It is a truth universally acknowledged that in a period film, costumes are just as important as the plot and main characters. They allow the viewer to become immersed in the era. So as part of an ongoing feature in the blog, we are profiling our favorite costumes from period films.
Eliza Doolittle’s Embassy Ball Gown
When it comes to costumes from the 1964 film My Fair Lady, Eliza’s black-and-white Ascot dress and over the top, cartoonishly large hat seem to have reached iconic status. But her Embassy Ball dress — nay, gown; this no mere dress — is the one that always stuck in my mind. This is what I’d want to look like if I was trying to pass as an aristocrat: shimmering, rich, opulent, but not in a crass way. Costume designer Cecil Beaton really knew how to clean up a girl. Strictly speaking, the gown might not be completely historically accurate, and something about that hairdo reads very 60s to me, but even so: this is how you wear white.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that in a period film, costumes are just as important as the plot and main characters. They allow the viewer to become immersed in the era. So as part of a new, ongoing feature in the blog, we are profiling our favorite costumes from period films.
Scarlett O’Hara’s green barbecue dress from Gone with the Wind.
I first saw Gone With the Wind as a sixth grader and was utterly besotted — not with the story or the characters, but the dresses. I got around to reading the book after my parents gave it to me as a Christmas present; only then did I come to appreciate the actual story. Now I much prefer the book over the film. Scarlett’s and Rhett’s characters are more forcefully felt in the novel, I think — but I still love the film’s costumes designed by Walter Plunkett. This dress that Scarlett wore to the barbecue at Twelve Oaks is my favorite of several gorgeous gowns. It’s pretty, light, flirtatious, and carefree. The deep green matches her personality, too; she’s a bit of a jealous, conniving bitch (in a good way!) and the hue conveys that.