21 thoughts on “Costume Designer Irene Sharaff: The Frock Flicks Guide

  1. I loved the red velvet ball gown in Meet Me in At Louis. The film is a favourite of mine and I feel that Judy Garland never looked as beautiful.

    And Funny Face and Dolly gave beautiful costumes.

    Cleopatra although not accurate clothing wise conveyed an Egyptian feel (even the 1960s makeup was only sorta jarring) to my preteen eyes when I first saw it in the late 1960s.

    But my favourite was her costumes for Elizabeth in Shrew. She worked alongside the amazing Danilo Donati.

    1. When I can get a digital copy of Meet Me in St. Louis, I want to do a deep dive bec. the costumes are really lovely! And it’s one of my fave musicals.

      1. That would be great. I have it on DVD somewhere. If I can find it, want to borrow it?

        1. Aww thanks! But digital is easier for making screencaps — it’s available for rent, so I really just have to schedule it (rentals are usually just 48 hours long, so I need to block out the hours for all those pix :) ).

  2. The reason I love most of these movies is because of the costumes. Especially Meet Me in St. Louis and Hello Dolly! I had know idea they were the same costume designer.

  3. I never knew Irene Sharaff was the costume designer for all these films – each one is a legit on-screen legend, in each case for many reasons, but the costumes sold the show. I adore Meet Me in St. Louis in particular because JUDY, and while part of me has always thought the red dress could have easily overwhelmed her, it’s also clear that Irene took Judy’s figure and general look into account when designing it. It’s stunning, but fairly simple.

  4. Ah yes, Brigadoon with the New Look dresses. Somebody must have dreamed a Dior fashion show during her century long sleep.
    Historical accuracy may not have been Sharaff’s strong suit but her costumes were BEAUTIFUL unlike the grotesqueries we are given by the likes of The Spanish Princess. You can forgive a lot if the costume is at least pleasing to the eye.

    1. And I wish there was documentation of the fabrics used! The movement of Cyd Charisse’s cream dress is divine. So light but also enough weight! Incredible!

        1. Deborah Kerr’s huge hoops move beautifully. I suspect they are a little to extreme for a governess but they look wonderful

  5. I love the costumes from “Hello Dolly” . . . except for that gold dress. I don’t. It just didn’t appeal to me like the other costumes. Not that impressed with “Brigadoon”. But I love the “King and I” and “Taming of the Shrew” costumes as well.

  6. Have pictures of several of these dresses from an exhibit I saw recently. I will share the albums on the Facebook group!

  7. I love Can Can- and in my later years, wonder how Shirley MacLaines character picks the Frank character over Louis Jordans!

  8. That Babs costume with the peacock overlay is giving me life! It’s like my two favourite stage costumes had a child and that child outshines its parents!! I’m copying!

    1. @Ticia, I thought the same thing.

      Hello Dolly was one of my faves as a child and I still love it, the songs are so memorable. But those NAILS Babs, ruins the look like nothing else!!!

  9. I’ve seen them all but Mommie Dearest. I didn’t know one designer did all these shows– the ultimate in glamour.

    The dance scene in The King and I wouldn’t have been anything without that costume– were the metal hoops used throughout? The dresses all seemed to move the same way, so a really romantic choice!

    I also loved the costumes in Taming of the Shrew. Even the rags were glamorous.

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