For those in New York This Spring, a Special Look at Fairy Tale Fashion

Fairy Tale Fashion is a unique and imaginative exhibition that examines fairy tales through the lens of high fashion.  In versions of numerous fairy tales by authors such as Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, and Hans Christian Andersen, it is evident that dress is often used to symbolize a character’s transformation, vanity, power, or privilege.  The importance of Cinderella’s glass slippers is widely known, for example, yet these shoes represent only a fraction of the many threferences to clothing in fairy tales.

Organized by associate curator Colleen Hill, Fairy Tale Fashion features more than 80 objects placed within dramatic, fantasy-like settings designed by architect Kim Ackert.  Since fairy tales are not often set in a specific time period, Fairy Tale Fashion includes garments and accessories dating from the 18th century to the present.  There is a particular emphasis on extraordinary 21st-century fashions by designers such as Thom Browne, Dolce and Gabbana, Tom Ford, Giles, Mary Katrantzou, Marchesa, Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Prada, Rodarte, and Walter Van Beirendonck, among others.

Thus says the announcement from The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology for their current display on “Fairy Tale Fashion” through April 16, as brought to my attention via ENCHANTED CONVERSATION:  A FAIRY TALE MAGAZINE, which adds that “[p]acked with clothes and accessories both traditional and at the cutting edge outre fashion, this exhibition looks worth taking in.”  Or as they also say, “Fairy tales inform virtually every aspect of art and culture.”  So it still comes under the aegis of fantasy (light or dark), right?

Should you be in New York City this spring, the place to look is on 7th Avenue at 27th Street, in the Special Exhibitions Gallery.  Or for those who can’t make the event — or those who can! — more information can be found here.


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Jim! Some truly breathtaking fashions for various fairy tales. I think I loved the Little Mermaid and The Snow Queen best, but hard to pick! You?

  2. Yes, I especially liked the Snow Queen too! (Though I thought the ones for Red Riding Hood, especially the one to the right, were ugly.) I also liked both the gowns, the Little Mermaid and the Swan Maiden.

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