Monday, October 10, 2011

Fashion | Gowns By Kalloch

One thing that stands out most to me when I watch studio era films are the costume designs. There were many influential designers from this period, some more popular then others. Fashion artist such as Edith Head and Adrian are very well known, but after watching 1938's Holiday and Bringing Up Baby I discovered a designer I hadn't yet discovered. The name next to the gowns billing? Columbia Studio's Robert Kalloch.

Designs for Holiday & Bringing Up Baby
Robert Kalloch was born in 1893 in New York City. He got his start designing gowns for New York's high-profile socialites and dancers for Lucille Ltd. He got his break in Hollywood in the early 1930's when he was hired by Harry Cohn to help improve the low-budget reputation of Columbia Pictures. 

Designs for Mrs Miniver & His Girl Friday

Robert Kalloch was one of the biggest trendsetters in Hollywood during the 1930's and 1940's. Stars such as Fay Wray and Greer Garson were lucky enough to have their sophisticated wardrobes designed by Kollach. 

Irene Dunne and Robert Kollach with designs from The Awful Truth

Simply credited with 'Gowns by Kalloch', many memorable films of that period were touched by this leader of fashion. Films such as His Girl Friday (1940), For Me and My Gal (1942), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and The Awful Truth (1937) are just a few of the iconic films he worked on. His designs can even be seen uncredited in 1934's It Happened One Night and Twentieth Century.

Wedding gown from It Happened One Night
Kalloch also gets credit for helping shape the style of Look Magazine's "Best Dressed Girl In Hollywood" of 1940, Rita Hayworth. He was the first to specially design a wardrobe for Rita as her fame was rising. He worked with Rita on such films as The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939), Angels Over Broadway (1940), The Lady In Question (1940), You'll Never Get Rich (1941) and Only Angels Have Wings (1939). 

Designs for Angels Over Broadway, You'll Never Get Rich, & Lone Wolf Spy Hunt

As you can see Robert Kalloch stayed quite busy in his short time in Hollywood.

Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in designs from Babes On Broadway


  1. Yummy post. Just love those suits designed for Roz Russell in "His Girl Friday" and the costumes for Irene Dunne in "The Awful Truth." They do so much for the characters besides being quite fetching. Great post!

  2. Thanks for this post, Craig. I'd never heard of him which is odd because for as long as I can remember, I've always been one of those people who actually read the opening credits to see who directed, who did the art direction, hair, costumes, etc. (I'm not even sure now why I did that!) So I'm amazed that I've seen Kalloch a squillion times and never caught his name. Thanks!

  3. Wonderful post. What would movies be without beautiful clothes?