Dorothy Jeakins (1914–1995) was a multiple Oscar-award winning costume designer who created iconic looks in some of classic Hollywood movies. This includes more than a few costume dramas, and while the results may not hew strictly to a historical line, Jeakins illustrations show her strong historical research chops. She began her career studying fine art and working as an illustrator, only falling into costume design later. But she very quickly made an impact, and now her work is easily identifiable. Let’s give her some frock flicks love!
Dorothy Jeakins won the first-ever awarded Oscar for Best Costume Design, Color, which she shared with Barbara Karinska.
This was Jeakins’ first film costume design job — she’d previously worked as an illustrator.
Samson and Delilah (1949)
Newp, neither Biblical nor historical. But pretty!
Jeakins won another Oscar for Best Costume Design, Color. This one was shared with Edith Head, Elois Jenssen, Gile Steele, & Gwen Wakeling.
The Outcasts of Poker Flat (1952)
It’s a western, not too bad.
Les Miserables (1952)
I like her pelisse!
Stars and Stripes Forever (1952)
A biopic of the composer John Philip Sousa, set in the late 19th century. I Think these are stage costumes?
These look more like 1890s daywear.
The dress from above, in a catalog photo.
Alas, the costume designer can’t do anything about an actress’ skirt-hiking!
Here’s what survived of the gown in a catalog photo.
Luscious gown style, if more 1950s than 1830s.
This gown is particularly non-historical but so pretty.
Treasure of the Golden Condor (1953)
Something vaguely 18th century
Barbara Stanwyck gets a good 1910s gown here.
You know the rest of the story.
Friendly Persuasion (1956)
American Civil War Quakers.
Annie Get Your Gun (1957)
The musical about sharp-shooter Annie Oakley.
The Music Man (1962)
Not one of my favorite musicals, but the costumes are lovely!
Wish I could find good color pix because these are both fun in that 1960s musical way *and* a decent representation of 1910s fashions.
Y’all know this one!
From kiddie clothes made from curtains…
To an elegant baroness’ wardrobe…
To a stunning wedding gown for a nun.
Dorothy Jeakins had a small, uncredited role as “Sister Augusta” so I hope she got to see the wedding gown in action.
A big, ponderous boring movie with costumes that often look more 1960s than 1820s. Dorothy Jeakins has a small role as Hepzibah Hale.
The Fixer (1968)
Set in Czarist Russia, around 1911, that’s all I got!
The Molly Maguires (1970)
About Pennsylvanian coal miners in 1876, so mostly grubby men’s clothes, but hey, here’s an appropriate bustle gown!
Little Big Man (1970)
Something of a western about a guy who’s fought alongside General Custer. And apparently takes a few breaks…
A love story that spans the 1930s-1950s. Not that you can tell by the costumes.
I wonder how much of this was the director or Barbara Streisand’s idea?
The Iceman Cometh (1973)
Set in 1912 in a flophouse.
More of a historical homage, this movie has a 1930s-40s style.
The Hindenburg (1975)
Disaster films were all the rage in the ’70s. At least this one had a cool retro vibe.
Oh the huge manatees!
Anjelica Huston with her father, the film’s director John Huston, in this utterly engrossing film based on a James Joyce short story.
Full of eccentric characters & subtle dialog.
And subtle period costume details as well, like this lady’s shamrock brooch.
This was Dorothy Jeakins’ final film, & she was again nominated for a Best Costume Oscar.
What’s your favorite historical costume movie or TV show with costumes designed by Dorothy Jeakins?