December 15th marked the 75th anniversary of Gone With The Wind's premiere in Atlanta Georgia, 1939. The movie centers around the Civil War city of Atlanta and the countryside near Tara and Twelve Oaks. Recently in an interview, Anna Wintour called Scarlett O'Hara the most well dressed character in literature-vis a vis the film.
Walter Plunkett created this dress for Vivien Leigh's Scarlet to wear during Christmas at Aunt Pittypat's house in Atlanta. Scarlett went to grieve there (get closer to the action) -for her first husband Charles Hamilton, Pittypat's nephew. Her wedding dress to the ill fated & feckless Charles was pretty fantastic too-(& not a hoop in sight).
Ashley, married to Melanie- Charles' long suffering sister, comes home from the war on furlough and Scarlet gets another taste of the bitter pill-unrequited love, though no one could deny the dash of her bonnet, & the sprig of holly pinned to her green dress. Suffer she must-but that's no need for becoming a dowd.
Scarlett fights her way through the Civil War with pluck-ultra, and 40 wardrobe changes- A Civil War "fashionista." It had to hurt as she watched from the parlor door Melanie & Ashley drift off to their bedroom clinging to one another.
As Ashley leaves to return to battle, Scarlett waylays the poor man to give him a ridiculously fashionable sash for his uniform- vaguely reminiscent of her own white one, but in buttah yellow.
It is hardly worth mentioning that the gift gets her an embrace & kiss-I could care less-for being mesmerized by that dress with its darling ruched bodice trimmed out in red & adorned with a tasseled cameo, and Aunt Pittypat's extravagant curtains of silk & lace.
No, these are not "portieres" (a curtain that hangs in the entryway to a room that with no door), as referred to incorrectly in the movie.
Along with that dress, Aunt Pittypat's design aesthetic gets full marks- minus the antimacassars.
I love the Victorian pieces upholstered in Chintz. While we think of them in tired old antique Velvets, rethink your Grandmother's-or Aunt Pittypat's in a bold chintz with painted frames lacquered in red-violet-or green-even white would do. Consider an Indian cut work Lace to update Pittypat's windows, Schumacher has one I've used over & over.
And for Christmas supper, drape yourself in a fur stole, get an instant lift with a blue bow tied tightly under your chin, keep the Christmas tree small ( on a table near the windows), keep the table decorations low & simply chic (candles & holly sprigs), decant the port yourself...
& raise a glass to 75 years, and 40 costume changes!
If you haven't read Margaret Mitchell's GWTW, or seen the movie- "GOD'S NIGHTGOWN!"