Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mostly Disney and a Little Bit of History...

Aggghhhh...the WEST WING! 
So, this weekend I'm headed to Walt Disney World for the Princess Half-Marathon and to totally geek out on the new Fantasyland...and yes, I will most likely cry when I sit down to eat at the Be Our Guest restaurant. Oh, and by the way feel free to text me encouraging words as I huff and puff my way through 13.1 miles...just go here to track my progress or lack thereof and cheer me to the finish line. Now, what does my upcoming trip have to do with historical fashions...or really any kind of history at all...well, not much.  I really can't justify this post except that I'm rrrreally anxious to be on my way to the "Happy Place" right now!  So if you're looking for some serious history...keep moving cause you won't find it in this installment, but serious scholarship (wink, wink) will return at the regular scheduled time next blog post.  We all know that in Disney films, historical accuracy in regards to fashion...and pretty much everything else is...well, just a fantasyland.  Case in point...every Disney princess...

And of course, the history presented in the park is as white-washed as Tom Sawyer's fence, but if you take some time to interact with park characters (like the citizens of Main Street U.S.A.) you might be surprised at the fun details in their costumes and the artistry that goes into matching a character's personality with the proper ensemble.  In the meantime, you'll have great fun chatting with them and looking beyond the polyester, zippers and Velcro to the imagineering skills reflected in those outrageous dresses and hats. Yes, the costumes are theatrical...and of course not historically accurate...but, gosh-darn-it they are fun!
Frances Fermata - Main Street matchmaker and Miss Hildegard Olivia Harding - socialite and suffragette
Photo by Tonya Staggs
Victoria Trumpetto in orange and reds and an unknown citizen of Main Street U.S.A
Photo by Tonya Staggs

An unknown citizen captivated by my "fancy" camera
Photo by Tonya Staggs
Miss DaPointe showing off her fashionable ensemble!
Photo by Tonya Staggs
Miss DaPointe with a budding fashionista deconstructing her look!
Photo by Tonya Staggs

Now I ask...what lover of historical fashion wouldn't want to indulge in those hats, those feathers, those stripes! And because I couldn't leave you without at least an itty-bitty history nerd fest...just take a look at the dresses below, they are extant examples from the MET collection that reminded me of the Main Street USA ladies. Of course, I'm not suggesting you trade in your historically accurate, painstakingly rendered creations for a Disney costume...but, maybe let a little fun and whimsy creep ever-so-slightly into your next project.  
1885-88, American, cotton & silk - MET

ca.1885 - Walking Dress - House of Worth (French) - MET
1886 American, silk - MET
1884, wedding dress, silk, American - MET
1891-93, American - MET
1878, Madame Dellac (American) - MET

1898, American,  silk dress - MET
1893, American - MET
1880-85, Darlingtion, Runk & Co. (American) - MET
1882-83, American -MET
ca.1905, American, silk - MET
1900-1905, American - MET
1902-1903, American - MET

Guess that's enough about historical dresses and totally unrelated Disney stuff since I better quit blogging and get to packing my bags!  All aboard for Disney World...woo-hoo!

Magic Kingdom - Photo by Tonya Staggs
Disney fashionistas Cruella DeVille and Edna Mode (played by my Mom)
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  1. It's not hard to see why Disney enchants you! Have a wonderful time.

  2. I am soooo Jealous about Fantasyland!!! Good luck!

  3. I want one of those, and one of those and one of those, and 2 of those!

  4. Such beautiful photos! And thanks for posting the pics of the wonderful original dresses. Glad you are having fun!

  5. Thanks for the encouragement everyone! I think maybe someday if this blogging thing sticks with me I might do a Disney blog...something for nerds like me that like to act as though we're perpetually 13 years old. As for the original dresses in this post Lynn and Lute...I want them all too! A friend of mine gave me a book, The Edwardian Modiste and now I have fallen in love with a period and style that I used to dislike. :)