Black dress worn by Oprah Winfrey as Sofia in The Color Purple

  • Image for Black dress worn by Oprah Winfrey as Sofia in The Color Purple
  • Image for Black dress worn by Oprah Winfrey as Sofia in The Color Purple
  • Image for Black dress worn by Oprah Winfrey as Sofia in The Color Purple
  • Image for Black dress worn by Oprah Winfrey as Sofia in The Color Purple
  • Image for Black dress worn by Oprah Winfrey as Sofia in The Color Purple
  • Image for Black dress worn by Oprah Winfrey as Sofia in The Color Purple
  • Image for Black dress worn by Oprah Winfrey as Sofia in The Color Purple
  • Image for Black dress worn by Oprah Winfrey as Sofia in The Color Purple
8 images
Designed by
Rodgers, Aggie Guerard, American, born 1943
Manufactured by
Palace Costume Company, American, founded 1990
Worn by
Winfrey, Oprah, American, born 1954
Subject of
Walker, Alice, American, born 1944
Medium
rayon and cotton satin, cotton, silk satin, and trimming
Dimensions
H x W x D (On form): 48 1/4 × 24 1/2 × 12 in. (122.6 × 62.2 × 30.5 cm)
Type
dresses
Place used
North Carolina, United States, North and Central America
California, United States, North and Central America
Date
1985
Description
Black dress worn by Oprah Winfrey as the character Sofia Johnson in the film "The Color Purple." The short-sleeved shift dress is made from a single piece of black rayon-cotton blend satin that is folded in half at the shoulder and seamed down each side, with a neck hole cut at the fold. A gusset made of the satin blend is sewn at each side seam reaching approximately 9 inches above the hem. The sleeves are edged with a brown, green, and purple paisley printed cotton and trimmed in red rickrack. Black silk satin panels are sewn into each underarm with the wrong side facing. The collarless neck is also trimmed in the red rickrack. Three (3) squares of the paisley print trimmed in red rickrack are set on point and sewn at the front waist, one at the center front flanked by the other two. Lengths of the paisley print are attached to the outer point of each side square and used as a belt that ties in the back. There is a patch pocket made of the paisley print and trimmed in red rickrack sewn at the proper right front side. The dress is not lined. There are no closures or fasteners as the loose dress is donned by slipping over the wearer's head and then tied at the waist. Two tags are sewn to the center back neck; the bottom tag is a white fabric label with handwritten ink text reading "CD 245" above brown printed text reading "Palace Costume Co."; the top tag is a white fabric label with a barcode adhered to the center front with text above the barcode reading "PALACE COSTUME CO." and text below the barcode reading "37158666".
Topic
African American
Actors
Clothing and dress
Costume
Families
Film
Gender
LGBTQ
Literature
Sexuality
Violence
Women
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number
2014.184.1.1
Restrictions & Rights
No Known Copyright Restrictions
See more items in
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification
Clothing-Costume
Exhibition
Taking the Stage
On View
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Culture/Fourth Floor, 4 054
Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture

NOTE: Cataloging is an ongoing process and we may update this record as we conduct additional research and review. If you have more information about this object, please contact us at NMAAHCDigiTeam@si.edu.