Saturday, December 7, 2013

In Which There Are Feels About Princess Gowns

Yesterday was the last day of classes, which is affectionately referred to as Blowout. The intent is to, uh, spend the entire day in a drunken stupor of "thank god classes are done with for the semester", and crazy things tend to happen. I skipped on the drunken stupor part, although I did partake in some of the best alcohol I've ever had: I am officially a 100% mead convert. As my friend Joanna kept saying, it makes you feel like you're sitting in a huge armchair by a fire surrounded by cozy furs and at utter peace with the world (this mental reverie only slightly inspired by Skyrim). This does not mean, however, my Blowout was not wonderful; after seeing our AMAZINGLY talented friend Sophie perform with the orchestra (she's a killer mezzo-soprano opera singer), a group of us was left wondering what to do when Joanna announced there was a showing of Frozen in fifteen minutes.

You have never seen a group of college students leap up and run (literally) out the door as fast as we did then, stopping only to accept a plate of pancakes from a group of students dressed up like cutlery (I swear I'm not making that up and I swear all of us were completely sober).

The movie itself was splendid and adorable (although it certainly has its problematic elements- one of the reasons I left tumblr was my burnout over all the posts upon posts of preemptive hate Frozen was getting for its continuation of the trend of the white Disney princess, the reduction of female characters, and so on, which are all incredibly valid and necessary points to make, but they don't necessarily define the movie- but that's a discussion for another time), but one of the things that really struck me was my god the costume designer was on point.

They put the blue-eyed redhead in green or blue dresses. Bless their hearts, they finally figured that one out.

Do I have tears in my eyes right now? Possibly.
I have not been able to get this dress out of my mind. The box pleats! The colors! The sweetheart bodice! The rosemaling-inspired details! It's enough to make this blue-eyed redhead cry because finally, finally they didn't make the ginger wear pink! Not only that, but they basically made the exact dress I'd want if I were a princess dressing for a ball, sans exaggeration. It truly has all my favorite elements. Her winter outfit (blue!!) and end-of-movie outfit (ANOTHER GREEN ONE) are also beautifully done, and make me wish I still had hair long enough to pigtail braid. Elsa's gowns were also on point (her ice gown, with the snowflake cape? Genius.), but the reaction I had to Anna's dresses was nigh visceral.

Really, I have been longing for a good green princess dress. Tiana's lily pad dress in Princess and the Frog gave me hope, and is probably still my favorite truly over-the-top princess gown, but the huge bell skirts and straplessness of it made it so while I can love it for its beauty I'd never want to wear it myself. (Her fantastic end outfit with all the 20s flourishes a girl could hope for, however, is another story- but it's not a true Princess Ball Gown. Actually Tia probably has my favorite full wardrobe, and I still maintain that in the event I get married I want her wedding dress.) Shockingly none of the other Disney princess gowns have ever spoken to me; I reiterate, I don't go in for huge bell skirts, Rapunzel's outfit was adorable but a little too pastel for me (were it only a bolder purple!), and while I am head-over-heels for Mulan's matchmaker outfit I'm too white to not feel inappropriate and mildly culturally appropriative were I to ever wear it. Aurora's dress (in blue) is nice, but not nice enough to really get my heart beating, and Belle's green library dress again wasn't a true Disney ballgown but a filler outfit. 

We just don't talk about Ariel's gown. It never happened. The new seafoam version is vastly better, but it's still a smidge too poofy for my tastes.

Do you know how mildly devastating it is for a cosplayer to not have a princess gown they dearly want to make? It's just one of those things that eventually happens to us all: making a princess ballgown is like a rite of passage. I'd been contenting myself with Anastasia's Once Upon a December sequence gown, knowing that, while stunningly beautiful and something I'd love to make, it wasn't quite right.

Although damn I still love this song, and will always love Anya's color palette as also getting this blue-eyed redhead's preferred color palette SO RIGHT.
My head is just abuzz with inspiration from Frozen's costuming, I just can't help it. I'm scheming up a version of this dress with a modified pointed waist rather than straight for the contrast bodice, and while I could never afford it I can't get this fabric out of my head for the skirt and sleeve portions, with a nice darker purple for the bodice and a lovely dark orange and purple peter pan collar and cuffs. Almost like taking design inspiration from Frozen with a dash of Kayley from Quest for Camelot (who also has a wedding dress I adore, and anyone who wears a purple tunic with blue tights is okay in my book). While we're on the subject, I'd also love to make a shirt dress inspired by the one Dmitri got Anya... Maybe using the Colette Hawthorne pattern? I have Christmas/Hannukah money incoming, it could happen...

Basically, my ultimate wardrobe goals would be ganking the design elements of my favorite animated heroines, and I am certainly not ashamed of this in the slightest. Now, for the time and the money to make it so.

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