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  • Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara wearing a blue gown with black detailing in the 1939 film "Gone with the Wind."
    • Selznick International Pictures
    • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    Gone With the Wind

    1939

    Costume seen on Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara

  • Lynn Merrick as Dorothy Russell wearing a gown with black detailing in the 1942 film "The Sombrero Kid."
    • Republic Pictures

    The Sombrero Kid

    1942

    Costume seen on Lynn Merrick as Dorothy Russell

  • Helen Parrish as Ellen Sanford wearing a gown and a matching capelet in the 1942 film "In Old California."
    • Republic Pictures

    In Old California

    1942

    Costume seen on Helen Parrish as Ellen Sanford

Additional Images

About the Costume

This gown has a fascinating history beyond the already impressive fact that it was designed by Walter Plunkett and worn by Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind.

Two copies of this gown, known as the “Shanty Town Gown,” were made for the original production. One was for Vivien Leigh’s stunt double, and one was for Vivien herself, though no one knows which version of the gown was worn by which woman. They were made out of blue ottoman fabric, though the color has with time faded to more of a gray.

After the film ended, the gowns made their way into the property of the Western Costume Company, where they went on to be used in two more films, The Sombrero Kid and In Old California. In Old California even features the gown paired with its capelet, which was unused for Gone With the Wind.

One of the copies of the dress was sold at auction by Butterfields and Butterfields (now renamed Bonhams) and is on display with the unused capelet at Planet Hollywood in Orlando. The other copy was purchased by James Tumblin in the 60s from the Western Costume Company for $20. Tumblin owns the most extensive collection of Gone With the Wind memorabilia in the world, and the gown has been on display several times over the years.

About the Costume

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Have you ever watched a film and noticed a character walk by in a gown that you just know you’ve seen before? Recycled Movie Costumes is dedicated to documenting the life of a costume through its various appearances on film and television.

Additional Images

About the Costume

This gown has a fascinating history beyond the already impressive fact that it was designed by Walter Plunkett and worn by Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind.

Two copies of this gown, known as the “Shanty Town Gown,” were made for the original production. One was for Vivien Leigh’s stunt double, and one was for Vivien herself, though no one knows which version of the gown was worn by which woman. They were made out of blue ottoman fabric, though the color has with time faded to more of a gray.

After the film ended, the gowns made their way into the property of the Western Costume Company, where they went on to be used in two more films, The Sombrero Kid and In Old California. In Old California even features the gown paired with its capelet, which was unused for Gone With the Wind.

One of the copies of the dress was sold at auction by Butterfields and Butterfields (now renamed Bonhams) and is on display with the unused capelet at Planet Hollywood in Orlando. The other copy was purchased by James Tumblin in the 60s from the Western Costume Company for $20. Tumblin owns the most extensive collection of Gone With the Wind memorabilia in the world, and the gown has been on display several times over the years.

This gown has a fascinating history beyond the already impressive fact that it was designed by Walter Plunkett and worn by Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind.

Two copies of this gown, known as the “Shanty Town Gown,” were made for the original production. One was for Vivien Leigh’s stunt double, and one was for Vivien herself, though no one knows which version of the gown was worn by which woman. They were made out of blue ottoman fabric, though the color has with time faded to more of a gray.

After the film ended, the gowns made their way into the property of the Western Costume Company, where they went on to be used in two more films, The Sombrero Kid and In Old California. In Old California even features the gown paired with its capelet, which was unused for Gone With the Wind.

One of the copies of the dress was sold at auction by Butterfields and Butterfields (now renamed Bonhams) and is on display with the unused capelet at Planet Hollywood in Orlando. The other copy was purchased by James Tumblin in the 60s from the Western Costume Company for $20. Tumblin owns the most extensive collection of Gone With the Wind memorabilia in the world, and the gown has been on display several times over the years.

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  • Walter Plunkett

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Costume Commentary

    • This is awesome, thank you! I’m having trouble tracking down “Reap the Wild Wind,” so that may have to be a blind buy at some point, as I would love to find Suellen’s costume…and I am sure there must be others.

