Date of birth : October 5, 1907, Paris, France.
Date of death : April 20, 1997, Palm Springs, California.
Practise: Chief designer for the Hollywood studios.
At the end of the 1930', after graduating from the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, Jean-Louis Berthault started in fashion design with Agnes Drecoll.
In 1935, he visited New York and spent a great deal of time in his hotel room, sketching dresses. The day before returning to Paris a friend suggested that he'd show his work to a few prestigious 7th Avenue clothing design firms. Powerful Hattie Carnegie Inc. became Jean Louis' introduction to the fashion world. Hattie Carnegie hired him to give a Parisian "touch" to her collections.
In 1936 he settled in New York. He worked with her until 1943.
He quickly gained recognition and began a lifetime of dressing the stars od Hollywood and the New York society.
In 1943, he left the profitable New York fashion business and was named Chief Designer at Columbia Pictures. Later, he moved on to design costumes at Universal Pictures and then, as an independant freelance costume designer. He eventually founded his own fashion and costume design atelier.
Since 1958, he mostly worked for the United Artists.
Nominated 15 times for an Academy Award in Best
Costume Design. Theses marvelous films include "Born Yesterday" (1950),
"Affair in Trinidad" (1952), "From Here to Eternity" (1953), "A Star is
Born" (1954), "It Should Happen to You" (1954), "Queen Bee" (1955),
"Pal Joey" (1957), "Bell, Book and Candle" (1958), "Back Street"
(1961), "Judgment at Nuremberg" (1961), "Ship of Fools" (1965),
"Gambit" (1966), "Thoroughly Modern
Millie "(1967), ande the 1956 film "Solid Gold Cadillac" starring Judy Holiday, for which he won an Oscar for Best Costume Design.
After working for Universal Pictures in the early 1960', Jean-Louis left full-time studio work. Although he would continue to freelance for picturs, he devoted most of his time to his salonin Beverly Hills, where his clients included Nancy Reagan, among aothers.
In 1988, he retired in Palm Springs.
On August 10, 1993 he married his companion and close friend Loretta Young ().
He had designed gowns and costumes for the stunning actree throughout her long career, including the gowns worn for her famous staircase entrances on her television show.
Jean-Louis was known for creating glamourous gowns for some of the Hollywood's most sensuous leading ladies. Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Doris Day, Lana Turner, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Mary Tyler Moore and Julie Andrews were all immaculately costumed by Jean-Louis. His brilliant clothes were known for the luxurious materials, simple and elegant cut, virtuosity of workmanship, and a modern uncluttered silhouette, which make his clothes as wearable today as they were fifty years ago.
Two of Jean-Louis' superb costumes have become fixtures in the American cultural history. The unforgettable nude sequin gown that Marilyn Monroe wore to serenade President JohnF.Kennedy on his birthday in 1962, and the black stapeless duchesse satin gown Rita Hayworth wore in the 1946 movie "Gilda".
Link with Marilyn
He met Marilyn at the beginning of her career and designed her costumes whaen she played in "Ladies of the Chorus" (1948).
Then he worked with her in "The Misfits" (1961) (,,,,,,
,) and in "Something's Got to Give".
him when she wanted to make a remarkable entrance. He designed the long
tight-fitting dress in sparkling silk, which made her looked naked
under the limelights, that she wore to sing "Happy Birthday" to
John Kennedy on May 19, 1962.
The dress :
At the Madison Square Garden :
The days before her death, he had taken measures for a 1 600 $ dress. According to the versions, it was either a spangled evening dress, or the dress she planned to wear to remarry Joe DiMaggio.