Lunchtime Talk: Designing a Character, Creating a Star

Lunchtime Talk: Designing a Character, Creating a Star

Reframing Film


Please note: This event took place in July 2022

Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich are remembered for their beauty and glamour, yet behind these carefully constructed images were costume designers Gilbert Adrian and Travis Banton. Adrian was the leading designer at MGM, and costumed Garbo in Mata Hari(1931),Queen Christina(1933), Anna Karenina (1935) and Camille (1936). Banton was Paramount’s principal costumier and designed all of Dietrich's 1930s films including, Shanghai Express(1930) and The Scarlett Express (1934). In this illustrated talk, Keith Lodwick will explore how Adrian and Banton were central to the creation of both the character and the public image of these Golden Age stars.

Keith Lodwick is a writer and film historian. He is the former Curator of Theatre and Screen Arts at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. At the V&A, Keith curated Vivien Leigh: Public Faces, Private Lives and was the V&A curator for the major exhibition Hollywood Costume, one of the most successful exhibitions in the museum’s history. Keith has contributed to a wide range of publications including Oliver Messel: In the Theatre of Design, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty and Shoe Reels: The History and Philosophy of Footwear in Film. For Fashion & Cinema, Keith is currently curating a series of discussions with leading film costume designers exploring their work and inspirations.