  1. Dear Kathryn – I truly appreciate your comments and generous sentiment. To answer your question: The “Lilac”Costume I refer to is the one that Vivien Leigh wears (almost) throughout Gone With The Wind…including Scarlett’s escape from Atlanta and upon her return to Tara. Walter Plunkett personally told me that to “age” the later versions of thiscostume they actually washed them in bleach, or putthem into a portable cement mixer that had been filled with gravel to “wear down” the fabric! They also used the “reverse”, or inside, of the fabric to givesome of theman additional “aged” appearance.The version in The Shaw-Tumblin Collection is Change # 1, in other words the “new” or pristine version. Not long ago, one of the “aged” versions of this costume sold for over $95,000 to a buyer living in Brazil. When I spoke with her, she told me that she was going to wear it to her restaurant…go figure! FYI: I also sell many of my Gone With The Wind items on eBay under the name of “popokispit”. Thanks, again, for your interest and kind words.

  2. Dear Kathryn – I truly appreciate your comments and generous sentiment. To answer your question: The “Lilac”Costume I refer to is the one that Vivien Leigh wears (almost) throughout Gone With The Wind…including Scarlett’s escape from Atlanta and upon her return to Tara. Walter Plunkett personally told me that to “age” the later versions of thiscostume they actually washed them in bleach, or putthem into a portable cement mixer that had been filled with gravel to “wear down” the fabric! They also used the “reverse”, or inside, of the fabric to givesome of theman additional “aged” appearance.The version in The Shaw-Tumblin Collection is Change # 1, in other words the “new” or pristine version. Not long ago, one of the “aged” versions of this costume sold for over $95,000 to a buyer living in Brazil. When I spoke with her, she told me that she was going to wear it to her restaurant…go figure! FYI: I also sell many of my Gone With The Wind items on eBay under the name of “popokispit”. Thanks, again, for your interest and kind words.

  3. Dear Kathryn – I truly appreciate your comments and generous sentiment. To answer your question: The “Lilac”Costume I refer to is the one that Vivien Leigh wears (almost) throughout Gone With The Wind…including Scarlett’s escape from Atlanta and upon her return to Tara. Walter Plunkett personally told me that to “age” the later versions of thiscostume they actually washed them in bleach, or putthem into a portable cement mixer that had been filled with gravel to “wear down” the fabric! They also used the “reverse”, or inside, of the fabric to givesome of theman additional “aged” appearance.The version in The Shaw-Tumblin Collection is Change # 1, in other words the “new” or pristine version. Not long ago, one of the “aged” versions of this costume sold for over $95,000 to a buyer living in Brazil. When I spoke with her, she told me that she was going to wear it to her restaurant…go figure! FYI: I also sell many of my Gone With The Wind items on eBay under the name of “popokispit”. Thanks, again, for your interest and kind words.

  4. Wow, James, thank you so much for posting all of this wonderful information! I really do appreciate it! I will be sure to be on the lookout for all of those various costumes that you have mentioned! I also hope to be able to see the display at the Arkansas Museum if I get the chance! By Scarlett’s “Lilac” gown of which 17 were made, do you mean the shanty gown above or another gown?

  5. As owner of The Shaw-Tumblin Gone With The Wind Collection, we are fortunate to have over 41 original costumes which were worn in Gone With The Wind. Many of these costumes were, once they were returned to Western Costume,re-cycled and worn in other films: Belle Watling’s “Visiting Rhett” Maroon Jacket can also be seen in “Lady For A Night”, Melanie’s “Atlanta Train Station” Knitted Jacket can be seen in “Little Big Horn”, Melanie’s “Thanking Belle” Knitted Shawl can be seen in “The Haunted Palace”, Scarlett’s “Drapery Dress” (altered) can be seen in “Bedlam”, Scarlett’s “Lilac” Costume (of which 17 versions were created) can be seen in “The Sombrero Kid”. In addition, as Clark Gable and John Wayne were the same jacket size (42) it was not uncommon for many of Gable’s Costumes to be passed down to John Wayne for use in his films. If any of you find yourselves in Little Rock, Arkansas between April 30, 2011 and April 30, 2012, many costumes – and other GWTW-related memorabilia (from The Shaw-Tumblin Collection) will be on display at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock. For more information, I may be reached at: mailto:jamestumblin@yahoo.com

