Muriel King

Muriel King (1900-1977) was an American fashion designer based in New York. She was one of the first American fashion designers along with Elizabeth Hawes and Clare Potter to achieve name recognition. She also designed costumes for several major films in the 1930s and 1940s.


Early life

Muriel King was born 27 August 1900, in Bayview, Washington. She studied watercolor painting and theatre design at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts.[1] Afterwards, she went to Paris and worked as a fashion illustrator for magazines such as Femina and Vogue.[1] She opened her salon at East 61st Street, New York, in 1932.

Fashion design

King specialised in good-quality separates and day-into-evening looks, which proved versatile and good value during the Great Depression.[1] King kept her designs simple and high quality, believing that dresses should just have one detail. Her method of working was unusual, as she was not a formally trained fashion designer, and did not cut, drape or sew. She created fully finished watercolour sketches showing her designs, which her tailors and sewing staff then interpreted into proper garments.[1]

King signed a licensing partnership with Lord & Taylor, the first department store to sell her ready-to-wear garments.[1] In 1936, Muriel King was featured alongside Elizabeth Hawes and Clare Potter in the second Lord & Taylor "American Look" promotion which championed home-grown American design talent.[2][3]

King went on to design the personal wardrobe for movie actress Katharine Hepburn. From 1935 to 1944, she designed costumes for eight major movies, including two of Hepburn's. She was on the short list to design the costumes for Gone with the Wind, but despite being the author Margaret Mitchell's favourite, failed to win the job (which went to Walter Plunkett).[1] She also created film clothes for Rita Hayworth, Margaret Sullavan, and Ginger Rogers.[1]

During the 1940s, in addition to her Hollywood work, King produced ready-to-wear designs for department stores. In 1943, she created a collection of clothes specially for female factory workers at Boeing and other West Coast aerospace firms, called Flying Fortress Fashions.[1][4]

Later life

King retired from fashion in 1957 to paint full time. She died in 1977.[1]


Film wardrobe

Muriel King worked on wardrobe for the following films:

External Links


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Press release for the Muriel King exhibition, Fashion Institute of Technology, March 5 2009
  2. ^ Hawes, Elizabeth (1938). Fashion Is Spinach. Random House. pp. Chapter 15. 
  3. ^ Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary. Harvard University Press. 2004. pp. Chapter 11. ISBN 9780674014886. 
  4. ^ Flying Fortress Fashions: Safe, but attractive wardrobe designed for workers becomes fashion fad, Life Magazine, May 17 1943

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Muriel Matters — Muriel Lilah Matters (November 12, 1877 November 17, 1969) was an Australian born suffragist, lecturer, journalist, educator, actress and elocutionist.[1] Based in Britain from 1905 till her death, Matters is best known for her work on behalf of… …   Wikipedia

  • Muriel Evans — Born Muriel Adele Evanson July 20, 1910(1910 07 20) Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. Died October 26, 2000 …   Wikipedia

  • Muriel Smith (singer) — Muriel Smith Muriel Burrell Smith (February 23, 1923 – September 13, 1985) was an American singer. In the 1940s and 1950s, she was a star of musical theater and opera, and was also the off film ghost singer in several hit movies. She is perhaps… …   Wikipedia

  • Muriel Rahn — as Cora in The Barrier. Photograph by Carl Van Vechten. Born Muriel Ellen Rahn June 12, 1911(1911 06 12) Boston …   Wikipedia

  • Muriel Wheldale Onslow — Born 31 March 1880(1880 03 31) Birmingham, England Died 19 May 1932(1932 05 19 …   Wikipedia

  • Muriel Evans — (eigentlich Muriel Adele Evanson; * 20. Juli 1910 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; † 26. Oktober 2000 in Woodland Hills, Kalifornien, USA) war eine US amerikanische Schauspielerin. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Filmografie (eine Auswahl) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Muriel Spurgeon Carder — Born November 1, 1922(1922 11 01) Woodford Green, England Education McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario (B.A., B.D.) Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (S.T.M.) To …   Wikipedia

  • Muriel Foster — (22 November 1877 – 23 December 1937) was an English contralto, excelling in oratorio. Grove s Dictionary describes her voice as one of the most beautiful voices of her time .[1] Muriel Foster was born in Sunderland in 1877. She was one of… …   Wikipedia

  • Muriel Rukeyser — (December 15, 1913 – February 12, 1980) was an American poet and political activist, best known for her poems about equality, feminism, social justice, and Judaism. Kenneth Rexroth said that she was the greatest poet of her exact generation . One …   Wikipedia

  • Muriel Robb — Muriel Evelyn Robb (13 May 1878 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England 12 February 1907) was a former British female tennis player. She is best remembered for her ladies singles title at the 1902 Wimbledon Championships. She also won the Irish and… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.