It's a dress known by many names: the jail dress, the green velvet dress, the curtain dress, the drapery dress. But whatever name you fancy, there's one description we can all agree on: iconic.
After all, what other way is there to really describe the extraordinary costume Walter Plunkett created for Scarlett O'Hara's infamous visit to the jail in Gone with the Wind?
And while there's no doubt that Plunkett's dress is a one-of-a kind creation, even this legendary costume has its roots in period fashion from the 1860s. Now naturally there is no such thing as an exact lookalike dress for such a dramatic costume, but we've managed to find a period style that rather nicely resembles Scarlett's green velvet finery.
One note of interest: our period style is actually a morning robe (or wrapper) versus a proper dress. But we think it checks a lot of "curtain dress" boxes in terms of style, as you'll soon see. Put it together with the jockey hat we mentioned previously, and we believe you've got a good approximation of the costume we all know and love from GWTW.
So check it out after the jump! Does it look like Scarlett's dress to you?
|Morning robe. Godey's Lady's Book, March 1865.|
|Close up of the morning robe.|
Description from Godey's Lady's Book: Morning-robe of light cuir-colored poplin, turned back with green silk, and trimmed all round the skirt and on the corsage with a plait formed of chenille cord. Fine muslin skirt, trimmed with a worked ruffle and rows of inserting. Chemisette of Valenciennes inserting and puffs of muslin. Fancy muslin cap, trimmed with scarlet flowers and loops of green ribbon.
Screenshots of Scarlett's green velvet dress in Gone with the Wind.
Two renditions of the curtain dress as sketched by Walter Plunkett.