Friday, October 8, 2010

Doppelganger Dresses, Part 6: Accessories Edition

Accessories make the outfit. That's the mantra for this week's edition of Doppelganger Dresses, which paradoxically features not a single dress (gasp! horror!). But we hope you will still find it enjoyable, as we've got some nifty period inspirations for several GWTW costume accessories. They include Scarlett's white and black lace hat from the honeymoon and the knit hat and jacket Melanie wears to greet Ashley at the train station. 

As always, you can find them after the jump. Let us know what you think! And fear not, dress fans: next week we'll be back with another look-a-like GWTW dress for you. 

Left: Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind.           Right: Godey's Lady Book, September 1868.

Description from Godey's Lady's Book: Hat of black spotted lace, trimmed with a scarf of the same, fastened in front by a bunch of pink roses.  The scarf is fastened in the back by a steel ornament; the ends are then brought forward, and fastened under the chin with a bunch of roses and leaves.

Melanie's knit hat and jacket in Gone with the Wind.

Left: Godey's Lady's Book, Dec. 1863.                 Right: The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, Feb. 1862

Circular Cape, Peterson's Magazine, May 1863.


  1. Wooo.... I like the red and grey shawl from the fashion plate. And also the headwrap on the left.

    It is really excellent to see the "original" version in comparison to the film versons. Very good digging ladies....

    Btw. this photo really shows how NOT right as Ashley Leslie Howard was and how "too homely and especially healthy looking" De Havilland was for Melanie...


  2. I agree about Melanie. Olivia was not the best material for Melanie body-wise (and she was far too pretty too).

  3. I disagree about de Havilland. I think she was the right choice for Melanie. Scarlett is the one who thought Melanie wasn't pretty. I've always thought of Melanie as being quietly pretty--wholesome, not flashy like Scarlett. No curves like Scarlett, but not ugly either. But I agree that after Beau was born, she probably did look kind of sickly.

  4. As per usual, well done! You guys are great at research! I'm amazed by how closely they match the costumes. Walter Plunkett must've been an amazing researcher himself.
    I am with bluesneak. I think that OD'H was almost perfect, save her slightly too full figure. Melanie was described as being very thin - looking like a child from a distance. It was only ever Scarlett who remarked upon Melanie's plain appearance. In MM's GWTW Letters, one fan wrote that he thought Melanie was really quite pretty, and MM wrote back that even though she had written Melanie's character as being plain, she agreed and always thought Melanie was in fact quite pretty.
    I think that MM drew a lot of parallels between Scarlett and Melanie's appearances. They were both of a similar height, around 5" I'm assuming, and they were both very pale, and had very dark hair and eyebrows. The difference is that Scarlett had curves and Melanie didn't. Melanie was first described as being as good as earth, as simple as bread or something like that and Scarlett conceded several times throughout the narrative that Melanie glowed and looked attractive. I'm sure Melanie's waist was just as small as Scarlett's.
    Leslie Howard was completely wrong in type and there's hardly any point in going on about it. He was in his early to mid twenties at the open of the novel, and a man in his 40s is simply wrong.
    I think the hood from 1862 was probably more likely to have been the original model for Melanie's cap. Melanie is the type of person who would've worn her clothes till they were rags.
    I always thought Melanie's knitted clothes were quite cute, but can understand why Scarlett would label her as tacky. The cap is quite a contrast to Scarlett's Paris bonnet. I think the red hood from 1863 would be more to Scarlett's taste.

  5. Good point about the hair. I do think Vivien's hair was perfect for Scarlett, no matter what MM said. I don't know if I can imagine Melanie with unruly curly hair, either.

    As for casting the imaginary film, I am quite bad at the game. At all the previous editions of "windies re-casting GWTW" I haven't seen anyone finding a good Scarlett. I like your choice for India, though.

  6. I have an interview with OD'H on a dvd, it is quite extensive. She says that when she was first given the role, she had the choice to be made up to look attractive or plain. She said that even though she was an actress and her appearance was very important in those days, she wanted to be made up to look plain as that was how the character was written by MM. You can see different pictures of her as Melanie with more ornate hairstyles and such. They had to draw on the widow's peak too to match the book's description.
    One thing that I can never really get to work in my head is the fact thatt Scarlett had "Indian-straight hair", while Melanie's hair seemed to be almost uncontrollably curly. The film shows almost a reverse.
    I personally think Vivien Leigh had beautiful hair and think it was better for the character than MM's description.
    I think Anne Hathaway would be a good choice to play her, (I'm not advocating anorexia and know she is already thin) but she would need to lose weight to give her that gaunt appearance and she'd need some dark marks under her eyes. Keira Knightley has the right figure, but definately not the right face - if Melanie had looked that way, MM would surely have mentioned that mouth!
    Now that I've started casting an imaginary film (which I'm sure everyone does) I would love to see Jennifer Connelly as Ellen, perhaps Chloe Sevigny as India.
    Anyone want to share theirs? And who would make the best Scarlett these days?

  7. Wait, my claim was not that Melanie was not pretty. I do agree that she was pretty and that Scarlett's description was unfair. But Olivia de Havilland has quasi-perfect features. She was a classic beauty and they actually had to put some effort into toning it down.

    I think of Melanie as being pretty in a more common sense, or being pretty only in a certain light. Someone once mentioned Ann Hathaway as their choice for Melanie. I don't know if she's my perfect Melanie, but she can exemplify what I mean here, because it's clear her features are not perfectly proportioned and someone like Scarlett would deny her any beauty. And yet in most of her shots she's pretty.

    As for body type, Melanie is described from the beginning as having the body of a child, which de Havilland did not. I imagine her as thin as Keira Knightley.

    Well, this is not to say I have anything against de Havilland as Melanie. She does a great job.

  8. I agree with your post here... I always imagined Melly as pretty in a downscaled not in your face like scarlett type of way... but also with a very slim figure... bordering on the sickly.

    Which is not my image of OD'H - she looks like she has childbearing hips so to speak ;)

    And without being too parroty I will say that I agree with Bugsie on the OD'H doing a good job as melanie... she is just not what I imagine Melanie to be

  9. Jon Hamm as Rhett, Laura Linney as Ellen. That's all I could ever settle on.

  10. I wasn't sure about Laura Linney, but I just googled her and she does have a rather pointed chin and square jaw, which Scarlett had, and Ellen could have had too.
    " In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast aristocrat of French descent, and the heavy ones of her florid Irish father. But it was an arresting face, pointed of chin,
    square of jaw."
    To me, this excerpt indicates that possibly Ellen had the pointed chin and Gerald had a square jaw.
    I can't remember the specifics, but I believe Gerald was 5'4" and the novel states that Ellen was a head taller. So what would that make her? 5'10" or so I would reckon...


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