A Dream of Beauty – the Life and work of Dolly Tree

Published March 1, 2012 by Gary Chapman

Dolly Tree (1899-1962) was an illustrator and costume designer who forged a successful career during the 1920s and 1930s in London, Paris, New York and Hollywood and was a prime example of the New Woman. Her artistic flair touched so many stage and screen personalities that even if you have never heard of her before you will be familiar with her elegant creations for such movie stars as Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow and Judy Garland and other MGM starlets. She was also responsible for creating the quintessential 1890s look for Mae West that made her famous and it is believed that she was one of the first designers to propagate the use of the strapless evening gown. Dolly Tree’s creative genius had a profound impact on fashion and her modern approach to dress designing with its chic air of simplicity has given her creations a timeless quality that can still be glimpsed at in modern couture.