Blog Posts

Dressing Up the Stars by Jeanne Walker Harvey

I’ve always known what I’ve wanted to be when I grew up since I was very small. I remember lining up my dolls to read to them and making my friends sit through hours of imaginary school lessons after our real day was complete. I didn’t know how or why, but I just knew I was destined to be a teacher.

I love hearing how others figured out who they wanted to be too and enjoy reading autobiographies, biographies and memoirs. I want to know more about the story behind the story, the process of deciding what to do and who to become and the creative paths we all take to get to where we are.

That’s why I instantly loved the picture book I want to share with you today: Dressing Up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head written by Jeanne Walker Harvey and illustrated by Diana Toledano.

This beautiful picture book tells the story of Edith Head, an iconic fashion designer who first dreamed, and then worked, her way to the top of the male-dominated world of costume design in the mid 1900’s. 

Edith grew up feeling quite lonely in remote mining towns hosting make-believe tea parties for her imaginary guests and stuffed animals. She’d use scraps of fabric to decorate her dollhouse and create costumes for her friends who loved to create shows for their families. 

Every night, she’d dream of moving far away until one day, her dream came true. She began attending high-school in Los Angeles and set out to figure out what she wanted to do with this new life. 

She became a teacher, but her passion for movies led her to a job as a sketch artist in a Hollywood costume studio, even though she could barely draw. 

But her passion sustained her. 

She went from sketching to designing costumes for the animals in movies to finally creating costumes for the actors themselves. She worked hard and stumbled along the way, but she never gave up and ultimately earned an Academy Award for the Best Costume Design. 

This book is an inspiring account of finding your passion, learning from your mistakes and believing in yourself and your talent. It’s the perfect book to launch a conversation about what students envision for their own future and reminds us all that our destiny is not always presented in a linear path, but in a colorful journey to embrace.

Leave a Reply