Growing up, I always loved watching Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, Pocahontas, Snow White, and all of the princess movies with a handsome prince charming or knight in shining armor coming to sweep the princess off her feet, and most importantly, the magical fairy tale endings. Knocking on 25’s door, let me be the first to remind you that no one is too old for fairy tales. Last night I went to the opening of the “Fairy Tale Fashion” Exhibit held at the Fashion Institute of Technology. This exhibit holds modern day fashion from gowns to shoes to headpieces revolving around fairy tales and will be available to visit until April 16, 2016.
Little Red Riding Hood
The first fairy tale on the list is Little Red Riding Hood who was obviously well-known for her little red cape and the big bad wolf who eats her grandmother and deceives her. The image on the left, and one of my all time favorite pieces with the patent-like hood, is a piece called “Big Red Riding Hood” designed by Comme des Garcons from Spring 2015. The image on the right is called “A Journey Through the Forest” by Dolce and Gabbana from Fall 2014.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Next up is Alice in Wonderland where poor Alice falls into a rabbit hole in a world filled with with hookah smoking caterpillars and a Mad Hatter. The image on the left is known as “An Army of Playing Cards” by Manish Arora which is meant to represent the Queen of Hearts and her playing card attendants. The image on the right is “The Queen of Hearts” herself in Hideki Seo. The material used for this particular representation was made to design a similar resemblance of the backs of playing cards.
The Snow Queen
The mirrored dress on the right is called “Millions and Billions of Bits” by Tom Ford from Spring 2014. Throughout many fairy tales (including Snow White) a mirror is a representation of vanity, superficiality, and prosperity. The dress on the left is called “Symmetrical Snowflakes” by Alexander McQueen from Fall 2008 which is meant to represent the Snow Queen’s world. And last, the most stunning piece of all, is the “Invisible Shoe” by Andreia Chaves from 2011.
Beauty and The Beast
The remarkable tale of Beauty and The Beast is when Belle moves into the Beast’s castle in repayment for her father stealing a rose from the Beast’s garden. In the image above on the left, the “Beastly Court Dress” by Robe a la Française is a representation of the whole story from the time period of which the story became popularized, small “beastly” leopard spots, and the floral prints which may be the symbolize the rose. On the left, my all time favorite shoe designer, Christian Louboutin, created “A Walk in the Beast’s Shoes” in Fall 2011.
Cinderella went from rags to riches. This “Magical and Mischievous Spirit” gown was designed by London designer Giles Deacon from Fall 2012. Below are the famous glass slippers that are proof that one pair of shoes can change your life. The image below on the left is known as “The Impossible Slippers” by Noritaka Tatehana giving more of an avant-garde look. The no-heel back was meant to symbolize the challenge of the glass slipper because it is difficult to wear and in the tale, impossible to put on any women’s foot beside that of Cinderella. The image below on the right is known as “Celebrating Cinderella” by Nicholas Kirkwood which was designed in 2015 for the release of the new Cinderella movie and is made from lace-covered vinyl and embellished with Swarovski crystals. “Cinderella never asked for a prince. She asked for a night out and a dress” -Kiera Cass.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The two dress above are representations of Dorothy’s dress that she wears on her journey to meet the Wizard of Oz. The dress on the left is known as “From Cornfield to Catwalk” by Altuzarra from Spring 2015 and the dress on the right is called “Adrian’s Gingham Dresses” named for the use of fabric which was meant to bring a sense of Americana to the piece. Below are the ruby red slippers that Dorothy must click together three times to make her way back to Kansas. These “Ruby Slippers” are designed by Noritaka Tatehana.
If you ask me, Sleeping Beauty was the luckiest princess of them all, cursed to sleep for 100 years and can only be awakened by true loves kiss. Let me tell you, when my alarm clock goes off on a Saturday at 6:45 in the morning to get ready for work, that is not my idea of true love. The magnificent flowing gown on the left was designed by Marchesa in Spring 2012 and the stunning gown on the right was designed by Zuhair Murad from Spring 2015.
Although there were so many more remarkable designs from fairy tales including Rapunzel, Furrypelts, The Little Mermaid, Snow White and Rose Red, and The Swan Maidens; I just wanted to show you a few of my favorite pieces. When thinking of the term “fairy tale” it is often imagined as lavish, magical, and unattainable, but I think these designers showed us how we can recreate our own fairy tale and make it different, but just as beautiful. THE END.