Katharine Hepburn: Dressed to Kill
By Ellis Nassour
If she had her way, Katharine Hepburn would have simply lived in khakis, her favorite mode of "fashion." She was also fond of what she called "rebel chic," and, though it wasn’t her goal, she set fashion trends. After all, she was a movie star!
Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, organized by the Kent State University Museum and running in the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center through January 12, it becomes abundantly clear she knew what worked for her.
Probably more than any other actress of her time, Hepburn knew the
importance of costumes in defining character and drawing the audience into a story. She had a sure sense of what would work for her.
The collection includes items of her personal wardrobe, such as tailored beige trousers and linen jackets, and costumes the four-time Oscar-winning Miss Hepburn, who was nominated a record 12 times, wore. Among her designers of choice were Cecil Beaton, Irene, Jane Greenwood, Walter Plunkett, and Valentina.
Costumes from The Philadelphia Story, Without Love, Coco, Stage Door, Adam’s Rib, and Long Day’s Journey Into Night are augmented with photos, vintage posters, Playbills, and related artifacts, such as correspondence.
Admission is free. It’s open Monday-Saturday, from noon; until 8pm Monday & Thursday; 6pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. It’s accessible from the main Plaza entrance and Amsterdam Ave. at 65th St.
In conjunction with the exhibition, a companion book Katharine Hepburn: Rebel Chic (Skira/Rizzoli) has been published.