Lot 32
  • 32

Wig Creations Ltd., Possibly to a design by Lucinda Ballard

Estimate
400 - 600 GBP
Sold
7,500 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • The Wig Worn by Vivien Leigh as Blanche DuBois in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'
  • with nametape embroidered 'Wig Creations Ltd.' and hand embroidered wardrobe number '1696'
  • hair, netting
with 'Vivien Leigh / 22¾' in manuscript to a sewn label together with a photograph, taken as a hair and make-up test shot of Vivien made up as Blanche and wearing the wig. There is a clapperboard, which appears in this head shot, chalked with the date 'Aug - 7 - 1950' (photograph 130 by 102mm.)

Catalogue Note

Made by Stanley Hall for Wig Creations and possibly after a design by Lucinda Ballard, who was Oscar® nominated for her costume design in the film.

Hugo Vickers writes, 'In August [1950] Vivien flew to America to make the film Streetcar. Originally neither Tennesse Williams nor Elia Kazan favoured Vivien, though the Producer Charles K. Fieldman wanted her from the start. At one time Anne Baxter was considered for Blanche. Lucinda Ballard was chosen to create the costumes and was sent to England to discuss them with Vivien 'She was very anxious to do what was right for the character' (Vickers, op. cit. p. 198).

Larry, writing to Stanley Hall on the 10th of August 1950, requested a wig for the character to be sent to Vivien in California, specifying the ‘parting to be central, but the character of the dressing…to be untidy, unkempt, poor and tatty.’ (The Vivien Leigh Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, THM/433/2/8). This untidiness was a deliberate decision to reflect the ‘nervous worn out character’ of Blanche, with Hall and Leigh favouring a thin, dull coloured wig (as recalled by Hall in an interview to the V&A in the 1980s). For the film, the wigs were bleached, and Leigh, distrustful of American hairdressers, would send the wigs back to London by airmail for Hall to clean and redress. There is also a handwritten note from Vivien, in the Vivien Leigh Archive at the V&A, which suggests how important she saw the use of a wig in the role, she writes 'when I said roundabout the way I look I meant right but good - wigs because the hair could be thin + poor'.

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