Ronald Bergan “Julie Harris obituary” http://www.theguardian.com/film/costume-and-culture/2015/may/31/julie-harris
Pat Saperstein “Julie Harris, Costume Designer for Bond and Beatles Movies, Dies at 94” http://variety.com/2015/film/news/julie-harris-dead-dies-costume-designer-james-bond-beatles-1201508908/
Born in London, only daughter of Harry, a businessman, and Rose, Harris was privately educated in London and at a boarding school in Maidenhead, Berkshire. She studied at Chelsea Art School and was working for a high-society dressmaker when the second world war began. Her arm was seriously injured in the bombing of the Café de Paris in the West End in 1941, but she joined the ATS when she recovered. On being demobbed, she got a job as a design assistant at Gainsborough studios, working with the studio’s top designer Elizabeth Haffenden, from whom she learned the basics of film costume design.
Her first solo credit came with Holiday Camp (1947), a vivid depiction of postwar working-class people at play. In the 1950s, the rather dour period of British pictures, Harris, while under contract to J Arthur Rank, enlivened and brought style to many a production.
Harris was inspired by the elegance of the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, but she realised that, back then, “there was a marked difference between film fashions and street fashions that doesn’t exist today”. When she came to design clothes for Bette Davis (Another Man’s Poison, 1951), including a diaphanous chiffon nightdress, Joan Crawford (The Story of Esther Costello, 1957), and Lauren Bacall (North West Frontier, 1960), she managed to strike a balance between what people wore in reality and the Hollywood glamour the stars were used to.
Harris designed for a whole range of films throughout her career, although she complained that “people only notice the costumes in period films”, not realising how much detail goes into contemporary clothes, always with the personality of the character in mind.
“You do sketches first when you do period films. People think that the sketches are quite pretty and they like that and that’s how it’s got to be. But with modern clothes it’s different because the director can look at them and might say: ‘Oh, my wife wouldn’t like that.’ They all think they know about modern clothes,” Harris commented. “I think I was the person who first got the Beatles out of their collarless jackets into proper shirts and ties in Hard Day’s Night.”
As colour films became more prevalent, Harris was able to experiment with a range of fabrics of different shades. She had particular fun with the bizarre costumes in Casino Royale (1967), the spy spoof with a multitude of James Bonds. She was also costume designer on Roger Moore’s first Bond movie, Live and Let Die (1973), and worked on Alfred Hitchcock’s penultimate film, Frenzy (1972)*3.
*1:Mentioned in http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20101123/1290485341
*2:Mentioned in http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20131217/1387288098
*3:Mentioned in http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20141222/1419214527