If Disney Princess Dresses Were Historically Accurate

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Claire Hummel, a HBO production designer, set herself the task of re-drawing disney princesses and one villain as historically accurate. A bit of a challenges considering some of the movies set themselves in a far out fantasy land with no clues to give it any historical context, (case in point: Rapunzel). Others she can deduce from the setting or the script and she redresses the inaccuracies by redressing the princesses.

See 12 of her historically corrected and updated princesses here and her explanation of how she’s done it.

 

1. Claire Hummel on Belle: ‘I can’t explain it, but reinterpreting Disney princess outfits through a more historically accurate lens really, really appeals to me. Beauty and the Beast has always hovered hesitantly in the late 18th century (especially in the earlier concept art), so I redid Belle’s gold dress to match 1770’s French court fashion.’

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2. Claire Hummel on Queen Elsa: ‘Oh Elsa. What are we going to do with you. Frozen is purportedly set in the 1830’s-40s, but I’ve been obsessed with finding a style that could marry her coronation gown with her ice gown more seamlessly: the open robes you see during the Regency era, including those being worn by Scandinavian royalty at the time, seemed a particularly apt analog for her… weird underarm-cape. Thing. You also see her mom wearing something very similar for something like ten years, so it’s not a huge stretch to think it could be a popular look in Arendelle. THAT’S MY EXCUSE’.

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3. Claire Hummel on Elsa, again: ‘I Initially designed this for her coronation but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to explore how that same silhouette might work with her ice gown as well. Someday, theoretically, I would love to do a more literally iced-up version of her gown, but I figured that alternate colour way would be a nice middle ground to strike’.

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4. Claire Hummel on Mulan: ‘I’ll be the first to admit that this piece isn’t tying Mulan down to a particular period, rather putting her in plausible historical textiles and hanfu. When I was asking around for references most of the stuff sent my way were from Chinese period films or other modern recreations, so I just threw up my hands and decided to have fun with it.’

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