Iconic Fashion Moments From Gone with the Wind
From glittering gowns to the iconic “curtain dress”, Gone with the Wind is loved as much for its sweeping saga of a story as it is for its iconic fashion moments. In honour of the movie’s 75th anniversary, we round-up some of the fashion looks that will belong forever with this groundbreaking film.
The film’s sumptuous costumes were designed by Walter Plunkett, who created over 5,000 pieces for the lavish production. The look of the costumes were literally divided into two distinct eras captured in the movie — the genteel romanticism of the prewar South and the robust Reconstruction period.
Here, at the famous Twelve Oaks barbecue where the scheming Scarlett makes a play for her beloved Ashley, she looks every inch the southern belle in her soufflé light gown with delicate floral print. While the delicacy of the gown and its pastel hue is supposed to convey sweetness, charm and girlishness, Scarlett, of course, has other ideas and yanks the shoulders of the dress down to provocatively show her shoulders.
As Scarlett bemoans her waistline which grew an inch and a half beyond the 18-inches she once had before giving birth, she begs Mammy to cinch her corset even tighter. It’s a memorable scene as she clings tight to the four-poster bed for support. It was also reported that the visionary behind this epic film, legendary producer David O. Selznick, was such a stickler for details, he insisted that even the undergarments — whether they showed or not — had to be period accurate.
As the Civil War changes the Old South, the bucolic pastoral life Scarlett once knew is gone forever. And her clothing reflects this as she is now a business woman, wealthy and married — and somewhat hardened by everything she endured. When Rhett forces Scarlett to wear a siren red glittery gown to Ashley Wilkes birthday party, his intention was to humiliate her at the party for showing up at the sedate affair in a scandalous scarlet gown. But Scarlett looked ravishing and glamourous.
Despite all the film’s achievements and pivotal scenes perhaps no other is as memorable in pop culture as this costume Scarlett wore to visit Rhett in jail to ask him to pay the taxes on Tara. Made of old green velvet curtains from Tara, the look was parodied to great and memorable effect by Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball on their respective comedy shows.