 305–16. New
Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000.
Kirkham, Pat and Susan Weber (eds.). History of Design: Decorative Arts and Material Culture,
1400–2000. New Haven, CT, and New York: Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design
History, Material Culture and Yale University Press, 2013.
Lichtman, Sarah, and Pat Kirkham. SCREEN INTERIORS: from Country Houses to Cosmic Heterotopias. New York, NY: AVA ACADEMIA, 2021.
LIFE. “Fashion for Floors . . . at Practical Prices.” April 21, 1952, 112–15.
LIFE. “The Dress, the Desk and the Moose.” October 5, 1953, 26.
LIFE. “The First Lady Brings History and Beauty to the White House.” September 1961, 54–65.
Lutz, Brian. “Furniture.” In Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen and Donald Albrecht (eds.), Eero Saarinen:
Shaping the Future, 246–57. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006.
Marling, Karal Ann. As Seen on TV: The Visual Culture of Everyday Life in the 1950s. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press, 1994.
McDowell, Colin. Forties Fashion and the New Look. London: Bloomsbury, 1997.
Mettler, Meghan Warner. How to Reach Japan by Subway: America’s Fascination with Japanese
Culture, 1945–1965. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018.
Pantell, Hope. “Film Review—Back Street.” Evening Sun (Baltimore), October 17, 1962, 8.
Pile, John. A History of Interior Design, 2nd edition. London: Laurence King, 2005.
Potvin, John. “The Velvet Masquerade: fashion, interior design and the furnished body.” In Alla
Myzelev and John Potvin (eds.), Fashion, Interior Design and the Contours of Modern Identity,
1–18. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2010.
Powers, James. “‘Funny Face’ is a Smart Musical with Top Cast.” Hollywood Reporter, February 13,
1957. Review clipping in Funny Face (1957) Production File, Core Collection, Margaret
Herrick Library, AMPAS.
Powers, James. “Film Review—Back Street.” Hollywood Reporter, October 10, 1961. Review
clipping in Back Street (1961), Motion Picture Association of America, Production Code
Administration Records, Special Collections, Margaret Herrick Library, AMPAS.
Press Book, Designing Woman, 1957. “Film’s Fashion Show Features Evening Gowns.” Margaret
Herrick Library, AMPAS.
Press Book, Designing Woman, 1957. “Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall and Dolores Gray Score in
M-G-M’s Hilarious Romantic Comedy, ‘Designing Woman.’” Margaret Herrick Library,
Press Book, Designing Woman, 1957. “Next to Cast, The Glamorous Clothes Cost the Most in
‘Designing Woman.’” Margaret Herrick Library, AMPAS.
Schuller, Joyce. “Now ‘Jackie Look’ Has Come to Furniture Fashions.” Daily Oklahoman, January
7, 1962, 2D.
Sparke, Penny. “Elsie de Wolfe and her female clients, 1905–15: Gender, Class and the Professional
Interior Decorator.” In Brenda Martin and Penny Sparke (eds.), Women’s Places: Architecture
and Design, 1860–1960, 47–68. Abingdon, UK, and New York: Routledge, 2003.
Sparke, Penny. The Modern Interior. London: Reaktion Books Ltd, 2008.
Steele, Valerie. 50 Years of Fashion: New Look to Now. New York: Yale University Press, 1997.
Talmey, Allene. “Eames.” Vogue, August 15, 1959, 124–9.
Terre Haute Tribune-Star. “‘Back Street’ Indiana Film.” November 5, 1961, 34.
Thistlewood, Doris. “Home furnishing takes a cue from Paris, too.” Chatelaine, October 1955, 8.
Town & Country. “Eye on Living: Designs Men Like.” June 1969, 46–7.
Tube. “Film Review—Back Street.” Variety, October 10, 1961. Review clipping in Back Street
(1961) Motion Picture Association of America, Production Code Administration Records,
Special Collections, Margaret Herrick Library, AMPAS.
Tuite, Rebecca. The 1950s In Vogue: The Jessica Daves Years, 1952–1962. London: Thames &
Hudson, 2019.
Vogue. “Decorating News: A Scheme of Reds.” April 1, 1953, 98–9.
Vogue. “Sculpture: Used With Ease.” September 1, 1957, 258–61.
Vogue. “At-Home Dressing: Decorating by Woman.” October 15, 1957, 80–5.
Vogue. “A Modern Architect’s Own House.” April 1, 1960, 172–9.
Vreeland, Diana. D.V. (1984). Reprint, New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2011.
Whitlock, Cathy. Designs on Film: A Century of Hollywood Art Direction. New York: Harper
Collins, 2010.
Wolff, Perry. A Tour of the White House. New York: Doubleday, 1962.
Women’s Wear Daily. “Precise Color Descriptions Sought.” September 13, 1956, 18.
Women’s Wear Daily. “Eye on Vogue.” December 5, 1960, 1–4. Young, William H. and Nancy K.
Young. American Popular Culture Through History: The 1950s. Westport, CT: Greenwood
Press, 2004.

Building Address:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios - 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, USA
Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows - 9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills, California, USA

Tags: California, Film Interior, Set, 1957, 20th Century, 1950s, Film, California, Beverly Hills, Culver City,

Significant Dates: Released 16 May 1957, filming began 10 September 1956,

Supporting Staff/ Designers: E. Preston Ames, William A. Horning, Mentor Huebner

Viewers should treat all images as copyrighted and refer to each image's links for copyright information.