Updated: May 29
This fan-friendly quiz features 10 questions about some of cinema’s best-known gowns.
(If you have not yet taken “Name That Designer: Ten Iconic Gowns,” click here to go straight to the quiz.)
Question #1: This designer popularized the bias-cut gown in 1933’s Dinner at Eight, and it continues to reign in fashion, especially as a hot red-carpet style.
Answer: Gilbert Adrian. The MGM head designer created this signature look for Jean Harlow and ushered in an era of bias-cut gowns that continues to this day.
Question #2: She won an Oscar for 1954’s Sabrina, but she should have thanked another designer, who met with Audrey Hepburn and created this now-famous dress.
Answer: Edith Head. The legendary costume designer famously took credit for Givenchy’s work, right down to her Academy Awards acceptance speech, though it was well-known that Hepburn had traveled to Paris and met with the couturier — and the pair ultimately became lifelong friends — as part of her research for Sabrina.
Question #3: In Gone With the Wind, Scarlett O’Hara famously crafts a dress from her mother’s green velvet draperies; which costume designer interpreted the onscreen version of that look?
Answer: Walter Plunkett. The designer, who specialized in period costumes, did a great job cultivating the details in Margaret Mitchell’s novel, including the tassels used as a belt and the gilded chicken’s foot that accents Scarlett’s matching hat.
Question #4: In 1938’s Jezebel, Bette Davis’s spoiled Southern belle tries to stir up trouble by wearing a red gown, instead of the expected white, to the Olympus Ball; which designer created the offending look?
Answer: Orry-Kelly. The chief costume designer at Warner Bros. from 1932 to 1944 naturally would have overseen a prestige film like Jezebel, but also was a trusted designer for Bette Davis. Fun fact: That red gown is actually a deep bronze so it would read as red on black-and-white film.
Question #5: The black satin “Put the Blame on Mame” gown in 1946’s Gilda was a feat of engineering so Rita Hayworth could move freely; who designed it?
Answer: Jean Louis. Knowing both the demands of the number and Rita Hayworth’s fears about her figure after giving birth months before, Jean Louis crafted the gown with a harness and corset built inside, so she could move and dance freely during this now-iconic performance.
Question #6: In 1954’s Rear Window, Grace Kelly’s character mentions that this dress is “right off the Paris plane,” but which Hollywood designer actually conjured this now-iconic dress?
Answer: Edith Head. This was Head’s first work for Alfred Hitchcock, and though she would capture 35 Academy Award nominations and eight wins during her career (both records), this film and its iconic costumes are not among them.
Question #7: This designer is known for his work with Marilyn Monroe, including the legendary pink gown he created for her “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” number in 1953’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Answer: William Travilla. The Catalina Island-born Travilla dressed everyone from Marlene Dietrich to Joan Crawford throughout his career, but he especially became known for his work with Monroe. His designs for her films included not only Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but also her breakout roles in Don’t Bother to Knock and Monkey Business, as well as Monroe’s now-iconic white pleated halter dress in The Seven Year Itch.
Question #8: This designer often worked with Elizabeth Taylor at MGM, and this white sleeveless dress in 1958’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof continues to inspire fashion designers.
Answer: Helen Rose. Rose’s work is closely associated with Elizabeth Taylor, starting with A Date With Judy in 1948 and including her designs for Father of the Bride and its sequel, Father’s Little Dividend, so it's ironic that none of her 10 Oscar nominations and two wins — for 1952’s The Bad and the Beautiful and 1955’s I’ll Cry Tomorrow — came from films starring Taylor. But both the slip and sleeveless white V-neck dress she designed for the actress for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof are today are considered iconic examples of film costumes.
Question #9: This designer won his second Best Costume Design Oscar for 1964’s My Fair Lady, with looks that included the famed Ascot scene; his first Oscar was for 1958’s Gigi:
Answer: Cecil Beaton. A true renaissance man, Beaton was equally adept at art direction, photography and costume design, and won three Academy Awards — two for My Fair Lady and one for Gigi — out of only 13 films on which he worked.
Question #10: After Sabrina, Audrey Hepburn ensured this designer would receive onscreen credit for his work, including one of cinema’s most famous gowns, in 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Answer: Hubert de Givenchy. Hepburn was said to be very upset by Edith Head taking credit for Givenchy’s work in Sabrina, so she used her newfound star power to ensure that the couturier, by now a close and personal friend, would be properly credited in all her future films — typically as “Miss Hepburn’s costumes by Hubert de Givenchy.” The resulting onscreen credit set a new standard for fashion designers and their inclusion in Hollywood films.