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RenaJ

Ginger's Top Hat dress

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During the scene of I'm In Heaven did anyone else notice Ginger's dress made her resemble an angel? It was very billowy and appeared to be made of ostrich feathers. When she turned her back to the camera, the back even looked like wings. ?

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Rena, I agree the gown is beautiful but I have always been disappointed that she wore this for that scene.  Ginger is a beautiful woman and partly because she was a great dancer she had a beautiful shape.  In most of the movie musicals for important songs she wore beautiful but very feminine dresses that emphasized her lovely figure.  As an artist I loved this.  I often draw celebrities to se if people can guess who I am drawing.  These images of Fred and Ginger are always unmistakable.  These gowns and others she wore are signature parts of these movies for me.

Fred and Ginger 1a.JPG

Fred & Ginger 3a.jpg

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I too noticed the "wings". Thought it was a very clever design in reference to the song.

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I remember Robert Osborne introducing Top Hat on New Years eve several years ago.  He said that, while they were filming that dance, feathers from the gown were flying everywhere.  It was quite a problem and Fred became a bit annoyed.  By the next day everyone was laughing about it and for the rest of the shoot Fred was calling Ginger "Feathers".

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I found the dress a little too feather-y. Earlier Ginger had on a great black dress, but then she’s back in the maribou feathers. And you lose all the body movement that accompanies her foot work. 

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I agree WannaSing - she becomes the this bouncing cloud or rolling ball of fluff when we know underneath it all the is Ginger moving in ways only she could move.  But we have a hard time seeing it all with the feathers in the way.

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17 hours ago, GeezerNoir said:

I remember Robert Osborne introducing Top Hat on New Years eve several years ago.  He said that, while they were filming that dance, feathers from the gown were flying everywhere.  It was quite a problem and Fred became a bit annoyed.  By the next day everyone was laughing about it and for the rest of the shoot Fred was calling Ginger "Feathers".

Yes! This is lovingly referred to as "the feather incident". They managed to sew them onto the dress as best they could after their first attempt wasn't up to snuff for Fred, but he was not all too happy about this being the dress they had her in (it was Ginger's brain child, though, so she wanted it to work). Later on it became a bit of a joke, and apparently Ginger was presented with a golden feather charm as well as earning the new nickname. If you are watching closely enough, you can still see the feathers flying around as they are dancing, and even see them kicking up feathers that have landed around them like some kind of dust on the set.

Extra fun fact: There was a similar incident surrounding her weighted gown in the "Let's Face the Music and Dance" number from Follow the Fleet, which apparently whipped around with such force when she turned that during one take it hit Fred square in the face and he finished the number in a bit of a daze. This is the take they used for the final version of the film!

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Apparently the "feather incident" stayed with Fred long after the movie, to the point where it was hilariously parodied in "Easter Parade" in which Judy dances and sheds feathers everywhere

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11 hours ago, GLSkipper said:

I agree WannaSing - she becomes the this bouncing cloud or rolling ball of fluff when we know underneath it all the is Ginger moving in ways only she could move.  But we have a hard time seeing it all with the feathers in the way.

 

14 hours ago, WannaSing said:

I found the dress a little too feather-y. Earlier Ginger had on a great black dress, but then she’s back in the maribou feathers. And you lose all the body movement that accompanies her foot work. 

 And the whole point of a lot of these dresses, apart from making her look lovely, was to conceal the fact that she wasn't quite up to Snuff with his movements or steps.

If you want to compare how they really looked in terms of the footwork, look at the opening of "Top Hat". Those are really simple steps, I've done them easily enough, but you be the judge.

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