5 Minutes With a Great Onscreen Fashion Editor


There's a new theme every day on It's Vintage. Read more articles on today's topic: The Fashion Editor.

A military drumbeat. A receiving line of terrified assistants all spouting the party line "Good morning, Miss Prescott." And Miss Prescott herself, hurtling toward her desk in kitten heels. Kay Thompson's turn as the Patton-style editrix in the 1957 musical Funny Face, though clearly a caricature, was one of the public's few windows into the magazine world in a pre-Instagram era. Her intercom shout of "Now hear this!"; her declaration that everything, including the kitchen sink, must be pink this season; and her determination to turn a lowly Greenwich Village shopgirl (played by Audrey Hepburn) into the cover girl of Quality magazine. 

While the film, like any that contains a dream ballet, did not purport to be a documentary, it did boast some fashion-world bona fides: Real models (Dovima and Suzy Parker) played bit parts, and Hubert de Givenchy contributed to the fantastical fashions. Fred Astaire's photographer character was based on Richard Avedon, who was heavily involved with the visuals. And Thompson's character was said to be loosely inspired by Diana Vreeland (who did, after all, proclaim "Pink is the navy blue of India").