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Fashion Fairytales

April 25, 2012

FashionFilm + Entertainment | by Danny & Josh

No-one can resist a good children’s story – princesses, castles, happy endings, what’s not to like? It appears that the general public are not the only ones indulging in a little fairytale nostalgia now and again. Since the release of films such as Alice In Wonderland (2010), and Red Riding Hood (2011), a plethora of fictional heroines and heroes have been reborn on our cinema screens (Mirror Mirror out now is the latest adaptation, and features some stunning costumes); once again costume designers are looking upon fashion houses for inspiration in their creations.

Designers have put their unique slant on the fairytale trend, some merely hinting at certain fables, while others are more akin to full on fancy dress costumes. It is a look that has been growing in popularity for the past year, but recent personal favourites of mine are Rodarte’s gorgeous floral summer dresses with flowing Rapunzel length flaxen hair, yet given a more womanly feel with dark come-hither eye makeup; and Miu Miu’s twisted Snow White muse – raven hair slicked back on models donning Red Riding Hood style capes. Critics have commented that the latter is very similar to that evoked by lady-of-the-moment Kristen Stewart in the forthcoming Snow White and the Huntsman film due for release on June 1st.

The beauty of storytelling is how easily it travels between cultures and across continents – and this is even more so for the fashions within such tales, as no translation is required. So far it is only the well known fairy stories that have been mentioned, but plenty of designers have looked further afield to European folklore. Using this inspiration to build upon the festival boho chic and folk fashions of the last few summers, Proenza Schouler sent short and jacket two-piece suits down the runway, worn with wooden platforms in a nod to Rumpelstiltskin, and there were also shoes with bells on, leather shorts and even a swan headdress at Giles.

The trend continues into hair and makeup too, with maiden style braids enjoying a revival at Valentino, and the ever popular rose tinted cheeks and pretty pastels used on the face to give that innocent glow. So whether channelling your inner wicked queen, damsel in distress, or feisty rebel heroine, there is an option for all to embrace the world of make-believe and plenty of inspiration for costume and production designers to grasp at.

Sophia Miles