Friday, May 28, 2010

5 Days of Dresses: Day 5



Tears For Scarlett

Hat, 1940-45. Olive green velvet; gold upholstery cord trim; gold painted rooster-foot ornament.

I know it's not a dress but I couldn't resist featuring this hat as my final post on the Brooklyn Museum exhibit. It's a replica of the John P. John-designed hat for Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in 1939's Gone with the Wind. You all remember the scene where she wore this hat, don't you? Scarlett is going to visit Rhett in jail and wants to look as rich and foxy as he remembered her so she makes a dress and hat for herself to wear using the green velvet drapes from her beloved home, Tara.

Apparently some crafty hat wholesaler negotiated the rights to reproduce Gone with the Wind hat styles like this one (I love the rooster feet, hilarious!), under the name John Frederics, Inc. I'm trying to imagine American women of the WWII-era running around in this Civil War-era Scarlett O'Hara knockoff but I just can't see it.

I couldn't find a picture of Scarlett in the original hat so I'm using a picture of another great scene, where Rhett comes to propose marriage to Scarlett, who is faking sadness over the recent death of her husband Frank Kennedy, a man she stole from her sister Suellen and married strictly for his money. I watched Gone with the Wind so many times when I was a teenager I have a whole portion of my brain devoted to the dialogue and I used to listen to the soundtrack for fun!

Fiddle dee dee.

Hat from American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection at Brooklyn Museum until August 1, 2010.

www.brooklynmuseum.org

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