Rival Cinderellas: A Run for Their Money

Every year, RunDisney hosts their Rival Run Weekend, pitting Disneyland California against DisneyWorld Florida (and, for the final time in 2021, Star Wars’ Light Side vs. Dark Side. We love a little friendly competition here at FashionEarsta, so we thought we’d set up a little (fashion) rivalry of our own:

Cinderella vs. Cinderella vs. Cinderella.

That’s right: it’s a fashionable battle of all the fancy forms of this OG Disney Darling (and my favorite princess)! Since her Disney debut in 1950, Cinderella has had three major feature film appearances, and each of them has a style all her own.

Each of these Cinderellas has their own special joie de vivre, magical moments, and–of course–ardent supporters! I can’t bear to pit their songs or stepmothers against each-other, but I can compare their fashion (and try to emulate each look with pieces from my own closet)!

So let’s see which Cinderella gives the other two a run for their money!

Classic Cinderella (from 1950’s Cinderella)

The one who started it all: Disney Studios’ take on Cinderella’s ball gown set the standard for how children would play dress-up for the next 70 years!

This Cinderella’s gown is inspired by victorian bustles, Eva Peron, and Christian Dior. Emanuele Lugli described this look’s parallels with the life and oeuvre of Dior in his fantastic 2011 article on Cinderella’s fashion, saying:

The “new look” was essentially a revival of the nineteenth-century hourglass figure: softly rounded shoulders, tight sleeves, a nipped-in waistline and a very, very wide skirt. It was a style that nicely matched Disney’s setting of the story in an indeterminate past.

Emanuele Lugli, “Tear That Dress Off: Cinderella (1950) and Disney’s Critique of Postwar Fashion”

So, what are the strengths and weaknesses of this classic Cinderella couture?

Shell blue color is easy to matchThis material wrinkles the second you look at it wrong
Opera gloves = germ protectionCan’t use touch ID to unlock your phone
The higher the hair the closer to god?Needs an entire can of hairspray
90s chokers are making a comeback2000s headbands are definitely not

Brandy’s Cinderella (from 1997’s Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella)

1997’s adaptation of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein Cinderella musical recently debuted on Disney+ and I couldn’t wait to revisit the best version of this story (fight me). Brandy shines as a more modern Cinderella, and she’s just one of an all-star cast!

This film’s ball gown is clearly indebted to the 1950 dress for its silhouette. But it did get a totally 1990s update, which I honestly think is inspired by the most 90s thing ever: glittery blue eyeshadow.

Both the bodice and skirt of this Cinderella’s gown have a sequined overlay and extra crystal embellishments, which, along with the blue color palette, perhaps dates this dress more than the 1950s’ more “timeless” version.

Wrinkle-proof skirtMaterial looks like it would stick to your skin
1000% more sparklesProbably weighs 50 lbs
Skirt is easier to run inJingles when you walk?
Less padding in the hip areaCan no longer play bumper cars with other party guests

Corset Cinderella (from 2015 Cinderella)

Lily James’ Cinderella from the 2015 live-action remake is soft-spoken and resplendent in an absolutely enormous ball gown!

Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell designed this dress without a specific time period in mind – according to Powell it was “set all over the 19th century and sort of vaguely 18th century. ‘Once upon a time period’ I call it.”

This dress was massive! According to its designer:

There were 217 meters of fabric and four miles of thread in just the hem. We made eight versions. One dress took 20 people 500 man-hours to create. It’s the finest, finest fabric. And it moves like smoke – or ink in water. I wanted the top layer to have an iridescence, so it’s covered in about 10,000 tiny Swarovski crystals… Of course, it’s made beautifully but it’s a feat of structural engineering.

Sandy Powell, “Costume designer Sandy Powell adds sparkle to ‘Cinderella’ with Swarovski’s help”

Of course, we do need to mention how Lily James called the act of wearing the dress “torture” and had to go on an all-soup diet to fit into the tiny corset.

Layers of iridescent fabric looks like a watercolor! 12 layers of fabric = sauna
10,000 Swarovski crystals makes you stand out in any crowdCan’t go into sunlight without blinding someone
Gives you a tiny waistHave to go on a liquid diet to fit into the corset
DECOLLETAGE!Took the actress 45 minutes to put the gown on

So… which gown wins in your book?

Want to try these looks but don’t have the budget for Dior (or even Dior-inspired) couture? Fear not: we have a DIY look inspired by each of these dresses!

Classic Cinderella

This park-casual DisneyBound features the colors and imagery of the 1950 film without all the fabric!

Brandy’s Cinderella

I put together this running outfit for RunDisney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2021, but its extra-sparkly skirt paired with race-day bling is an homage to the 1997 gown (best paired with blue eyeshadow)

Corset Cinderella

It’s not as comfortable as the other outfits, but ideal for floating down staircases and spinning in circles, like Lily James in the 2015 live-action remake!

Well, that’s my take on the Great Cinderella Gown Rivalry! Which one wins?!? Let me know here, on Instagram and Facebook (@fashionearsta) and our brand new YouTube channel! Be sure to follow us so that you’re always in the loop and can follow along with our adventures!

Bonus gown: the 2013 Broadway Revival’s magically-transforming gown!

Pixie dust and glamour!

The Fancy Floridian


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