By Andrea Petrou on November 26th, 2009
Lauren Bravo writes: There’s something about girls who like Disney.
I mean, those girls who REALLY like Disney. Sure, we can all succumb to the charms of Prince Eric when relationships with three-dimensional men become too much effort, and who hasn’t sought the wisdom of Timone and Pumba in a moment of crisis? But for some, it goes beyond mere nostalgia. Those girls are different.
You know the kind – novelty Barbie duvet cover, boyfriend who calls them “baby”, ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ as their email address. They’re the giggly girls. They skip through life down a yellow brick road made of sunshine and lined with fluffy pink cats. They’re the girls who get drunk on Bacardi Breezers and sing A Whole New World on the back of the N20 bus (instead of Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell, like normal people). It’s as though all those hours of fawning over Ariel and Jasmine have left each one with the mistaken belief that they are, in their own special way, underneath the layers of denim and standard-issue Dorothy Perkins, actually a princess.
Yes, we all know those girls. And as the hierarchy of style mavericks goes, they’re usually bringing up the rear along with hen parties and Blue Peter presenters. But no longer. After years at the bottom of the Woolworths bargain bin, the cartoon heroines are leaping off the dvd shelf and onto the catwalk. That’s right, this season – if a bluebird hasn’t whispered it in your ear already – fashion is going a bit Disney.
Exhibit A: the Bold Shoulder. You’d have to have been asleep for 100 years (or four months) not to have noticed that shoulders are really big right now. It’s tradition, each season, for a different body area to get an extreme volume injection – last time it was platforms, the year before it was hips, and now all emphasis is on the shoulders. They’re embellished, they’re pointed, they’re padded and puffed into the realms of sheer fairytale. And where have we seen them before? Why, Disney of course! From Snow White’s colourful puffs to her wicked stepmother’s angular power padding, there’s a shoulder for everyone in the archives.
Exhibit B: Who’s the furriest of them all? Everyone knows that baddies have more fun. They also dress better, which is why the high street is currently a parade of wicked witch attire – sequins, velvet, jet black, petrol blue, leather, hoods and, best of all, fur. As Cruella DeVille knew, nothing says badass like draping yourself in something animalistic. But whether it’s a furry collar, jacket or full-length nod to Narnia, with so many fantastic fakes in the shops there’s no need to be skinning any Dalmatians this time round.
Exhibit C: Minnie to the max. This one has been sneaking up on us all year, as though the fashion council have been laying down an edam trail down Oxford Street (more likely than them eating it, a cynical soul might suggest). The oversized bows were hijacked by Lady Gaga for a while, but now that polka dots are back on the menu too, fashion is reclaiming the look of Walt’s original It Girl, Minnie Mouse. ShinyStyle brought you a Minnie-inspired collection last week, while German Vogue transformed Chanel Iman into a high fashion version of everyone’s favourite rodent. But here’s a challenge, Disney darlings – spots and bows are easy enough, but if you can carry off the white gloves and ears without straying into Gaga territory, I salute you.
So there we have it. For sumptuous styles and cartoonish proportions this winter, look no further than Disney for some inspiration. But before you let rip with the magic wand, I would like to add the following disclaimer: no matter how big your sleeves get, how full your petticoats or how perky your polka dots, please don’t become one of ‘those’ girls. Remember, it’s not real life. It’s just fashion.
(And draw the line at glass slippers.)