Friday, September 24, 2010

Doppelganger Dresses, Part 4: Belle Watling's Orange Dress

Until now, our Doppelganger Dresses feature has focused exclusively on one Miss Scarlett O'Hara but as compelling as our green-eyed heroine is, she isn't the only character Walter Plunkett designed costumes for in GWTW. So today we are changing gears and showcasing a dress worn by Belle Watling. The dress in question is actually my favorite costume of Belle's in the movie: the orange dress, trimmed with red flowers and black lace,  that she wears when she advises a furious Rhett that it's best not to throw the baby out with the bathwater to return home and focus on Bonnie.

So which period fashion plates that have the unique distinction of resembling a dress worn by Atlanta's most notorious madam? You'll find them after the jump, along with some images of Miss Watling in her finery for comparison. As always, let us know what you think of the styles in the comments!

"Evening dress of buff silk, trimmed with black lace to stimulate an overskirt, fastened with bouquets of scarlet roses." From Godey's Lady's Book, February 1874. 
Orange evening dress trimmed with black lace. From The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, August 1869.
Gone with the Wind screenshot and publicity stills

The daring Miss Watling in doll form. Image from Tonner Dolls.


  1. I love all of your input on the clothing of the women of GWTW. Have you mentioned the dress in the portrait of Scarlett that is hanging in the room next to Scarlett's?

  2. Hi, CJ. Nope, we haven't tackled that one in the Doppelganger series so far. It was mentioned in a post here though.

  3. The portrait gown was a real gown, I have a picture of Vivien actually posing for the painting. The gown had more details than were painted. Vivien was leaning on a tripod but was painted as a pillar.... really neat.

  4. I love the dress in the second plate. It's such a similar style. And I bet Scarlett would've been all over the green and white one.
    Wow Dee, would love to see the pic! What were the details they left out?
    I always thought of that dress as yellow, but quite clearly it isn't. I love the hairstyles in these fashion plates - would've been great to see some in GWTW...

  5. @MM- Oh I definitely with you on both counts. I do love the orange dress here- it's a good fit for the movie costume. And I can absolutely envision Scarlett in the green and white dress. In fact, when I saw the fashion plate, I sort of thought "Ooh- it's Scarlett confronting Belle!" :)

    @Dee- I second MM on the pic. It would be great to see!

  6. I really like the white with blue trim dress in the first fashion plate... It is actually quite funny to see all these fashion plates. Because if Scarletts dressed in a way that stood out in terms of over decorated dresses, well they must really have been LOADED with ribbons and frills.

    Keep up the good work with these dobbelganger dresses.


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