Conserving Costumes: Green Velvet Dressing Gown

Conserving Costumes: Green Velvet Dressing Gown


NARRATOR: The “Gone With The Wind” costume project was funded by donors from 44 states and 13 countries. Led by independent conservator Cara Varnell, the effort was a collaboration of many experts. More than 180 hours were required to stabilize these famous costumes– the work of legendary costume designer Walter Plunkett. Morena: Walter Plunkett was a designer who was famous for his meticulous research and attention to detail when making historical costumes for film, and you can certainly see this in “Gone With the Wind.” But with some of Scarlett’s costumes, he had a little bit of fun and deviated from complete historical accuracy to create some really fantastic costumes. For the green wrapper, he took inspiration from some of the embellishments and embroidery that you might find on costumes from the period, but he really streamlined and slimmed the silhouette to something more akin to women’s styles from the 1930s. And he also added these wonderful floor-length trailing sleeves that suggest the sleeves of a fifteenth-century aristocratic woman. Varnell: Basically, the piece is intact. The fibers are beginning to age, and you can see the damage that is beginning to build. It’s happening incrementally, but it will in time take its toll because it is silk. It has a certain amount of weight to it, and it is disintegrating along some of the seam lines. I had to be able to give it some support. I have to do that to four seams. But at this point, she still looks lovely. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.HRC.UTEXAS.EDU/CONSERVEDRESSES

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *