Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Some Gone With the Wind dresses faded forever

Via Jeanie

Cara Varnell, an independent art conservator who specializes in Hollywood film costumes, works with the green velvet gown from the film "Gone With the Wind," Tuesday, July 19, 2011, in Austin, Texas. The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas is working to preserve five of the dresses acquired with the collection of film producer David O. Selznick in the 1980s.  (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Efforts to preserve and restore several iconic dresses from the Oscar-winning Civil War movie "Gone With the Wind" have uncovered what might be painful for die-hard fans: Some of them simply can't be made to look like they did on screen.

Stitching and holes can be repaired and extra feathers added years ago can be removed, but the dresses are old, badly faded in spots and in one case, just too fragile to handle.

The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas announced a $30,000 effort last year to preserve five of the dresses acquired with the collection of film producer David O. Selznick in the 1980s. The goal is to have them ready for a 2014 exhibit to mark the film's 75th anniversary.

Ransom Center officials this week gave The Associated Press a look at the work being done to bring them back to the best shape possible.

The costumes are among the most famous in Hollywood history and played a key role in one of the most popular films ever. The Ransom Center holds five dresses it wanted to restore for display: Scarlett O'Hara's green curtain dress, her green velvet gown, a burgundy ball gown, a blue velvet night gown and her wedding dress

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