Friday, December 17, 2010

Doppelganger Dresses, Part 16: Scarlett's Green Christmas Dress

The Doppelganger Dresses series gets into the holiday spirit this week! For our latest edition, we're delighted to bring you a period inspiration for the enchanting green Christmas dress Scarlett wears over Ashley's Christmas furlough. In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I have a love-hate relationship with this dress. I love it because it's such a sweetly romantic gown and because Scarlett looks so fetching in it. But I also hate it because Scarlett looks so fetching in it... and it's all for the benefit of that wishy-washy, feckless Ashley Wilkes.  

But let's place my own prejudices aside for a moment and move on to the main attraction: the dress, of course. After the jump, you'll find a period fashion plate that recalls our dashing heroine's own Christmas outfit. Check it out and let us know what you think! 

And be sure to stay tuned for next week's installment of Doppelganger Dresses, where we'll feature Scarlett's other Christmas costume from Gone with the Wind, the red and white dress she wears to say goodbye to Ashley as he returns to war. 

Green dress. Les Modes Parisiennes, 1855.

 Screenshots of Scarlett's Green Christmas dress in Gone with the Wind.

Publicity stills of Scarlett's green Christmas dress in Gone with the Wind.


  1. Beautiful dress, love the collar and sleeve details on both dresses. They are remarkably similar. Do you think this dress was made from the green fabric Rhett promised Scarlett, to match the bonnet, if she would abandon her widows weeds?

  2. Great match! The colour and the lace details match up so nicely, even if the plate is a few years off. From all the plates we’ve been looking at, the hoop from 1855 looks very narrow. At a first glance Scarlett’s dress can come across as simple – a plain green dress with lace collar and cuffs, but the wealth of detail you can see in the black and white photo is amazing. There is so much detail on the sleeves and around the hem. I think the lace collar is stunning. In the movie we don’t get to see Scarlett in as much green as MM would’ve had her in, and I think she looks lovely in this frock. If Ashley wasn’t impressed, I don’t know what would impress him.
    Yes Iris, I think this is supposed to be the dress made to match the bonnet. He says he will bring dark green watered silk to match. If anyone knows, what is the difference between ordinary silk and watered silk? When Scarlett is deciding to hit Rhett up for a loan, or rather sell herself for the money, she remembers the dress she wore with the bonnet and it was a flounced green dress. MM’s often talking about flounces, but I’m not sure exactly what to imagine there. Does this dress match a flounced description?
    In the book Christmas went slightly differently. The ladies didn’t go to the station – Ashley brought Cade Calvert and the Fontaines to Pitty’s house until they had to catch the train in a couple of hours. Then later it talks about supper. So I wonder if the book’s Scarlett wore her green dress that day, or saved it until Christmas a couple of days later. Another thing I wonder is if Scarlett was in the habit of changing for supper, during the war, or was that too extravagant?
    Another couple of questions: are we to assume Melanie and Pitty stopped wearing mourning at the same time as Scarlett? And does anyone have any speculations on the manner about which Scarlett abandoned mourning and the subsequent scandal it created?

  3. Watered silk, also known as moire silk, has a sort of rippled effect to it. The other dress in the illustration, the gray one, looks like the skirt is made of watered silk. In the black and white close-up photo of Scarlett, the green fabric looks like it is embossed with a pattern rather than watered silk.


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