Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Doppelganger Dresses, Part 15: Carreen's Checked Skirt and Vest from the Prayer Scene

Carreen O'Hara returns for an encore appearance in our latest edition of the Doppelganger Dresses series. This time, we've found a historical fashion plate that matches up nicely  with the checked skirt and vest that she wears in during the family prayer scene at the beginning of the movie. 

Check it out after the jump and, as always, let us know what you think! 

Girl's dress. Godey's Lady's Book, October 1864.

Close up of dress.

Screenshot of Carreen's dress in Gone with the Wind.

Publicity stills of Carreen O'Hara in Gone with the Wind.


  1. Interesting...just looked up Ann Rutherford and found that she was 19 in 1939, which would mean she was 18 at the most during the production. I only mention it because she looks a trifle...elderly to be wearing such a short skirt! Though I suppose that in the book she is barely 13 or 14.

  2. Well, Vivien Leigh was 26 - a good ten years on 16-year-old Scarlett! XD

  3. In the book she was thirteen or she would have been old enough to go to the ball. Sue was 15 and Scarlett 16. Fourteen was the age that hair went up and skirts lowered.

  4. I think it’s quite amazing how closely the dresses match each other. Aside from colour, the only real difference is the length of the sleeves. Even the sash matches. I’ve always thought Careen’s dress was so pretty – I’m a sucker for all things blue. In the film it’s actually quite funny if you look closely as the girls are coming down the stairs to greet Ellen, just how high Carreen’s skirt flies up – well above her knees! Anne Rutherford had been concerned about the expense of the lace used to trim her underclothes and cautioned David O’Selznick not to waste so much money when no-one would ever see them. He told her that she would know the lace was there and if it enhanced her performance it was money well spent. I bet neither of them realised that by 2010 we would have dvds with zoom functions. Perhaps the reason she lifted her skirts so high was to give audiences a glimpse of this precious lace!
    Marcella Rabwin, David O’Selznick’s executive assistant, sent Margaret Miitchell stills throughout the production of GWTW. In my book, Margaret Mitchell’s Letters, MM writes thanking Marcella. There was a photo of the O’hara family together (I’m assuming from these scenes) and she comments that Carreen looks very much Ellen’s daughter, in looks and dependence, and that she was quite touched by such a detail. She then goes on to say she doesn’t know how such things are achieved in the moving pictures.
    She may have been impressed by that still, however the rest were more of a headache to her. MM said she didn’t know whether to laugh or throw up at the scale of Twelve Oaks. She was horrified to see Scarlett wearing a hat and veil at the bazaar, among other things; none of the soldiers uniforms appeared to have seen active service and there was barely a wounded one among them and the place looked like Versailles – not an old barn which had been done up.


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