These Historically Accurate Disney Princesses Are STUNNING
Illustrator Claire Hummel recently posted this new version of Belle (pictured here) in honor of it being five years since she drew these historical Disney princesses. She writes,
"I have no idea how it's been this long — I feel like I drew some of these yesterday – but it seemed as good an opportunity as any to revisit Belle now that I'm five years older and wiser. And now that I'm way more into the 1780s/90s. I drew that original Belle on a whim, fueled by my sister's time working as a costumed interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, and assuming it would be a one-off piece. In the long run, despite all their now egregious flaws, I owe this series for some pretty cool jobs, meeting a ton of cool people, developing an unexpectedly voracious appetite for historical fashion, and eating a fair amount of humble pie along the way. Thanks to everyone who stuck with me over the past five years, and here's to way more historical fashion in the years to come I can't even put into words how lovely y'all've been."
Just like modern-day princess Kate Middleton, Belle, Ariel, Snow White, and other Disney princesses have made their own iconic fashion statements. Illustrator Claire Hummel wondered about the historical accuracy of these cartoon creations, so she decided to do some research and give each princess a makeover based on what she learned.
According to Claire, some princesses were easier than others. Of Snow White, she told Flavorwire, it "is pretty easy to pinpoint in 16th-century Germany. Not that the film is accurate, but the clues are there." Others were more challenging. Claire explained: "The Little Mermaid is hard to place from a time period standpoint — Grimsby's wearing a Georgian getup, Ariel's pink dress with the slashed sleeves subscribes to several eras from the Renaissance to the 1840s, Eric is . . . Eric. I went with Ariel's wedding dress as a starting point since those gigantic leg-o-mutton sleeves (so embarrassingly popular in '80s wedding fashion) were a great starting point for an 1890s evening gown."
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Artist Claire Hummel describes Elsa's outfit:
"Frozen is purportedly set in the 1830s-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 he weird underarm-cape thing. You also see her mom wearing something very similar for something like 10 years, so it's not a huge stretch to think it could be a popular look in Arendelle."
Although Prince Phillip says "this is the 14th century!" during the movie, all the other details reference the 1460s and later (including the 1950s, of course). Claire says she decided to draw a gown from around 1485 for Aurora.
Claire's gown for Cinderella is from the mid-1860s, which would complement the bustle-dress getups worn by the ugly stepsisters.
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Claire researched historical Middle Eastern clothing — including her "sirwal" (pants) — for Jasmine's makeover.
Claire updated Pocahontas to be "spunky age-appropriate Pocahontas/Matoaka" to be "closer to accounts and illustrations of Powhatan dress" from the 17th century.
For 1920s Tiana, Claire "based the dress on Lanvin's robes de style, which were — unlike the flapper dresses most people associate with the Jazz Age — fitted in the bodice with a wide, panniered skirt."
When designing Rapunzel from Tangled (which is in a fantasy time period/setting), Claire took some liberties. She notes, "I ended up going with the late Regency. There are a ton of gowns circa 1820 that have those inimitably princessy sleeves, and those palace guards aren't fooling anyone."
Mulan's setting is complicated due to "the original legend taking place in the Wei Dynasty, the Huns as an actual threat during the Western Han Dynasty, the Forbidden City of the Ming Dynasty, and the hanfu fashion setting it earlier." So instead of putting her in a specific period, she just used "plausible historical textiles and hanfu."