I’m staring at the cell phone, listening to two other women. It’s 9:15 PM at night, past my bedtime, and we’re still planning. The Willamette Writers Conference in Portland is just a little over a month away, and I’m on the conference committee. We’ve got work to do. The two other women can’t easily work uninterrupted until their children are in bed.
Edith Head dressed stars from Mae West to Grace Kelly to Elizabeth Taylor. Over her long career, she was nominated for 35 Academy Awards from 1948 through 1966. She won eight times, the most Oscars won by any woman.
“You can lead a horse to water and you can even make it drink, but you can’t make actresses wear what they don’t want to wear,” Edith Head once said.
Her solution? Collaborating.
Unlike most of male colleagues, she frequently consulted with actresses. In turn, they requested her work on their films. She also worked with actresses on what to wear to the Academy Awards show, taking into consideration even the color of the backdrop on the award stage.
Edith Head is a legend for her fashion contributions. She collaborated because it was the smart thing to do.
Even though I was tired last night, I stayed in the meeting, because collaborating is smart.
Top image by oneredsf1 via https://www.flickr.com/photos/colorizedimages/. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).