  6. As owner of The Shaw-Tumblin Gone With The Wind Collection, we are fortunate to have over 41 original costumes which were worn in Gone With The Wind. Many of these costumes were, once they were returned to Western Costume,re-cycled and worn in other films: Belle Watling’s “Visiting Rhett” Maroon Jacket can also be seen in “Lady For A Night”, Melanie’s “Atlanta Train Station” Knitted Jacket can be seen in “Little Big Horn”, Melanie’s “Thanking Belle” Knitted Shawl can be seen in “The Haunted Palace”, Scarlett’s “Drapery Dress” (altered) can be seen in “Bedlam”, Scarlett’s “Lilac” Costume (of which 17 versions were created) can be seen in “The Sombrero Kid”. In addition, as Clark Gable and John Wayne were the same jacket size (42) it was not uncommon for many of Gable’s Costumes to be passed down to John Wayne for use in his films. If any of you find yourselves in Little Rock, Arkansas between April 30, 2011 and April 30, 2012, many costumes – and other GWTW-related memorabilia (from The Shaw-Tumblin Collection) will be on display at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock. For more information, I may be reached at: mailto:jamestumblin@yahoo.com

Comment

Costume Commentary

    • This is awesome, thank you! I’m having trouble tracking down “Reap the Wild Wind,” so that may have to be a blind buy at some point, as I would love to find Suellen’s costume…and I am sure there must be others.

  1. Dear Kathryn – I truly appreciate your comments and generous sentiment. To answer your question: The “Lilac”Costume I refer to is the one that Vivien Leigh wears (almost) throughout Gone With The Wind…including Scarlett’s escape from Atlanta and upon her return to Tara. Walter Plunkett personally told me that to “age” the later versions of thiscostume they actually washed them in bleach, or putthem into a portable cement mixer that had been filled with gravel to “wear down” the fabric! They also used the “reverse”, or inside, of the fabric to givesome of theman additional “aged” appearance.The version in The Shaw-Tumblin Collection is Change # 1, in other words the “new” or pristine version. Not long ago, one of the “aged” versions of this costume sold for over $95,000 to a buyer living in Brazil. When I spoke with her, she told me that she was going to wear it to her restaurant…go figure! FYI: I also sell many of my Gone With The Wind items on eBay under the name of “popokispit”. Thanks, again, for your interest and kind words.

  2. Dear Kathryn – I truly appreciate your comments and generous sentiment. To answer your question: The “Lilac”Costume I refer to is the one that Vivien Leigh wears (almost) throughout Gone With The Wind…including Scarlett’s escape from Atlanta and upon her return to Tara. Walter Plunkett personally told me that to “age” the later versions of thiscostume they actually washed them in bleach, or putthem into a portable cement mixer that had been filled with gravel to “wear down” the fabric! They also used the “reverse”, or inside, of the fabric to givesome of theman additional “aged” appearance.The version in The Shaw-Tumblin Collection is Change # 1, in other words the “new” or pristine version. Not long ago, one of the “aged” versions of this costume sold for over $95,000 to a buyer living in Brazil. When I spoke with her, she told me that she was going to wear it to her restaurant…go figure! FYI: I also sell many of my Gone With The Wind items on eBay under the name of “popokispit”. Thanks, again, for your interest and kind words.

  3. Dear Kathryn – I truly appreciate your comments and generous sentiment. To answer your question: The “Lilac”Costume I refer to is the one that Vivien Leigh wears (almost) throughout Gone With The Wind…including Scarlett’s escape from Atlanta and upon her return to Tara. Walter Plunkett personally told me that to “age” the later versions of thiscostume they actually washed them in bleach, or putthem into a portable cement mixer that had been filled with gravel to “wear down” the fabric! They also used the “reverse”, or inside, of the fabric to givesome of theman additional “aged” appearance.The version in The Shaw-Tumblin Collection is Change # 1, in other words the “new” or pristine version. Not long ago, one of the “aged” versions of this costume sold for over $95,000 to a buyer living in Brazil. When I spoke with her, she told me that she was going to wear it to her restaurant…go figure! FYI: I also sell many of my Gone With The Wind items on eBay under the name of “popokispit”. Thanks, again, for your interest and kind words.

