Costumes & The African Queen (1951)

In Katherine Hepburn’s own words:

“I had heard from my London connections—Michael Benthall and Bobby Helpmann—that the one person to do the clothes was a Doris Langley Moore.She had a Museum of Costume.* John had written me about someone else but I told him about Doris—FLASH—he changed without any argument. I met her. She was a charmer and had a lot of all sorts of petticoats and underwear. She had been brought up in Africa, and this was a very lucky thing for me that we had her. She said that the materials we used must be able to stand sweaty heat—and not muss too easily and not show dirt and not show whether they were wet or dry. So our first meeting with her and Huston and me. He was fascinated by the underwear. I tried on every variety of split-pants, of chemise—and I was terrified that he was going to have me wear nothing but an envelope chemise in the picture.”

(From Hepburn, Katharine.  Me : Stories of My Life, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991., 250)

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* “The Fashion Museum collection was started by Doris Langley Moore, a collector, costume designer and author. She gave her collection to the city of Bath in 1963, and Bath City Council used it to found the Museum of Costume. The collection is now three times its original size and the museum changed its name to the Fashion Museum in 2007.” (Museum of Costume, Bath website)

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