Helen Rose (February 2, 1904 – November 9, 1985) was an American costume designer and clothing designer who spent the bulk of her career with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Helen Rose was born on February 2, 1904 to William Bromberg and Ray Bobbs in Chicago, Illinois of German and Russian Jewish descent.
She attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and then designed nightclub and stage costumes for various acts. She moved to Los Angeles in 1929, where she designed outfits for Fanchon and Marco and later the Ice Follies. In the early 1940s, she spent two years working for 20th Century Fox, where she designed wardrobes for musical selections. In 1943, MGM hired her in the wake of Adrian's departure, and by the late 1940s, Helen Rose was promoted to chief designer at the studio.
Rose won two Academy Awards for Best Costume Design: for The Bad and the Beautiful in 1952 and for I'll Cry Tomorrow in 1955. She was nominated a further eight times.
In her career as MGM head designer, Helen Rose created outfits for countless MGM stars, including Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, Lauren Bacall, Cyd Charisse, Debbie Reynolds, Lucille Ball, Jane Powell, etc, but she is mostly credited as Elizabeth Taylor's image maker.
Helen Rose was well-known for designing famous bridal gowns of the era both onscreen and offscreen. She designed Elizabeth Taylor's wedding gown of satin and lace for her 1950 film Father of the Bride.
A few months later, Rose designed another bridal gown for Elizabeth Taylor for her real and first wedding when she married Conrad "Nicky" Hilton on May 6, 1950. Made of 25 yards of satin, seed pearls, and bugle beads, it took 15 seamstresses almost 3 months to make.
The gown was given as a gift to Elizabath Taylor by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the studio she belonged to at the moment, and in 2013, it was auctioned off to someone anonymous for the amount of £121,875(about $187,000).
Helen Rose would design two more wedding dresses for Elizabeth Taylor in the star's life.
But Helen Rose's most famous wedding gown, is the one she designed for Grace Kelly.
On 19 April 1956, Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III of Monaco at the St. Nicholas Cathedral, She wore a high-necked, long-sleeved gown embroidered with antique Brussels lace add hundreds of seed pearls. The gown was handmade by 35 seamstresses. Again, MGM gifted the wedding gown to its star who was leaving the studio permanently.
The two piece wedding dress worn by Grace Kelly for her civil wedding ceremony a day before was also designed by Helen Rose. It was a pale pink ensemble made of taffeta, covered by cream-colored Alençon lace, featuring fitted bodice with high rounded collar and a flared skirt.
In 1968, Helen left MGM to open her own design business and continued to provide attire for the famed and the wealthy.
She wrote two books: her autobiography Just Make Them Beautiful in 1976 and The Glamorous World of Helen Rose. She also wrote a fashion column.
In the 1970s, Rose also staged a traveling fashion show featuring some of her MGM-designed costumes that was called "The Helen Rose Show".
Rose was married to Harry V. Rose, whose birth name was Harry Rosenstein (1902–1993), and they had a daughter.
Helen Rose died in Palm Springs, California in 1985, aged 81.
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