  4. Wow, James, thank you so much for posting all of this wonderful information! I really do appreciate it! I will be sure to be on the lookout for all of those various costumes that you have mentioned! I also hope to be able to see the display at the Arkansas Museum if I get the chance! By Scarlett’s “Lilac” gown of which 17 were made, do you mean the shanty gown above or another gown?

  5. As owner of The Shaw-Tumblin Gone With The Wind Collection, we are fortunate to have over 41 original costumes which were worn in Gone With The Wind. Many of these costumes were, once they were returned to Western Costume,re-cycled and worn in other films: Belle Watling’s “Visiting Rhett” Maroon Jacket can also be seen in “Lady For A Night”, Melanie’s “Atlanta Train Station” Knitted Jacket can be seen in “Little Big Horn”, Melanie’s “Thanking Belle” Knitted Shawl can be seen in “The Haunted Palace”, Scarlett’s “Drapery Dress” (altered) can be seen in “Bedlam”, Scarlett’s “Lilac” Costume (of which 17 versions were created) can be seen in “The Sombrero Kid”. In addition, as Clark Gable and John Wayne were the same jacket size (42) it was not uncommon for many of Gable’s Costumes to be passed down to John Wayne for use in his films. If any of you find yourselves in Little Rock, Arkansas between April 30, 2011 and April 30, 2012, many costumes – and other GWTW-related memorabilia (from The Shaw-Tumblin Collection) will be on display at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock. For more information, I may be reached at: mailto:jamestumblin@yahoo.com

  6. As owner of The Shaw-Tumblin Gone With The Wind Collection, we are fortunate to have over 41 original costumes which were worn in Gone With The Wind. Many of these costumes were, once they were returned to Western Costume,re-cycled and worn in other films: Belle Watling’s “Visiting Rhett” Maroon Jacket can also be seen in “Lady For A Night”, Melanie’s “Atlanta Train Station” Knitted Jacket can be seen in “Little Big Horn”, Melanie’s “Thanking Belle” Knitted Shawl can be seen in “The Haunted Palace”, Scarlett’s “Drapery Dress” (altered) can be seen in “Bedlam”, Scarlett’s “Lilac” Costume (of which 17 versions were created) can be seen in “The Sombrero Kid”. In addition, as Clark Gable and John Wayne were the same jacket size (42) it was not uncommon for many of Gable’s Costumes to be passed down to John Wayne for use in his films. If any of you find yourselves in Little Rock, Arkansas between April 30, 2011 and April 30, 2012, many costumes – and other GWTW-related memorabilia (from The Shaw-Tumblin Collection) will be on display at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock. For more information, I may be reached at: mailto:jamestumblin@yahoo.com

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Costume Commentary

    • This is awesome, thank you! I’m having trouble tracking down “Reap the Wild Wind,” so that may have to be a blind buy at some point, as I would love to find Suellen’s costume…and I am sure there must be others.

  1. Dear Kathryn – I truly appreciate your comments and generous sentiment. To answer your question: The “Lilac”Costume I refer to is the one that Vivien Leigh wears (almost) throughout Gone With The Wind…including Scarlett’s escape from Atlanta and upon her return to Tara. Walter Plunkett personally told me that to “age” the later versions of thiscostume they actually washed them in bleach, or putthem into a portable cement mixer that had been filled with gravel to “wear down” the fabric! They also used the “reverse”, or inside, of the fabric to givesome of theman additional “aged” appearance.The version in The Shaw-Tumblin Collection is Change # 1, in other words the “new” or pristine version. Not long ago, one of the “aged” versions of this costume sold for over $95,000 to a buyer living in Brazil. When I spoke with her, she told me that she was going to wear it to her restaurant…go figure! FYI: I also sell many of my Gone With The Wind items on eBay under the name of “popokispit”. Thanks, again, for your interest and kind words.

