Jenny La Fleur
strange but speical - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming
jennylafleur
jennylafleur
strange but speical

One of my favorite fairytales and Disney films I'm really excited to be finally making a Belle costume!


I've been seriously thinking about it for months and decided that if I could find the right fabrics while in LA for CosCol I would make it in 2012. I was able to find some great supplies so a project was born!

Since then I’ve been waffling about what kind of Belle ball gown to make. There are so many fun options! There is classic Disney Belle, Broadway musical Belle, historically accurate Belle, designer doll Belle... really I could go on and on.

Originally I was going to go for a classic Belle, that iconic look I've loved since I was a little girl. *gets sentimental* However as I researched I was reminded of the stubborn fact that I dislike making straight reproductions. It's just not fun for me for whatever reason.

So I settled on doing a more historically accurate (than the Disney version) version. To be a recognizable Belle all I really need is an off the shoulder bodice, a full ruched skirt, long gloves and the right gold color, right?. So what era/style to choose? 17th century (the century I generally associate with the fairytale), 18th century (the century the story was first published and what Disney seems to be going for) or mid-19th century (Belle's dress is very 1850-60s in the film and that is where the Broadway version went)? The Disney design could arguably be inspired by/interpreted into any of those silhouettes. So I pondered.

I'm still pondering actually, waffling really between the 17th century (I'm not in the mood to wear pannier again anytime soon) and the mid-19th century (Victorian corsets are so comfy and princess!). Last week i was leaning more toward the 19th but now I'm really feeling the pull of the 17th. Last night demode posted this picture from the new Three Musketeers film. Maybe I'm crazy but I thought of Belle right away when I saw it. I'm now falling in love with the idea of a Belle costume along these lines. Not that it's much more historically accurate than Disney (do not get me started on the accuracy of this film!) but I'm really loving the idea of a more 17th century vibe.

Continues to ponder...

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Comments
countess_rosina From: countess_rosina Date: August 22nd, 2011 08:47 pm (UTC) (link)
I'm excited to read about this project! I can never manage to decide if Belle's dress is metallic gold or a golden yellow, but I LOVE the color you picked out!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 23rd, 2011 08:39 pm (UTC) (link)
I guess it could be either! Thanks - I really like it too!
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jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 23rd, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC) (link)
Yeah I want to take some ques from Dinsey but I'm leaning toward something a little differnt I think...
nuranar From: nuranar Date: August 22nd, 2011 09:15 pm (UTC) (link)
I *really* like the idea of 17th century Belle. I think it really fits the fairy tale well, and the color scheme and overall foofiness are both accurate and true to the feel of the film and show. I say do it!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 23rd, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC) (link)
That is what i was thinking - I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees it! :>
aimeekitty From: aimeekitty Date: August 22nd, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC) (link)
I think the metallic aspects of that muskateers gown is lovely!

I love belle too. I think you should go with whatever is most beautiful to you. :)

I might finally do my Belle gown next year too... I'm not going to go for a particular period, I just want to make a really pretty dress and do whatever details I feel like. :3 I've wanted to do it since I saw the movie, but I always put it off because its my dream costume. Maybe next year I'll finally do it. otherwise I might die before having done it. haha.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 23rd, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC) (link)
Yeah I'm thinking all the metalic lace i bought in LA for Ren faire frocks might get aquistioned for this costume instead! :>

I think making a Belle dress that is all about what you want is a great idea - I hope you get to make yours soon!
theladyrebecca From: theladyrebecca Date: August 22nd, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC) (link)
Have you seen the costumes from the Italian stage production?
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v323/reiseaudun/batb11.jpg
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 23rd, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC) (link)
I have and love it (I have in linked in this post somewhere) but I haven’t seen that image yet - thanks! stills from that production are harder to find than I would have thought...
bauhausfrau From: bauhausfrau Date: August 23rd, 2011 12:18 am (UTC) (link)
I think this is really lovely and I must say it does read as "Belle" to me!

One nice thing about doing a more historical version is there may be more opportunities to wear it. That said it's also a lot less recognizable...
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 23rd, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC) (link)
I'm so glad you see it - I'm not crazy! :>
s0mmer From: s0mmer Date: August 23rd, 2011 03:23 am (UTC) (link)
I agree with aimeekitty that the best silhouette on you should win. I really like the Musketeers gown, and gold is so pretty :) Can't wait to see what you decide!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 28th, 2011 02:11 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks for your impute!
olde_fashioned From: olde_fashioned Date: August 23rd, 2011 07:22 am (UTC) (link)
Okay, so since I remember when BatB came out (saw it I don't even know how many times), and it was my all-time favourite childhood movie, I HAVE to comment! ;D

I love the idea of a 17th century Belle, and as fond as I am of the 18th century, somehow an earlier setting suits the story better (IMO anyway). With all the castles and psuedo medieval feel to the plot, and also the relative rarity of 17th century vs. 18th or 19th, my vote is for the 17th century!

I can't wait to see how this dress turns out! ^-^
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 28th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC) (link)
Yeah I'm leaning toward 17th century for all those reasons... I'm really having a hard time coming up with reasons NOT to do it at this point. :>
viennabelle From: viennabelle Date: August 23rd, 2011 11:13 am (UTC) (link)
I think you are kind of on something here. The base story came out in the early 1800s (very cool--there was a salon of and educated French woman who collected folktales and entertained her friends), so the roots of Beauty & the Beast are in the 1700s. However, I wouldn't suggest a 1:1 copy of the 3 Musketeer dress, since the character is likely Milady, who was a very, very different character than Belle (of course, inspired is probably fine).
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 28th, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC) (link)
Oh I have no intention of a 1:1 copy, never fear. I don't like doing straight repros of anything - if I did I would just be making a classic Disney Belle dress!
fiofiorina From: fiofiorina Date: August 23rd, 2011 11:16 am (UTC) (link)
Indeed - that picture says "Belle" - very clearly :-)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 28th, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC) (link)
Yay - I'm glad you see it too! :>
my_stitching From: my_stitching Date: August 23rd, 2011 01:45 pm (UTC) (link)
17th century is awesome and would make a spectacular Belle dress.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: August 28th, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks! I'm thinking so too...
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