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    In 1985, I bought the most fabulous book titled Couture, by Caroline Rennolds Milbank. The most amazing part of the story is that I picked it up at a thrift shop in York, Pennsylvania. Even though $15 was a lot of money for me at the time, I knew what a tremendous steal it was – imagine how proud I felt years later when I spotted it in FIT’s book store for $85!

    Adrian, 1947 - Suit with gingham applique

     I read it cover to cover and learned about the early designers like Charles Frederick Worth, Madame Paquin, Lanvin, Poiret and Fortuny. I discovered names I’d never heard of before and studied them intently. The great costume designer, Adrian, really caught my eye. The cowl/hooded dress with laced up sleeves worn by Joan Crawford was so elegant I wanted to magically step into that page in the book and into Ms. Crawford’s dramatic ensemble…and into Robert Taylor’s arms!

    Adrian gown on Joan Crawford for the 1941 film, When Ladies Meet

     Adrian Greenberg was born in Naugatuck, Connecticut on March 3, 1903 – he would be 107 years old today! Adrian attended Parson’s in New York which was called the New York School for Fine and Applied Arts at the time. During his career as Hollywood’s most sought after costume designer in the 1930’s, Adrian worked on at least 100 films including; the Wizard of Oz, Dinner at Eight, the Philadelphia Story, When Ladies Meet, Ana Karenina, Strange Cargo and Love on the Run.

    Adrain dress for the 1935 film, No More Ladies
    All photo credits: From my book, Couture by Caroline Rennolds Milbank