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Disney debuts its princess brides

<p>So many brides say they want to look like a princess on their wedding day — and now we’re about to find out if they really mean it.</p>




stephen chernin/associated press


A model walks the runway showing Kirstie Kelly for Disney’s Fall Fairy Tale Weddings dresses in New York City. Walt Disney Co. has teamed with bridal designer Kirstie Kelly to create a collection of gowns inspired by favourite Disney princess characters. The dress shown above was inspired by the character Belle from Beauty And The Beast.





So many brides say they want to look like a princess on their wedding day — and now we’re about to find out if they really mean it.


The Walt Disney Co. has teamed with bridal designer Kirstie Kelly to create a collection of gowns inspired by the favourite Disney princess characters, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Belle from Beauty And The Beast and Jasmine from Aladdin.


But Kelly is quick to point out that “inspired by” doesn’t mean gowns that look like they came from the animated movies, which have been translated many times over into dress-up costumes for little girls. Instead, the designs attempt to channel the personality of each princess in terms suitable for a real-life, modern woman.


“We wanted women to feel like they had something in common with these princesses. We had to identify who the princesses are now and who does the everyday girl relate to,” Kelly said during a telephone interview prior to the gowns’ runway debut Sunday during Bridal Fashion Week in Manhattan.





stephen chernin/associated press


The dress shown above was inspired by the character Cinderella.





A mood and fashion sensibility was assigned to each princess-themed gown: Cinderella is for the classic glamour bride; Sleeping Beauty is about pretty romance; Snow White is sweet elegance; Ariel is sultry allure; Belle is stylish sophistication; and Jasmine is bohemian chic.


“It actually touches on every type of wedding,” explained Kelly, who also has her own bridal couture label. “For the destination wedding, there’s Ariel or Jasmine, but if you’re having 500 people in a ballroom, you’re definitely the Cinderella gown.”


When she got married several years ago, she would have gone for the Cinderella look, Kelly said, although now she would lean toward the slimmer shape, such as the Jasmine gown.


Andy Mooney, chairman of Disney Consumer Products Worldwide, said when the company began developing the marketing concept of the princesses six or seven years ago, the company discovered the demographic wasn’t limited to the two-to eight-year-olds Disney was expecting. “We’ve been blown away how strong the demand is for princess thematic things in almost every stage of a woman’s life,” he said.


Adult women buy into a sort of lifestyle role play, he explained. As a brand, Disney has a built-in reputation for quality and trust, Mooney added, so it doesn’t start from scratch when it enters categories such as cruise travel, better furniture or wedding gowns.





stephen chernin/associated press


The dress shown here was inspired by Snow White.





The decision to go into the bridal market was largely made because of that princess dream so many brides talk about, Mooney said. “Every bride wants to be Cinderella, but she also wants to be classic, feminine and beautiful. Kirstie has allowed a woman to enter the princess fantasy, but in a way that’s absolutely appropriate for the event.”


Plus, 1,500 couples do say “I do” at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida each year.





stephen chernin/associated press


The dress shown here was inspired by the character Jasmine from Alladin.





The gowns will be sold at bridal salons. Kelly said Disney identified a void in the mid-tier level of gowns for brides who want to spend between $1,100-$3,400 US. Women often start their gown shopping with the idea that they want to be different from everyone else, but they change their tune once they start trying on dresses.


“Looking like Cinderella is probably something they never considered before they got engaged, but then the traditional side almost always comes out. It’s hard to resist romance and sparkle,” Kelly said.



 
 
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