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Irene Sharaff
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    (January 23, 1910-August 10, 1993)
    Born in Boston, Massachusetts
    Costume designer
    Graduate of Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris
    Designed sets and costumes for American Ballet Theatre, the New York City Ballet, and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo
    Contributed illustrations to fashion magazine's such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar
    Costume design work earned her fifteen Academy Award nominations and seven Tony Award nominations
    Broadway design credits included 'Idiot's Delight,' 'Lady in the Dark,' 'As Thousands Cheer,' 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,' and 'Flower Drum Song'
    Film design credits included 'Meet Me in St. Louis,' 'The Best Years of Our Lives,' 'An American in Paris,' 'King & I,' 'West Side Story,' 'Porgy and Bess,' 'Funny Girl,' 'Cleopatra,' 'The Other Side of Midnight,' and 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'
    She is overshadowed by Edith Head.
    She did ads for King Size Filter Tip Viceroy cigarettes.
    She talked Yul Brynner into shaving his head for the role of King Mongkut in 'The King & I.'
    In her lengthy film career, she only spent four years under contract.
    Her film designing career only picked up during the Cinemascope Technicolor era made to compete with the advent of television (she claimed to see everything in 'blocks of color').
    Pearl Bailey reportedly gave her a hard time during the filming of 'Porgy and Bess' because she had some o the extras wear 'Aunt Jemima' bandanas as part of their costumes.
    She designed Barbara Streisand's hideous see-through pantsuit ensemble worn during her 1968 acceptance speech.
    Her final project was the cult 'wire hanger' classic which never goes away, the Joan Crawford hit-job 'Mommie Dearest.'
    She was a favorite designer of Elizabeth Taylor's.
    She designed for Alla Nazimova and Gertrude Lawrence.
    She started out as an assistant to designer Aline Bernstein in the 1930s.
    She drew her inspiration from impressionist and post-impressionist art.
    She said of her profession, 'you can acquire chic and elegance, but style itself is a a rare thing.'
    She is the namesake for, and the first recipient of, The TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award.
    She won both a Tony and Oscar for her ornate designs for 'The King & I.'
    Her use of Thai silk for 'The King & I' set off a fashion trend resulting in it becoming Thailand's number one export.
    Coupled with 'The King,' her work on the stage/film versions of 'Flower Drum Song' made her the first and only designer to work on two Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals for both the stage and screen.
    After only Edith Head, she holds the record for the most Oscar wins for costume design (at five wins, only three less than Edith's total).
    A fire on the set of 'Porgy and Bess' destroyed a majority of her design sketches and costumes; only two day before filming.
    She joked about her experience working with Faye Dunaway, saying: 'Yes, you may enter Miss Dunaway's dressing room, but first you most throw a raw steak in - to divert her attention.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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