This dress was originally designed for the 1988 film Dangerous Liaisons by costume designer James Acheson. It was worn on Mildred Natwick as Madame de Rosamonde. Apparently the fabric for the dress was specially printed for the film, and was modeled after an 18th Century wallpaper. Remainders of the printed fabric went on later to be used for the Queen Mother’s costume for Act 1 of the Royal Ballet’s Swan Lake.
This gown has been used many times since, including the 1991 mini-series Clarissa, where it was worn on Cathryn Harrison as Mrs.Sinclair. It was seen on extras in 1994 in The Madeness of King George, in 1995 in Jefferson in Paris, and then in 1997 in Dance to the Music of Time.
The gown is in remarkable
condition considering how old it is and how many times it has been used. For several years the gown was
part of the Fashion In Film Exhibit that toured across the country. You can learn more about the exhibit and see more photos at The Costumers Guide.
Costume Credit: Anna, Katie S., Shrewsbury Lasses, James
"Le plaisir, qui est bien en effet l'unique mobile de la réunion des deux sexes, ne suffit pourtant pas pour former une liaison entre eux..., s'il est précédé du désir qui rapproche, il n'est pas moins suivi du dégoût qui repousse. C'est une loi de la nature, que l'amour seul peut changer."