This Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting the oft unsung yet always vital contributions of those working below the line. Join NYWIFT blog contributors Kathryn O’Kane and Mellini Kantayya as they celebrate a few of the many women in history and making history—“Below the Line: A Cut Above.”
By Mellini Kantayya
With a career spanning six decades, perhaps no one can be credited for the classic Hollywood aesthetic more than costume designer Edith Head. To this day, she is still the most honored costume designer and woman in Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences history, with an astounding 35 Oscar nominations and eight wins.
Head created many of the memorable and iconic looks during the Golden Age of Cinema and beyond including Audrey Hepburn’s timeless chic in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Tippi Hedren’s pristine (and then not so pristine) green suit in The Birds, and Paul Newman and Robert Redford’s vagabond cool in The Sting. Her prolific career credits her with an astounding 442 films, commencing in 1925 on silent films and concluding in 1982 with the film Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid which was released seven months after her death.
Though perhaps not a household name, Edith Head continued and continues to make an impression popular culture. Mink Car, the 1999 They Might Be Giants album, included a song entitled “(She Thinks She’s) Edith Head.” In 2003, the United States Postal Service honored her with a commemorative stamp. Today, her “signature style and forthright personality” is the inspiration for the character Edna Mode in The Incredibles movies.
Production Designer Hannah Beachler created the iconic looks of "Creed," "Moonlight," and Beyonce's "Lemonade" before taking on the fictional world of Wakanda in "Black Panther," which won her a 2019 Academy Award. She is the first-ever African American - male or female - to take home that honor.READ MORE
Joi McMillon made Oscar history in 2018 when she became the first African American woman nominated for Best Achievement in Film Editing for Moonlight. But the road to the Oscars wasn’t straight or smooth.READ MORE
Reel Equity: Tell the entertainment industry that you support members of historically female crafts in their demand for Pay Equity by signing your name to...READ MORE
NYWIFT’s annual Designing Women gala, honoring top hair stylists, makeup artists and costume designers, has been a star-studded highlight of the New York entertainment industry’s Spring calendar since its inception in 2000. As we prepare for the 2017 event on Tuesday, June 6th at NYU Law School, we take a look back at last year’s ceremony, which honored hair stylist Rose Chatterton, makeup artist Anita Gibson, costume designer Sarah Edwards, and the team from Showtime's The Affair.READ MORE