Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on June 20, 2011
In June of 2011, Debbie Reynolds auctioned off her impressive collection of film memorabilia which included numerous “Sound of Music” costumes from the 1965 production. The auction took place at Profiles in History and reached enormous bids, with one movie costume selling for 4.2 million dollars! But for those who have never seen a “Sound of Music” costume aside from the screen, I wanted to post pictures of one of the only “Sound of Music” dresses that has actually been on display! I was so excited to see an original “Sound of Music” dress up close, and I hope that through the notes I’ve taken of the dress you will be able to “see” it yourself.
If you watch “The Sound of Music” closely, you’ll probably notice that this warm-toned dress was sewn from one of the bolts of fabric that Frau Schmidt brought to Maria’s bedroom, stating that it was, “For your new dresses, Fraulein Maria – the Captain had these sent out from town.” And Maria’s response was, “Oh, how lovely! Oh, I’m sure these will make the prettiest dresses I’ve ever had.” Although I am the world’s biggest fan of the “Sound of Music” film costumes, I can’t say that this was necessarily one of the prettiest dresses (especially compared to her blue chiffon dress or silk shantung wedding dress!) But I have to admit that the Sound of Music costume designer did a superb job of designing this day dress, and it is masterfully pieced together for an unorthodox use of stripes.
This wonderful Sound of Music dress has panels of vertical stripes going down the front, with diagonally placed stripes wrapping around to the front where they are darted by two vertical darts on each side. In the back, the stripes are horizontal at the upper back, but the horizontal panel stops at a “v” shaped point at the waist. On either side of this panel are diagonal stripes till the end of the bodice. For the skirt, the stripes are simply placed vertically, though most of them are covered by the pintucked orange apron.
I had watched “The Sound of Music” so many times that I thought I probably knew every detail of Maria’s “Do-Re-Mi” costume before I actually saw it, but remarkably enough there were some differences from how it appears on screen. Nearly every serious costume fan would remember it as an orange, gold, and green striped dress, but while viewing it up close there were obvious light pink/lavendar stripes sandwiched between the warm, autumn colors! Not the nicest color combination, but it sure worked well for the “Do-Re-Mi” carriage scene! I think the bright sunshine when they were filming in Salzburg combined with the camera lighting probably changed the way that the colors came through on film. But of course the colors could have changed slightly since the Western Costume Company sewed this dress back in 1964, too!