Friday, March 13, 2015
by Jacob Elspas, Staff Blogger
A few weeks back "The Dress" was one of the most viral trends of all time to hit the internet. The nation was divided: Some saw it as white and gold, while others claimed profusely that it was blue and black. Finally it's revealed that the dress is, in fact, blue and black. It seems almost ironic that not long after, another blue dress would be shown to the public. One that I believe will cause as much hype, if not more, as the aforementioned dress. I'm talking, of course, about the new "The Dress" as worn by actress Lily James in the title role in Disney's Cinderella which was released in theaters today.
Before screening Cinderella at Disney Studios in Burbank that I attended with my mom AKA MommyBlogExpert ahead of the nationwide release, I honestly did not have high hopes for this movie. I already knew the original fairytale, and I was really just interested in seeing what they would do differently in the live action redo of the animated version. But after watching the film, the one thing that captivated me most of all was the dress that Cinderella wears to the ball, which coincidentally is definitely blue.
Here's a sneak peek at the movie
I'd venture to say that there are few other movie costumes that involve more effort and attention to detail than this dress which serves as the centerpiece and backdrop for the entire plot completing Cinderella's kind and gentle persona to perfection. Designed by Sandy Powell (costume designer for Shakespeare in Love, The Aviator and others), the ultimate dress was created with more than 270 yards of fine fabrics, more than 3 miles of hems, a built-out crinoline cage, numerous petticoats, 10,000 Swarovski crystals and the finest of other details including understated sparkling butterfiles adorning the neckline. The end result of using a variety of shades of blue creates a watery lilac blue silohoutte intended to appear as a watercolor painting.
Powell designed and engineered Cinderella's ballroom dress to create a sense of floating above the floor, thus conveying lightness and simplicity. In fact, though tiny crystals are sprinkled throughout her blonde hair, Cinderella does not wear jewels or a crown at the ball to make her stand out from the crowd in the purest of simplicity. In the end the dress sets the tone accessorizing the woman who wears it, ultimately winning the Prince's heart through honesty and goodness.
While there are many scenes involving the elegant gown, one of the greatest (in terms of animation) is when the fairy godmother makes the dress for Cinderella. Later, after she arrives in the golden coach that magically transformed from a pumpkin, we see the jaw dropping reaction of the whole kingdom when Cinderella walks into the ball. Everyone stops in their tracks, ceases talking, and just gazes. This too was my reaction when I first saw her dress, and I am certain that it will be yours as well when you go to see Cinderella.
As a side note, the camera angles in the ballroom scene, as well as in the forest when the Cinderella first meets the Prince on horseback, were extraordinarily powerful and beautiful. How the cameras circle the actors and pan the scenery and sets behind them -- thanks to superior motion tracking -- the directing and cinematography was all very well done.
On the way home, we happened to drive past one of the many billboards I've noticed around Los Angeles promoting this new motion picture. It got me thinking some more. To observe how the dress moves as Cinderella goes in and out of the carriage and up and down the palace stairs. As the lovely lady dances with the Prince in the ball room and sneaks away with him from the party to ride on the swing in the palace secret garden.
The billboards, print ads and still photos you've been seeing online for weeks now, simply don't do this one-of-a-kind dress justice. You must go to watch this film simply just to see this dress, to experience it's beauty with your own eyes which is a mirror reflection of the unique inner beauty that only Cinderella can possess.
FTC Disclosure: Disney provided all images that appear in this post as well as invited MommyBlogExpert to Walt Disney Studios for a screening of this movie prior to release to facilitate this review. No payment or other compensation was received in connection with this post and opinions here are my own. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's home page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.