This "princess style" is absolutely fascinating. It is an extension and elaboration of the romanticism of the "new femininity," and a rare example of a fashion movement that is in tune with human nature, in harmony with essential female desires rather than opposed to them.
It is hardly surprising that Japanese women--like women everywhere--yearn to return to the more natural, aristocratic civilization of the past, to escape from the unnatural conditions of modern work-drudgery.
As the store clerk quoted in the article says of his customers, "The girls are 'perfect, gorgeous and feminine.'"
The only flaw in the article is its failure to acknowledge that the "princess" trend is, in fact, ideal
for plus-size figures; that it is tailor-made for lusciously curvaceous women, whose bodies are by definition more feminine than those of their underweight rivals, and therefore better suited to these soft looks, and to the pampered lifestyle that they betoken.
The article's descriptions of "princess girl" fashions comprise a recipe of ideal styling choices for well-fed goddesses:
"a frilly, rose-patterned dress, matching pink heels with a ribbon and a huge pink bow atop her long hair"
"pink and florals"
"a doll-like sense of beauty"
"tiaras, elbow-length gloves and stiletto-heeled slippers adorned with ribbons."
And although the article doesn't explicitly associate this trend with opulently-proportioned girls, the connection is inevitable, as this tidbit about one of the style's practitioner's indicates:
"she lists her favorite food (Godiva's heart-shaped chocolates)..."
It is easy to see why the storybook princess of the Western aristocratic tradition provides the inspiration for this trend. She is the ideal embodiment of femininity: breathtakingly beautiful, adorably spoiled, uncontrollably self-indulgent, sensually indolent, pampered, vain, yet secretly vulnerable and needy--craving constant praise and flattery, thriving on adoration. Her figure is soft and very well fed, free of unfeminine muscle "tone," shaped to perfection by the natural curves of soft fullness. She is the ultimate dream-girl, everything that any man could ever want, and her suitor could ask for no greater reward than to be able to lavish on her the constant worship that she requires.* * *
Fortunately, we happen to have an image to demonstrate how this new trend would look on a plus-size goddess.
Perhaps the most memorable promotions of 2008 involved Kelsey Olson showing off princess-like Hallowe'en costumes for Rubie's and for Torrid. When we posted about these Hallowe'en campaigns, we noted how easily the outfits could translate into actual wearable fashions, with just a slight adjustment of fabric, colour, etc.
Here is the result: Kelsey modelling a "princess girl" style for the online publication Inspire Magazine. This image is part of a Disney-tribute editorial, with Miss Olson representing Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. (Who better?) But as you can see, the wardrobe is pure "princess girl," conforming exactly to the descriptions in the WSJ article linked above, right down to the "supervolume hair" and even the highly appropriate tiara.
The dress is perfection itself--a harmonious blend of the traditional and the contemporary, in a fabric of natural pastel hues that looks like it came straight out of a museum, but cut in a seductive, skin-baring manner that suits the present day. The medallion is enchanting as well.
The finest accessories, however, are Kelsey's own figure features, from her sensually round, full arms, to her soft, fleshy shoulders. Her kissable lips are the hue of "luscious crimson fruit," to use the words of Kate Chopin. Her pose is languid and dream-like, with the model lingering in place expressly to allow viewers to drink their fill of her beauty.
Next to Shannon Marie, Miss Olson is the definitive embodiment of a fairy-tale princess, and the ideal choice to bring "princess girl" fashion to North America, where it should find a receptive audience among young, full-figured girls who are eager to recapture the true femininity that it represents.
- See the editorial of which the image is a part