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October 22, 2019

Joanne Woodward’s Costumes in “From the Terrace” (1960)

Joanne Woodward and Travilla worked together on four films, with Woodward’s husband, Paul Newman co-starring in three of them. The couple developed a very warm relationship with Travilla that lasted until his death.

The first of the four productions was From the Terrace in which Woodward portrayed Mary St. John, the wife of an ambitious young executive chooses a loveless marriage and an unfulfilling personal life in exchange for a successful Wall Street career.

Hedda Hopper announced in her November 19, 1959 column “Woodward has 20 high fashion styles in From the Terrace and will give a one woman fashion show by Travilla who’s designing her costumes.”

A few weeks later Travilla talked to the press about his latest leading lady, “Joanne is fresh, delightful and a great actress. But in all her previous roles she has never yet been seen in high fashion, nearly all required her to appear in extremely simple, even dowdy, clothes. In real life she’s the sweater and skirt type, a plain neckline and full skirt were standard equipment. She felt a bit skittish about attempting a chic, high-fashion look.”

I had trouble convincing her so I showed her some dresses on models and explained that she could look the same in those clothes if she could feel them inside - think “tall” and try a different silhouette than from roles past, as this film required her to be clothed in tons of beautiful outfits. She ended up wanting all the film creations for her own wardrobe.”

And why not with over $70,000 being spent on costumes with fabrics costing $30 to $50 per yard imported from France and Italy including silks, worsted wools, wrap-printed brocades and mylar iridescent velvet that simulates a beaded effect of peacock feathers.

Travilla told reporters “The assignment was a dream. All of the feminine roles are those of wealthy sophisticated women,” which the designer would use to his advantage in creating a line of clothing based upon the costumes worn by Woodard in the film, something he would also do in their third film together.

(via 50 Years of Film and Fashion - Travilla Style)


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