Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

And Finally…


Every year I just cry my eyes out. I watched this every year at Christmas, as a kid. It was very, very, special to me.

I don’t generally like musicals, but this one is perfect in every way. The costumes (the genius of Edith Head), really look carefully at how she uses color throughout the film. It is glorious. The songs, the humor, the spirit. It was always MY movie, and now it is OUR movie. Tomorrow night we will all snuggle up and open our family Christmas with our first tradition of the season, every year, watching White Christmas.


20 thoughts on “And Finally…

  1. Avatarkukrae

    I think White Christmas is one of my favorite movies of all time. The costumes have amazed me since I was little and even my Mom’s beloved 26″ doll couldn’t escape the White Christmas treatment. She’s now worn a red furtrimmed hooded dress for over 20 years. I was about 14 or so when I sewed that on the doll…and it’s still there. I marvel at these tiny women and just how perfectly the cut of each dress accentuates their bodies. Edith Head…what an amazing designer. I love the military touch to this movie. I swear I choke up every time those men march into that barn. Then, looking at the staging and *knowing* there is simply a backdrop and fake snow…to see the horse & sleigh… ::meep:: Wonderful choice, Terry. Snow…snow…snow…SNOW… 🙂

    A very joyous holiday to you, Ron & Little M:)

  2. Avataregelpaso

    My favorite dress was the black dress Rosemary wore when she was in NY after her fight. Lovely neckline. Also, my favorite line from the beginning of the movie. “So she didn’t go to college, so she didn’t go to Smith.” “Go to Smith, she can’t even spell it!” My mother and sister went to Smith and I love rubbing it in their faces!

  3. AvatarClaire

    Oh, egelpaso, I love that line, too! It makes me laugh every time, especially after the earlier, insipid, “Mutual, I’m sure.” I would love to have someone – and I’m sure somebody on here knows – explain why Vera Lynn wore those high necklines throughout the film. Her figure is so divine, I cannot imagine she needed something covering her throat, but I’m sure there’s a reason I’m not aware of. Perhaps it was simply a contrast to Rosemary Clooney’s sweetheart necklines. I absolutely adore this film, which was the start of my enduring love for Miss Clooney. Edith Head was a brilliant costume designer (and I’m also a fan of her sort-of comic alter ego, Edna Mode, from The Incredibles). I truly love following this blog; thank you so much, Terry, for sharing your designs and thoughts with us. I have no idea how you find the time, but I am grateful you do.

  4. AvatarSarah K

    White Christmas is a favorite of mine also, no Christmas is complete without seeing this wonderful movie. I have read that Vera Allen was anorexic during the making of this film so Edith Head made all of her costumes with long sleeves to cover up her skinny arms and all of her dance “panties” have ruffles or are padded. Rosemary Clooney gets to wear all of the low cut and sleeveless dresses. Edith Head made both of them look fabulous! All of her costumes, in every film are works of art!

  5. Avatarsireesanwar

    Oh my goodness! I love this movie so much. I have watched it every year since I was a teenager and first discovered it. I love the entire movie… all the singing and dancing and the ending gets me every time!!!

  6. AvatarJeanne Marie

    Every year, about two weeks before Christmas, my dad would start scanning the TV Guide for a showing of “White Christmas.” One year, it was on at 2 a.m. (I couldn’t make it to the end.) Now I watch it every Christmas Eve. This year, I saw it in on the big screen for the first time since 1989. Beautiful! I love everything about it, but these are my favorite lines, both from Danny Kaye: In the dressing room: “My dear partner, when what’s left of you gets around to what’s left to be gotten, what’s left to be gotten won’t be worth giving whatever it is you’ve got left.” And on the window seat: “Well, I’m, uh, more the ‘I-don’t-mind-pushing-my-best-friend-into-but-I’m-scared-stiff-when-I-get-anywhere-close-to-it-myselfing’ kind.” I want every single outfit Vera-Ellen wears.

  7. Avataranaloria

    Hi Terry,
    So interesting that you bring the name Edith Head into the conversation, my senses were alerted. When I was a child in the late 40’s & early 50’s, my parents had a summer home in East Hampton, LI. My mother had been a Blues singer/entertainer in Washington, DC, from 1927 to 1935, she new a LOT of people. One of those people knew Edith Head, and mother was introduced to her. Ms. Head visited someone in East Hampton in the early 50’s, and I went with my mother to visit (this could have been Richard Rodgers (of Rodgers & Hammerstein), who owned the house directly behind us, and threw a lot of ‘Garden Parties’ in the summers. I remember meeting her, and admiring some of her work that she had with her, sketches and so forth. She designed & made or had made me a straw hat with a wide flat brim and a gross -grain blue ribbon all around. To go with the hat, she had a pocketbook made exactly the same as the hat, it was about 3 inches deep if I recall correctly. I turned 70 this year, and still remember it vividly, so obviously it made a BIG impression on me. I had the hat and ‘purse’ for a LONG time, and was the envy of a lot of my friends. The other thing about Ms. Head, is that she was very kind. She really was a one of a kind designer, as are you! Thank you for bringing those lovely memories to the front of my brain. Thank you for all your lovely AND VERY hard work on Outlander. You do incredible work! God bless you, Ron and your family during this Christmas season, and I wish you both a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.
    Ann Scandiffio, Mint Hill, NC

    1. AvatarTerry Dresbach Post author

      Ann, I am very honored and touched that you have shared your lovely, special memory here. How amazing! Edith Head was an astonishing talent. From Some Like It Hot, White Christmas, All About Eve, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, her talent knew no genre, no boundary. How nice to hear that she was kind as well, and took the time to make something so special for a little girl. What a treasure!!

  8. Purl99Purl99

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. I have always been a fashion freak and love color! Life is to short to wear boring clothes. Bright Blessings for a abundant and joyous 2015!!!

  9. marthamartha

    A lovely movie, indeed.And the colors of the costumes, light up our memories. Edith Head was away ahead of her time and Danny Kaye was one of my favorite actors! Everytime I watch his movies I laugh, especially in “Court jester” and the “Inspector General” ! 🙂

  10. Avatardelft727

    I so respect and appreciate you. You reveal so much about yourself in your posts…YOU bring tears to my eyes! I am fascinated by your talent and creativity. You are vulnerable in admitting overwhelming fatigue. You are instructional in explaining 24,000 buttons. You are excited by your research into 18th century wardrobes and bringing that to authentic life. And you make the time, at what must surely be the busiest time of the year for you , to share some of your family’s most meaningful holiday memories and traditions.

    I say, thank you, truly and may you and yours enjoy this blessed holiday season.

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