As school broke up for the Easter holidays I changed the girls out of their uniforms and whisked them off to the cinema for a full immersion in the film Cinderella by Disney only this time played with real actors.
Cinderella, the animated Disney film, has long been a favourite of ours, we adore Gus the mouse, we get angry with the ugly sisters and very much dislike the evil stepmother. We know the words and songs by heart and the story is engraved on our hearts forever, just as a true fairytale should be.
The latest Cinderella film directed by Kenneth Brannagh is utterly spellbinding from the very start. Set in a kingdom not too far away the beautiful child Ella is adored by her parents. Her mother sadly dies when she Ella is still a child but not before leaving her with the most important message,
Where there is kindness, there is goodness… and where there is goodness there is magic.
Her dad decides to remarry and Lady Tremaine, the evil stepmother and her two daughters, Anastasia and Drisella become Ella’s new family.
When her father passes away Lady Tremaine and her daughters show their true colours and rename Ella ‘Cinderella’ giving her a very tough time but true to the fairy tale, Cinderella remains a sweet hardworking girl looking after the house and home, cooking, cleaning and mending. Fuelled by her mother’s words, Have Courage and Be Kind.
Helena Bonham Carter plays the best Fairy Godmother, the carriage is stunning and the film is peppered with humour all the way through alongside the innocence and humble lifestyle of Cinderella.
The film really stands out for the excellent costumes and over the Easter break the girls and I met up with one of their school friends and mum and we all went up to the Swarovski exhibition in London’s Leicester Square for a closer look at the costumes and props used in the film.
The film’s costume designer is the Academy Award Winner Sandy Powell who allows you to walk through and follow her creative process from the initial designs to the final creations. The spectacular ball gown took my breath away and the glass slipper was enchanting.
The solid crystal slipper features 221 facets in a crystal blue aurora borealis coating, impossible to not fall in love with it. Six versions were required to create the perfect shoe and 150 hours of design time went into the making.
Swarovski provided over 1.7 million cut stones to embellish the costumes of the ball gown, the Fairy Godmother’s dress and her magic wand, and the Wicked Stepmother’s glamorous arrival outfit.
Swarovski opened it’s archives and lent over 150 tiaras and jewellery pieces for the famous ball scene.
Creating a live action version of the classic fairytale gave me the freedom to channel fantasy and that ‘Once upon a time’ feel through all of the costumes. It really was a costume designer’s dream job. — Sandy Powell