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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Irene Lentz (Fashion Designer)


"Anything new and beautiful makes one think beautiful thoughts." ~ Irene

Irene Maud Lentz was born on December 8, 1901 in Baker. Montana. When she was a teenager she moved to Hollywood to become an actress. She found work as a Mack Sennett bathing beauty and appeared in the comedies Picking Peaches and A Tailor-Made Man. Irene married director F. Richard Jones in 1929. Tragically he died a year later from tuberculosis. To make extra money Irene decided to open a dress shop. In 1933 she was asked to design the clothes for Lily Damita in Goldie Gets Along. She quickly became one of Hollywood's top costumes designers. Irene had a passionate affair with actor Gary Cooper. She later said he was the only man she really loved. In 1936 she married Elliot Gibbons, a writer. Irene became the head costume designer at MGM where she created iconic costumes for Lana Turner and Judy Garland.

  Irene and Jeanette MacDonald                                                                                     

She was nominated for an academy Award in 1948 for her work on B.F.'s Daughter. Eventually she left MGM to open her own fashion house. Unfortunately her marriage to Elliot was troubled and they began living apart. In 1960 Irene's close friend Doris Day asked her to design the clothes for Midnight Lace. She received her second Academy Award nomination for her work on the film. By this time Irene had a serious drinking problem and was suffering from depression. On November 15, 1962 Irene checked into the Knickerbocker hotel in Hollywood. She committed suicide by jumping out of a bathroom window. Irene was sixty-one years old. In her suicide note she wrote ""I'm sorry. This is the best way." She was buried next to her first husband at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.


                                                                                                              Irene and Betty Francisco

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