Cinderella by Disney: the costumes

Cinderella exhibition

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 maid dress

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.

cinderella - lady tremaine

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.

cinderella pumpkin

Her dad decides to remarry and Lady Tremaine, the evil stepmother and her two daughters, Anastasia and Drisella become Ella’s new family.

cinderella step sisters

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.

Cinderella fairy godmother

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.

Cinderella Carriage

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.

Cinderella costumes exhibition

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.

cinderella ball gown

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.

cinderella glass slipper

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.

cinderella Sandy Powell

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


  1. April 25, 2015 / 10:48 AM

    Oh my, you’ve brought my childhood memories flooding back to me. Exquisite costumes with such attention to detail. Your girls must have been in heaven.

  2. April 25, 2015 / 11:33 AM

    Oh my goodness! I wish I was in the UK RIGHT NOW so I could take Miss S to see this!

    She’s only 2.5 but she’d love it! We’ve not gotten to Cinderella yet, the animated or the new one, but it’s such a big part of my childhood, I can’t wait to share it with her.

    Great photographs, I’m now desperate to go and see it for myself!

  3. April 25, 2015 / 6:02 PM

    Wow the shoe is amazing! Such a nice experience for the children to be able to see the costumes in real life – adds a another level to the story and film experience!

  4. April 25, 2015 / 6:27 PM

    I can just imagine how much your girlies LOVED that exhibition! Looks wonderful! :) x

  5. April 26, 2015 / 8:48 AM

    How fun to see the costumes so close and in person. Even my teens and tweens want to see Cinderella!

  6. April 26, 2015 / 12:04 PM

    Oh my goodness, what incredible attention to detail with those costumes! I’m not sure that I’ll be able to persuade my son to go and see this, but I might have to sneak off and watch it myself when he’s at school – I imagine Helena Bonham Carter would be perfect in that role!

  7. April 26, 2015 / 12:49 PM

    What a wonderful exhibition. I saw the programme last week when one of our kids at school went and I’m very jealous, it looks amazing!

  8. April 26, 2015 / 9:38 PM

    Oh wow wow wow! How amazing to see all those costumes up close. The work that must have gone not them all. Wow!

  9. April 27, 2015 / 6:55 AM

    We loved the movie too! Well me and Kara as we were the ones who went to the cinema to see it…Would love to visit when we are in london in june. i hope it will still be there.

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