Vivien Leigh’s Iconic ‘Gone With The Wind’ Gowns Restored to Their Former Glory
The University of Texas’ Harry Ransom Center has restored two of Vivien Leigh’s gowns from ‘Gone With The Wind’ to their former glory – just in time for the film’s 75th anniversary!
Rhett Butler may not give a damn about a lot of things, but we have a feeling he’d give one about this little tidbit: Two of the iconic gowns worn by silver screen legend Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in the 1939 classic Gone With The Wind have been restored to their former glory. Gorgeous? Um, yes!
According to the Telegraph, the conservation department at the University of Texas’ Harry Ransom Center put $30,000 and 180 hours in on the two dresses, which are currently on display as part of the Hollywood Costume exhibit at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (you know—the one at which Keira Knightley’s wine-colored Anna Karenina confection is also appearing). Which gowns, you ask? A burgundy ball gown:
…And the green curtain dress with its accompanying green velvet dressing gown that’s generally considered the most iconic dress from the film:
The Harry Ransom Center acquired the dresses in in the ‘80s, but due to their delicate condition, they were only exhibited once in 1984. The restoration efforts on the gowns began in 2010 after sufficient funds raised by generous donors across the globe; and happily, everything got finished in time for the dresses to join the Gone With The Wind exhibition the center has planned for the film’s 75th anniversary in 2014.
Alas, two more gowns remain unrestored: The blue velvet peignoir and Scarlett’s wedding gown and veil. Anyone got an additional $30,000 lying around?
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.