Adrian (1903 – 1959) was born Adrian Adolph Greenberg. As a teenager he changed his name to Gilbert Adrian in 1922. His father was Gilbert Greenberg, who later changed his own last name to Adrian to signal pride in his son’s accomplishments. Adrian started out in costume design working with Irving Berlin and later George White’s Scandals.
He went under contract with Cecil B. DeMille in 1926 and in 1928 he was lured to MGM. Adrian was a workhorse of film design, turning out scads of film costumes of all types. He handled both period wardrobes and elegant modern fashions with great skill, although his period films were more representative of his personal interpretation of period clothing rather than of historical accuracy. He would exaggerate a silhouette, or move a story to a different time period he felt was more in line with current fashion. But Adrian’s costumes were always attractive and very well received.
Margaret Bailey in Those Glorious Glamour Years : “….Adrian was not afraid to test surprising new styles or have a bit of fun with a design. He maintained it would either be fashionable by the time the movie was reviewed or be so unusual that it was exempt from fashion.”
As a film designer, he became a highly paid star in his own right. According to Hollywood and History ;“In 1940, one thousand American buyers voted on their favorite designers. Three of the top nine names were designers from motion pictures; Adrian, Travis Banton, and Howard Greer”. Adrian had that kind of recognition.