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Happy Birthday, Edith Head! Watch Audrey Hepburn's 1951 Screen and Costume Test for 'Roman Holiday' (VIDEO)

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood October 28, 2013 at 1:09PM

To celebrate the birthday of bespectacled costuming legend Edith Head (1897-1981), check out this fascinating behind-the-scenes video for 1953's "Roman Holiday," where we see icon Audrey Hepburn model some of Head's designs, and Head explain her reasoning behind the chic ensemble. Watch below.
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Audrey Hepburn in "Roman Holiday"
Audrey Hepburn in "Roman Holiday"

To celebrate the birthday of bespectacled costuming legend Edith Head (1897-1981), check out this fascinating behind-the-scenes video for 1953's "Roman Holiday." 

Head inspired "Incredibles" character Edna Mode
Head inspired "Incredibles" character Edna Mode

The William Wyler classic romance, co-starring Gregory Peck, launched the career of Audrey Hepburn and won her an Oscar. In the video, made in 1951, we see a charmingly reserved Hepburn give a "personality test" for viewers. Head explains the costume she's provided for Hepburn -- a chic blouse with sleeves rolled up and pair of trousers. "You see, she's supposed to be a princess disguised as an ordinary girl on the streets of Rome. So we made her a simple costume, so she wouldn't look different," says Head. "In the picture, she had to look casual, informal and we felt, due to the heat of Rome in summer, a girl would really do this sort of thing."

Check out critic Carrie Rickey's tribute to Head here; Huffington Post tribute here.

This article is related to: Video, Video, Classics


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.