I think I had seen snippets of this collection around the internet closer to when it opened, but so often a fashion collection that claims to have a fairy tale inspiration really just means "vaguely vintage inspired" and/or "flowy layered fabrics that we have come to associate with fairies" or possibly a token red cape with other Disney-inspired color schemes. So I was excited to read more about the direct influence of fairy tale illustrators and specific fairy tales in this exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Rapunzel, Swan Maiden, Snow Queen, Red Riding Hood
From the website:
is a unique and imaginative exhibition that examines fairy tales through the lens of high fashion. In versions of numerous fairy tales by authors such as Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, and Hans Christian Andersen, it is evident that dress is 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.
"Organized by associate curator Colleen Hill, features more than 80 objects placed within dramatic, fantasy-like settings designed by architect Kim Ackert. Since fairy tales are not often set in a specific time period, includes garments and accessories dating from the 18th century to the present. There is a particular emphasis on extraordinary 21st-century fashions by designers such as Thom Browne, Dolce and Gabbana, Tom Ford, Giles, Mary Katrantzou, Marchesa, Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Prada, Rodarte, and Walter Van Beirendonck, among others.
The Little Mermaid
For those of you in New York, the exhibit is only open until April 16. However, good news for all of us-Yale University Press is releasing a book of the same title!
Book description (emphasis mine):
This sounds right up my alley, and is going on my wishlist!
(Psst-it's cheaper on Amazon)
UPDATE: For more fairy tale fashion in recent media, check out Lisa Jensen's post on the fairy tale looks just featured on Project Runway!