Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Scarlett O'Hara's Gowns

  From The Spruce Crafts:
The ultimate in the vintage clothing collecting realm lies in Hollywood costuming. This is especially true when it comes to the iconic dresses and gowns worn in Gone With the Wind, a film based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell. As the heroine of the film, Scarlet O’Hara (portrayed by Vivien Leigh) wears some of the most memorable costumes in movie history. Five of these gowns (three original and two replica) were restored and displayed as part of “The Making of the Gone With the Wind” exhibit from Sept. 9, 2014 through Jan. 4, 2015 at the Harry Ransom Center on the University of Texas campus in Austin, Texas.

These dresses, designed by Walter Plunkett, are part of the David O. Selznick archive received by the Ransom Center in the 1980s. They had not been displayed together for more than 25 years prior to this exhibit, which coincided with the 75th anniversary of the release of Gone With the Wind. In 2010, the Ransom Center raised more than $30,000 from donors around the world to support conservation work required to safely display the gowns in the 2014 exhibition. As explained on the Harry Ransom Center's website, "Prior to the collection's arrival at the Ransom Center in the 1980s, the costumes had been exhibited extensively for promotional purposes in the years after the film's production, and as a result were in fragile condition." Now that the dresses have been restored properly and fitted to custom mannequins, they can be loaned to other museums and enjoyed by the public once again. (Read more.)