Perhaps one of the many reasons we loved to watch Ginger so much was the beautiful dresses she was able to wear for her dance sequences. Some might think that some smart wardrobe assistant could just pick these out and Ginger would get to wear them. Not always so. One memorable dress actually caused a lot of friction between Ginger and Fred, as well as many others on the set. This dress was worn for her role in Top Hat. The dress Designer, Bernard Newman, was always open to suggestions, and Ginger took full advantage of this. She had requested a high-neck, low-back blue feather dress. (This dress now resides in the Smithsonian).
Since the dress was late coming from the designer, Ginger never had a dress rehearsal while actually wearing the dress. On its way to Ginger's dressing room, Fred, the technicians and director got their first view of the dress, and then the feathers really started to fly! Their disapproval of the flying dress was made clear to Ginger, as they tried to pursuade her to wear a dress already worn in The Gay Divorcee. Ginger refused to wear a dress that had been worn in another film, primarily because she felt the viewing public would have remembered it. Before Ginger actually walked off the set in disgust, they finally agreed to let Ginger wear the dress, much to Fred's disapproval. And flying feathers in his face during rehearsal probably did not help matters much! Eventually, every feather had to be knotted on to prevent the feathers from flying everywhere. Eventually though, Fred mellowed, and a white gift box arrived at Gingers dressing room a few days later, holding a gold leaf (for Ginger's charm bracelet) with a note - Dear Feathers, I love Ya! Fred. Maybe Fred should have known better than to try to give his leading ladies wardrobe advice.