Siri, Siri on the phone, who’s the fairest of them all? This post is not about selfies, promise, we just couldn’t resist the pun. Instead we want to talk about fairytales and our collective obsession with them, especially in our age of high tech magic. This most dazzling, valiant and resilient of genres typically features: children or young maidens, magic, happiness (think fairytale ending), an occasional unicorn and the escapist notions of ‘Once upon a time’ and ‘Ever After.’ Naturally, fairytales have been aligned with the world of art, film and high fashion since well… once upon a time. Think about it: youth, fantasy, beauty, horror, love, heroic acts, history and elves. What’s not to love?!
The well of folk stories remains bottomless for Hollywood, as evidenced this year by the lavish reinterpretation of Snow White in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, and the enduring popularity of the serial fantasy Game of Thrones, to name a few. And hardly a season passes by without at least a few fairytale references in the fashion world. To celebrate this point, the museum at Manhattan’s Fashion Institute of Technology hosted an exhibition highlighting the central role that clothing and style play in the telling of our favorite stories. According to Fairy Tale Fashion associate curator Colleen Hill, “In versions of numerous fairy tales by authors such as Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, and Hans Christian Andersen, it is evident that dress was often used to symbolize a character’s transformation, vanity, power, or privilege. The importance of Cinderella’s glass slippers is widely known, for example, yet these shoes represent only a fraction of the many references to clothing in fairy tales.”
And speaking of references, Vogue had this to say about the Miu Miu Spring 2016 show: “In their eccentrically layered outfits, the models at Miu Miu looked like they had unearthed the ultimate chest of dress-up clothes—you know, the ones that in fairy tales are discovered covered in dust in the attic next to a one-eyed wooden rocking horse and ribbon-tied bundles of letters—and piled treasure upon treasure (granny boots, Alice in Wonderland pinafores) in an attempt to realize all of their make-believe fantasies at once.”
Dolce & Gabbana, never one to be outdone, couldn’t keep from joining in on the fairy tale fun during Milan Fashion Week. Their Fall 2016 show included references to Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White. Bellissima as ever.
If all this hasn’t satisfied your love of fashion and fairytales, you only have to wait for the stroke of midnight of this year’s end for ‘Color Me Enchanted,‘ an upcoming coloring book (for grown-ups and not so much) by Masha D’yans and Gala Lazuli. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, it features more than 90 pages of fashion-forward illustrations, inspired by… what else, fairytales from around the world! Get those magic coloring wands ready and watch this space for more sneak peeks.
From top left:
1. Red Riding Hood by Comme des Garcons from Fairy Tale Fashion
2. A look from Comme des Garcons: Menswear SS17
3. Fairy Tale Fashion
4. A look from Miu Miu Spring 2016 show
5-6. Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2016 show
7. A spread to color from Color Me Enchanted by Masha D’yans and Gala Lazuli