  2. Dear Kathryn – I truly appreciate your comments and generous sentiment. To answer your question: The “Lilac”Costume I refer to is the one that Vivien Leigh wears (almost) throughout Gone With The Wind…including Scarlett’s escape from Atlanta and upon her return to Tara. Walter Plunkett personally told me that to “age” the later versions of thiscostume they actually washed them in bleach, or putthem into a portable cement mixer that had been filled with gravel to “wear down” the fabric! They also used the “reverse”, or inside, of the fabric to givesome of theman additional “aged” appearance.The version in The Shaw-Tumblin Collection is Change # 1, in other words the “new” or pristine version. Not long ago, one of the “aged” versions of this costume sold for over $95,000 to a buyer living in Brazil. When I spoke with her, she told me that she was going to wear it to her restaurant…go figure! FYI: I also sell many of my Gone With The Wind items on eBay under the name of “popokispit”. Thanks, again, for your interest and kind words.

  3. Dear Kathryn – I truly appreciate your comments and generous sentiment. To answer your question: The “Lilac”Costume I refer to is the one that Vivien Leigh wears (almost) throughout Gone With The Wind…including Scarlett’s escape from Atlanta and upon her return to Tara. Walter Plunkett personally told me that to “age” the later versions of thiscostume they actually washed them in bleach, or putthem into a portable cement mixer that had been filled with gravel to “wear down” the fabric! They also used the “reverse”, or inside, of the fabric to givesome of theman additional “aged” appearance.The version in The Shaw-Tumblin Collection is Change # 1, in other words the “new” or pristine version. Not long ago, one of the “aged” versions of this costume sold for over $95,000 to a buyer living in Brazil. When I spoke with her, she told me that she was going to wear it to her restaurant…go figure! FYI: I also sell many of my Gone With The Wind items on eBay under the name of “popokispit”. Thanks, again, for your interest and kind words.

  4. Wow, James, thank you so much for posting all of this wonderful information! I really do appreciate it! I will be sure to be on the lookout for all of those various costumes that you have mentioned! I also hope to be able to see the display at the Arkansas Museum if I get the chance! By Scarlett’s “Lilac” gown of which 17 were made, do you mean the shanty gown above or another gown?

  5. As owner of The Shaw-Tumblin Gone With The Wind Collection, we are fortunate to have over 41 original costumes which were worn in Gone With The Wind. Many of these costumes were, once they were returned to Western Costume,re-cycled and worn in other films: Belle Watling’s “Visiting Rhett” Maroon Jacket can also be seen in “Lady For A Night”, Melanie’s “Atlanta Train Station” Knitted Jacket can be seen in “Little Big Horn”, Melanie’s “Thanking Belle” Knitted Shawl can be seen in “The Haunted Palace”, Scarlett’s “Drapery Dress” (altered) can be seen in “Bedlam”, Scarlett’s “Lilac” Costume (of which 17 versions were created) can be seen in “The Sombrero Kid”. In addition, as Clark Gable and John Wayne were the same jacket size (42) it was not uncommon for many of Gable’s Costumes to be passed down to John Wayne for use in his films. If any of you find yourselves in Little Rock, Arkansas between April 30, 2011 and April 30, 2012, many costumes – and other GWTW-related memorabilia (from The Shaw-Tumblin Collection) will be on display at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock. For more information, I may be reached at: mailto:jamestumblin@yahoo.com

  6. As owner of The Shaw-Tumblin Gone With The Wind Collection, we are fortunate to have over 41 original costumes which were worn in Gone With The Wind. Many of these costumes were, once they were returned to Western Costume,re-cycled and worn in other films: Belle Watling’s “Visiting Rhett” Maroon Jacket can also be seen in “Lady For A Night”, Melanie’s “Atlanta Train Station” Knitted Jacket can be seen in “Little Big Horn”, Melanie’s “Thanking Belle” Knitted Shawl can be seen in “The Haunted Palace”, Scarlett’s “Drapery Dress” (altered) can be seen in “Bedlam”, Scarlett’s “Lilac” Costume (of which 17 versions were created) can be seen in “The Sombrero Kid”. In addition, as Clark Gable and John Wayne were the same jacket size (42) it was not uncommon for many of Gable’s Costumes to be passed down to John Wayne for use in his films. If any of you find yourselves in Little Rock, Arkansas between April 30, 2011 and April 30, 2012, many costumes – and other GWTW-related memorabilia (from The Shaw-Tumblin Collection) will be on display at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock. For more information, I may be reached at: mailto:jamestumblin@yahoo.com

Comment