Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fairy Tales

In case you have been hiding under a rock lately, let me tell you that fairy tales are a pretty big trend right now.  ABC has Once Upon a Time, NBC has Grimm.  Paramount is releasing Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, a horror movie set to take place 15 years after the gingerbread house incident.  Universal Studios is releasing Snow White and the Huntsmen, starring Charlize Theron as the evil queen and Kristen Stewart as Snow.  Meanwhile, Relativity Media will be releasing their own updated version of Snow White entitled Mirror Mirror.  This one stars Julia Roberts as the evil queen, Lily Collins as Snow White, and Sean Bean (from HBO's Game of Thrones) as Snow's father.  Warner Brothers will be distributing Jack the Giant Killer, which has some great actors attached to it like Bill Nighy and Ewan McGregor.  Sean Bean is also going to be in Pan, a very different take on J.M. Barrie's beloved Peter Pan.  The cast for this one sounds fantastic too, and it will be interesting to see how well this adaptation does.
There are more movies set to be made and/or released after 2013, and some of them look/sound like they could be pretty amazing.  It's interesting how these classic stories have endured over the ages and through different cultures.  Some might argue that the television and movie studios are doing these classics an injustice by re-imagining them, but I think they are just following in the steps of storytellers throughout history, re-purposing them and retelling them to fit a specific audience.  The classics should be remembered as classics, but one of the things that makes them classic is that they endure, and sometimes change is required for this.
Plus, the look of these re-imagined fairy tales can border on the spectacular.  In today's age, with today's types of popular film, we don't always see the fantastical wardrobes and sets that can be used (and are even expected) in films of a fairy tale nature.  I love the dark feeling that these stories often have.  They can be scary, and even nightmarish (as many of the old fairy tales often were), but still seem safe. 

wedding dress trend of 2011- romantic fairytale dress

gorgeous photographic print by paper artist, Elly MacKay
Designer Jill Stewart said of her Spring 2012 collection, "I wanted it to look like a dream, a fantasy, a fairytale."

Jill Stewart's Spring collection 2012
is more cotton candy fairytale than dark,
 ethereal inspired fairytale

Veteran fashion journalist Camilla Morton has also been bit by the fairytale bug; she is writing memoirs of famous fashion designers and intertwining their lives with well known fairy tales.  Her first memoir mingled Christian Lacroix with the story of Sleeping Beauty (Christian Lacroix and the Tale of Sleeping Beauty: A Fashion Fairy Tale Memoir)Her second piece is entitled Manolo Blahnik and the Tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker.  The designers themselves provide the illustrations for their memoirs. 
Manolo Blahnik

Christian Lacroix

Over at Bullet magazine, photographer Fiona Quinn did a fairy tale inspired photo shoot, inspired by the darker elements found in the stories.

photos by Fiona Quinn
for Bullet magazine

On his blog, Life As Good, our friend Ryan is doing a series of canvas pieces called Monster Ballads.  One of my favorites is the Goblin Pony, which was inspired by the French fairytale of the same name.  Ryan turned me on to a collection of fairy tales by Andrew Lang that was published in the late 1800s to the early 1900s, with each book in the series given a different color.  The tale of the Goblin Pony is found in the Grey Fairy Book

The Goblin Pony, available for purchase
I love that fairy tales are having a more pronounced moment right now; they are so ingrained in our culture, and I like the fact that they are being recognized as rich material for children and adults to enjoy.


  1. Great post. You've captured the trend wonderfully.

    Thanks for mentioning Goblin Pony, and Enjoy the Andrew Lang addiction. Some of my fondest memories were finding all of them with my grandmother (back then, we had to hunt used bookstores all over).

    Thank you.


  2. Thanks for letting me post it, Ryan. I know I keep saying it over and over, but I love that series! I would love to start hunting down the Andrew Lang series too; I like having something new to try to find.



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