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Disney Beauty And The Beast Belle Costume

Disney Beauty And The Beast Belle Costume

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Disney Princess’s Beauty & The Beast Belle Classic Children’s Fancy Dress Costume

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The live-action Beauty and the Beast costumes are largely faithful to the story’s 18th century setting – with one big exception.

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Actress Emma Watson (left) had a creative idea for a version of Belle’s iconic evening gown that she wore in the live-action Beauty and the Beast

At the beginning of Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, we see the Prince in all his glory: powdered wig, embroidered waistcoat and coat, and heavily made-up face. Surrounded by courtiers in panniers and lace-trimmed sleeves, it’s pure 18th-century excess. Switch to a quiet village, where the style is simpler but the mood remains intact: there are lots of waistcoats, blouses and coats. When Belle walks out the door in a dressing shift with sleeves that are too tight and a blue dress with a tapered A-line skirt and a bodice with no visible hem or support, we know who she is. But her outdated dress raises the question: What is she doing here?

The princesses are such a popular subset of Disney’s cast of characters that they influence everything from the company’s film slate to entire sections of its theme parks. And perhaps no one in the new generation of princesses is as strong as Belle.

Disney Beauty And The Beast Belle Costume

In addition to being the only animated film nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, Beauty and the Beast also advanced to the hit franchise’s direct-to-video sequel and record-breaking remake this year; Disney World’s Magic Kingdom recently revealed its Beauty and the Beast land, with Tokyo Disneyland planning to build its own land. Demand about

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The experience was so high this spring that Disneyland’s Pinocchio restaurant was converted into the Red Rose Taverne.

Belle is the jewel in Disney’s crown, and her success is so important that even the costume design around her can’t get in her way, even if it doesn’t make sense for the setting or the character. . Belle’s iconic outfits – especially her simple blue day dress and her vibrant yellow evening gown – are a great fit for the brand; they are more confused for the story.

So far, Disney’s live-action versions have balanced aesthetics with the pure cultural drive of Disney princesses. The results are very diverse. In Maleficent, the younger Aurora has a medieval silhouette so different from the original that the comparison is intentionally useless. 2015’s Cinderella was steeped in Adrian-inspired fantasy Victoriana, bridging the gap between the animated film and the 1950s theatrical nature of the remake. Designer Sandy Powell was criticized for slimming Cinderella’s waist in her striking blue ballgown (all 270 yards long), but the outfits were luxurious enough to earn their recognition. Oscar nomination.

Costume designer Jacqueline Durran was more faithful to the look of the original animated version than any live-action princess film before her; Her outfit is curved in an 18th-century style that brings real-world details to the hints of animation.

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But Belle doesn’t look the part, and maybe she never really meant it. She’s designed from the top down like a princess, dressed more like a brand than a character – which gives her a vivid glimpse into the Disney nostalgia machine.

As a gothic romance with the flair of Jean Cocteau. Belle’s daytime outfits featured panniers, and her evening gowns spanned a potential period from the 1650s to the 1780s, including a precursor to the now iconic gold number . But then

One of Disney’s animation department’s efforts to turn around its business — achieving great success at the box office

Disney Beauty And The Beast Belle Costume

Overhauled: Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale were tapped to direct, Howard Ashman and Alan Menken were asked to adapt the film into a musical, and Belle became Disney’s next great hope for creating a second generation of indelible — and marketable — princesses.

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Andreas Deja’s original concept for Belle and the Beast. A story as old as time: The art and making of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

As the story changed, Belle’s initially conceived aesthetic transformed into one with clean lines, somewhat old-fashioned, distinct from previous princesses. Belle’s familiar blue dress is simpler than Aurora and Snow White’s peasant outfits, but the color also sets her apart from them – and from everyone else in her small town. The yellow ballgown she wore while dancing with the Beast has been stripped down to time, with scoops and necklines a century removed from the Rococo-inspired costumes. lake of the movie.

In the universe of the animated film, Belle’s outfit looks uncomfortable; despite the throwback to the 18th century setting, there are still enough silhouettes elsewhere that we can tell that her wardrobe has been pushed forward in time relative to everything around her. But in terms of character design, that dissonance hints at Belle’s forward-thinking approach to the unusual. And as brand markers, they work: whether she’s wearing a blue dress or an evening gown, it’s easy to spot Belle in a crowded Disney park.

Not that the parks have an easy time dressing her. Reconciling three-dimensional animation designs proved difficult, especially for Belle. Every Disney princess in the park is periodically refreshed, a concession to the Disney princess brand as a living being; each new parade is an excuse for a costume variation, and the occasional “special edition” refresh gives kids (and collectors) a whole new line of merchandise to buy.

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But some designs are more capable than others. Snow White is almost ready, but Belle has gone through at least half a dozen transformations. (Previous versions have been closer to the animated film; her current version looks a lot like the Scarlett O’Hara butter sculpture.)

The Broadway musical took a few cues from the original 18th-century concepts. Miguel Angel Huidor’s stage versions of Belle’s blue dress included a tapered bodice with ribbon trim, a wide-sleeved blouse, and long skirt; yellow evening gown with cape, a la française sleeves and panniers. Both have the look that’s recognizable as Disney’s Belle, but she’s also the Belle of her time.

(Her commitment to the 18th-century setting is so unequivocal that she even manages to sneak a caraco coat into Belle’s wardrobe for those chilly evening rescues. ) But on the other hand, Belle’s design doesn’t seem interested in being a part of the drama around her; it is first and foremost meant to evoke the Belle brand.

Disney Beauty And The Beast Belle Costume

There was certainly enormous pressure to live up to Disney’s biggest princess by coming up with something both recognizable and fresh, universal but especially Belle. It was also under pressure to create a princess that would appeal equally to both generations. (Cinderella’s live-action ball gown is intended for girls, while her wedding dress is marketed to brides.) It’s a level of self-awareness that leads to cynicism: “The dress Celebration” of Belle is so blatantly modern that it’s hard to imagine it being anything at all

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Blueprints for another limited edition wedding dress; Surely no one wearing it is trying to evoke the 1780s – least of all Belle.

But Disney now knows the conundrums of truthful entertainment, and Belle’s lack of discernible visual impact in the live-action film only means they were thinking of something beyond a striking costume. Belle’s appearance in live-action may be a victim of practicality: Contrasting the CGI Beast with some costume changes, Belle is a walking uncanny valley, and too much detail would increases the gap between real-world idiots and a computerized jacket.

But if the Disney parks had trouble creating a design for Belle in the real world, it would be nearly impossible for a faithful adaptation to satisfy the perfect storm of nostalgia that has become into the Belle brand without compromises on structure and movement. If a live-action costume is needed, how can a live-action costume be?

Movies, has a reputation for style. That interest led to creativity (and by implication creative control) over her wardrobe in

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. Her style signature is certainly recognizable in Belle: The “pink dress” at the Beast’s castle is made from sustainable materials.


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