Friday, February 4, 2011

Doppelganger Dresses, Part 22: Maybelle Merriwether's Green Bazaar Dress (Book Version)

"Maybelle Merriwether went toward the next booth on the arm of the Zouave, in an apple-green tarlatan so wide that it reduced her waist to nothingness. It was showered and flounced with cream-colored Chantilly lace that had come from Charleston on the last blockader, and Maybelle was flaunting it as saucily as if she and not the famous Captain Butler had run the blockade.

"How sweet I'd look in that dress," thought Scarlett, a savage envy in her heart.  "Her waist is as big as a cow's.  That green is just my color and it would make my eyes look--  Why will blondes try to wear that color?  Her skin looks as green as an old cheese.  And to think I'll never wear that color again, not even when I do get out of mourning.  No, not even if I do manage to get married again.  Then I'll have to wear tacky old grays and tans and lilacs."

For a brief moment she considered the unfairness of it all.  How short was the time for fun, for pretty clothes, for dancing, for coquetting!  Only a few, too few years!"
--Gone with the Wind, Chapter IX

Today the Doppelganger Dresses series brings you the apple-green dress that Maybelle Merriwether wears to the Atlanta Bazaar--and that Scarlett O'Hara yearns to be wearing  in her place. Tellingly, MM's depiction of this dress, along with the fashion plate we uncovered, recalls Scarlett's own apple-green ballgown, the one she never dons for Twelve Oaks ball due to the outbreak of war. Against this background, Maybelle's dress serves as a great visual cue for MM to demonstrate the impact of Scarlett's changed life and her deep frustration. For Scarlett knew, from experience, that a dress such as Maybelle's would set off her figure quite charmingly. And Maybelle's belledom, in dress very much like one she wore in her own belle days, only serves to rubs salt in the wound. 

Well, enough analysis. The dress is waiting for you after the jump. As always, be sure to check it out and let us know what you think! 

Green dress with white lace trimming. Petit Courrier des Dames, 1855.

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