A Cinderella Masterpiece Monday

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There have been quite a few live-action Disney remakes made in the past couple years, and there is only going to be more in the future. To be honest, I have mixed feelings on these films, but I can’t deny that they do make an effort to really acknowledge the  films that came before them. This piece of concept art from the 1950 version of Cinderella sort of proves that.

This concept art is from sometime in the 1940s, and though I don’t know the artist for sure, judging by the style it is possibly by Bianca Majolie. Majolie did much of the early work of designing Cinderella’s ballgown in her watercolour paintings. Although the film was meant to be set in a fairy tale land sometime in the 19th century, contemporary 1940s and 1950s fashions played as much of a role in designing Cinderella’s ballgown as 19th century fashion did, if not more. This is made clear by this concept art. Cinderella’s hair is a classic 1940s style, especially with the curled up bangs that almost resemble victory rolls. The off the shoulder neckline of her dress is also a classic feature of late 1940s formal gowns. Even her make-up is straight from the period, with boldly arched eyebrows and bright lips. Though this was not Cinderella’s final design, the influence of contemporary fashion on her wardrobe remains apparent in the final film.

Anyone who has seen the recent live action version of Cinderella will know that this costume design and hairstyle look remarkably similar to the ones used in that film. The costume designer for that film, Sandy Powell, clearly kept the older animated film in mind when she was designing the costumes. While I have no proof that she looked at this particular piece of old concept art when she was designing, or any old concept art, it wouldn’t surprise me. I do know that she looked more towards both 1940s and 1950s designs and 19th century designs for inspiration in order to pay homage to the 1950 version of the film. In doing so she managed to land upon a design that is remarkably similar to this piece of concept art actually drawn in the 1950s.

So thanks to this piece of concept art , you now have a little better idea of how some of the recent live action remakes make an effort to pay homage to the original animated films. Let us hope this continues in the future.

Image Credit: Cinderella Platinum Edition DVD

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