Beauty and the Beast: Battle of the Outfits. In collaboration scarielsgrotto.
June 21, 2017
I was very excited about this post because not only is it a collaboration but, If like me, you are an avid disney fan, then you will know the 1991 Disney animated edition of Beauty and the Beast got a major makeover and in march this year the live Disney film was released. What has interested me over the years in regard to adaptations, is how they compare the outfits to make them recognisable, and do these outfits compare to what would have been worn at the time.
In Disney films, there are iconic symbols that we all remember. In Beauty and the Beast, this so happens to be that yellow dress. I guarantee after watching, every child wanted Belle's beautiful ball gown. So it came as no surprise when the 2017 version came out that the issue of the yellow dress arose and people wanted to see it.
In the time of when Beauty and the Beast was written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740, women were very restricted in what they wore. In the 2017 beauty and the beast, Belle's yellow dress, does seem more relaxed than even the animated version. Below is a portrait from the mid-18th century that could serve as inspiration for Belle's gown at the time. Dresses intricately embroidered with gold cloth was the height of fashion.
In comparison this is Belle's dress in the 2017 film edition.
In my opinion you can definitely see the resemblance. The fine gold detailing is reminiscent of actual French dress, and the shape also resembles each other. The neckline of both dresses are similar and the way the bodice is tighter but flares out into skirts has a likeness. One difference is the actual colour, Belle's dress is more yellow, whereas the french dress is very literally golden. I think both are beautiful in their own rights, it is nice to see the resemblance of what could serve as inspiration.
Not only did the women wear delicate and intricate outfits but the men did as well. The Prince (Dan Stevens) wears classic brocade and hose both as the Beast and in human form. The men wear jackets and stockings and the outfits are very close to not only the 1991 animated version but also again actual french dress.
The stockings combined with the shoes and the silk detailing on the cuffs and dress jacket are traditional of french aristocracy. Dan Stevens in the 2017 version of Beauty and the Beast wears very similar clothing. I think to some extent the Prince's outfit resembles more closely the french menswear than Belle's dress in the 2017 adaptation.
The fine detailing and the rich light blue colour demonstrate the Prince's superiority as a member of a very well-to-do family. Even the way the Prince's hair is styled is matched closely to the traditional french way. All the little details such as the cravat are also accurate. To some degree the Prince's outfit is more intricate than Belle's!
Finally, we have Gaston. Gaston resembles a more middle-class approach to Beauty and the Beast. We have the Beast who is aristocracy and Belle who's family seems to be poor. I guess you could say Gaston represents the 'every man'. In the 1991 version Gaston is infamous for his red and yellow attire.
Not only have the production stuck to the 1991 version, but Gaston is wearing the shorter trousers and boots resplendent of someone in France at the time who wasn't quite aristocracy but a soldier. The ruffle of the collar and the yellow detailing are what soldiers did wear. Combined with Gaston's sword-wielding skills, he looks very similar to a french solider. The yellow and red detailing below match quite closely.
As you can see, today's was a lot different than usual. Nevertheless is was so interesting and lovely to do a collaboration about something I love! Who said I didn't know anything about fashion?, even if it is 18th-Century French attire. This post is in collaboration with Amy over at https://scarielsgrotto.com Amy has written an amazing piece of research about french dress but comparing it to the 1991 edition of Beauty and the Beast! Definitely go check it out!