Adrian, Gilbert

Adrian, Gilbert,

1903–59, popularly known simply as Adrian, fashion designer, b. Naugatuk, Conn. Educated in New York City, he created designs for Broadway shows until 1925, when he moved to Hollywood. As studio designer at MGM studios (1928–41), he created glamorous clothing for such stars as Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, and Katharine Hepburn, his opulent designs influencing haute couture throughout the 1930s and 40s. Adrian was known for his extravagant, draped evening gowns; hooded dresses; embroidered, padded evening jackets; and elegant suits. He was creative director for MGM's Wizard of Oz (1939), one of his most acclaimed productions; the same year he married actress Janet Gaynor. From 1942 to 1952 he ran a fashionable Beverly Hills salon.

Bibliography

See H. Gutner, Gowns by Adrian: The MGM Years 1928–1941 (2001).

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Adrian (Gilbert) (b. Adrian Adolph Greenburg)

(1903–59) fashion designer; born in Naugatuck, Conn. Discovered as a student in Paris by Irving Berlin, he designed costumes for countless Broadway shows and Hollywood films (1920s–1930s). Under his own Beverly Hills label (1941–53), he designed women's couture and quality ready-to-wear; his trademarks included padded shoulders and dolman sleeves.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.