Fashion and Film

Becoming a Professional Fashion Designer

Become a Professional Fashion Designer

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In 1937 the Harper's Bazaar editor Carmel Snow, an admirer of Cashin's costume designs, encouraged Bonnie to work in fashion and arranged for her to become the head designer for the prestigious coat and suit manufacturer Adler and Adler. Owing to the wartime focus on Ameri can fashion design, she became so well recognized that she was commissioned to design World War II civilian defense uniforms and was featured in a Coca-Cola advertisement. By 1942, however, Cashin felt boxed in by wartime restrictions. She returned to California to sign a six-year contract as a costume designer with Twentieth Century-Fox.

Cashin designed costumes for the female characters in more than sixty films. Her favorite projects, Laura (1944), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), and Anna and the King of Siam (1946), also became American cinematic classics. Designing for the lavish productions that typified Hollywood's golden age, she was expected to make innovative use of the day's finest materials to create historical, fantasy, and contemporary wardrobes. She used the resources at the Fox studios to experiment with designs for "real" clothing that she wore and made in custom versions for her leading ladies' offscreen wardrobes.

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