Friday, May 11, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: How I feel about some dresses

Doesn't anyone care about anything important?  Like the condition of the dresses that Vivien Leigh wore as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind.  Apparently lots of people do, because $30,000 has been drummed up to preserve five of them. 

The dresses were not made to last, and apparently they have endured some poor treatment since the film wrapped.  The velvet curtains gown and the red sequined gown (and certainly others) have been altered several times over the years, particularly in the waists.  I can just see the rich ultrafans who had that done, parading around their houses rattling off about great balls of fire and having the time of their lives.  Eh, act like you wouldn't.

I don't really like these five dresses that much.  I think the curtains gown is a little ugly, and the red gown doesn't look like anything anyone would have worn in that century at all.  It's so slim and really just belongs in a stage show in Vegas.  The one I do like is the wedding dress, pictured below, because I like that creamy satin.  It would not have been fashionable at the time, which was the point.  It was her mother's dress that she had to wear in her rushed wedding to nerd Charles Hamilton, whose offer she accepted just to show up the guy she really loved, who didn't give a shit what she did anyway.  Drama! I particularly like the lines during the wedding scene that basically go: "Uh oh, why is the bride crying?"  "She's probably just so totally happy. Congrats, honey!"

I also really like the dress she wore at Christmas when Ashley left.  I can't find a picture of it because she's only in it in one scene, and it's green, and try finding a picture of a green dress of hers that isn't the curtain gown or the barbecue dress.  I mean reallyyyyyy.

I like the dress in the opening scene, because it is flouncy as all hell and why not?  This one:

Oh! Well...okay.  Apparently there's a "slutty Scarlett" Halloween costume out there.  It's missing the bottom, though?  Confused.  Sidebar, I don't really understand this sort of rubbery looking tanned skin that all the porn girls have.  It kind of reminds me of Barbie heads.  Is that the idea?  Do people actually like that, or do the girls just think they do and copy each other?  Is orange skin just an easy to identify indicator that "porn will happen here soon"?  I just can't figure it out.

I find that other people don't often like the stuff that I really like, and vice versa, so this Gone with the Wind thing is kind of fun, because I'm just one of millions of people who have this entire movie committed to almost perfect memory.  It's an easy way to relate to other women, particularly older ones with whom I would have nothing in common with ever, not that I've really tried playing the GWTW card on any of them.  I recently aced a quiz on it on The Pioneer Woman's blog (yes, I read it, but the wholesomeness really drives a person off after a while) but did not win because, of course, there are a jillion other people out there who are like, "What were the Tareleton boys' first names? Oh shit, I didn't know this test was FOR BABIES."

All of my grandmothers had this complete functioning knowledge of the movie as well.  It was something you knew about and referred to casually at any time, such as to compare the behaviors of your family members to fictional characters as though they were actual people that you knew.  Not weird.

I like the idea of the book and movie as a cultural touchstone, or whatever.  Find a better word for it some other time.  For example, my grandmother's story about seeing the movie soon after it came out.  It was on a date, and they had to drive some distance to a proper town to find a theater showing it.  A year and a half later, the boy was dead overseas in WWII.  60 years after that and she's still naming pets after characters, particularly her box turtle, Aunt Pittypat, who still lives.

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