It has been 77 years since Vivien Leigh, British accent and all, brilliantly portrayed the defiant Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara in the classic Gone with the Wind. She was a somewhat underappreciated fashion icon, having carried the many fabulous dresses and gowns in the movie like a dream.
Gone with the Wind won eight competitive Oscars at the 12th Academy Awards in 1940 and would surely have won a ninth had there been an award for Best Costume Design that year. (The award was first introduced in 1949.)
Costumes and Collectibles is giving away officially licensed replica dresses of this classic movie at amazing discounted prices. Here are four for your pleasure, each one as beautifully crafted and close to designer Walter Plunkett’s wonderful originals as possible.
1. Prayer Room Dress
Scarlett with the Tarleton twins (Image courtesy: mostlyfilm)
Let us start at the very beginning – the full and flouncy white ruffled dress that Scarlett dons in the opening scene. The virginal protagonist, very much in her teens, is covered in white ruffles, her dress buttoned up to her neck and closed with a pretty pin. The young Scarlett may appear the quintessential Southern girl but little details – the small bow, the red belt – give away her true nature.
The replica gown (shown above) is crafted of 100% cotton lawn fabric and comprises two pieces, the bodice and the skirt.
2. Barbecue Gown
Scarlett with Charles Hamilton at the barbecue at Twelve Oaks (Image courtesy: mostlyfilm)
Of the many stunning dresses in the movie, the gown that Scarlett wears to the barbecue celebration is perhaps the most iconic and represents the classic pre-war Southern style. The green gown shatters convention; it is charmingly flocked and shows more body than acceptable for that hour. This dress exemplifies Scarlett’s impish nature. It is quite feminine but also flirty and hints at rebellion. The innocent-looking frock is a formidable weapon that is potent enough to bring tough Southern men to their knees.
The replica gown (shown above) comprises two pieces, the bodice and the skirt. The upper eight-boned bodice is made of 100% white cotton printed with authentic green floral pattern. The skirt exhibits the same matching design on the outside and has a poly-satin taffeta lining.
3. Christmas Gown
Scarlett seeks out Ashely before he returns to join the troops (Image courtesy: mostlyfilm)
The red represents the festive season and is also one of Scarlett’s favorite color choices in the movie. This dress is in many ways similar to what Scarlett wears in the first scene, only with more red and greater detailing; the frills, for instance, are replaced by the puffed sleeves. It is also a symbol of hope – she is wearing this dress when Ashley, who is visiting Scarlett for Christmas, indicates that he may still be interested in her.
This replica gown (shown above) consists of two pieces, the bodice and the skirt. The bodice is crafted of a white, lightweight poly-silk. The skirt features a white taffeta lining. The dress includes a white, poly gauze crepe sash, which is 138 inches long, eight inches wide, and has a 16-inch knotted fringe at both ends.
4. Portrait Gown
The portrait of Scarlett in Rhett’s Atlanta mansion ((Image courtesy: gwtwscrapbook)
Scarlett's portrait dress is unique in that it is the one dress in the movie which is not an actual costume. Though it may be no more than an oil painting – and a lovely one at that – it is difficult to forget this dress because of an incensed Rhett Butler flinging a glass of liquor at the portrait. If we are to nitpick, the gown is rather simple for its time (circa 1869 in the story) which was the age of the bustle, frills, ribbons, and flowers. Still, Vivien Leigh does it more than enough justice.
The replica one-piece gown (pictured above) is manufactured from rich, sapphire blue cotton velvet. This dress exhibits an off-the-shoulder elastic sleeve and a gathered seamed upper bodice.