Belle’s Ballgown

On the day of a very important event aka the US presidential election, we’re going to talk about something less terrifying, like clothes. Specifically, the costumes revealed recently for Disney’s upcoming Beauty and the Beast remake.

At first I was not on board with this whole remake train, but then I saw 2015’s Cinderella, which I absolutely adored. So I’m cautiously optimistic about Beauty and the Beast, a little concerned that they are planning to include the songs, but still hopeful that it will be good.

BUT I will say I am disappointed in what we’re seen of Belle’s new ballgown. You know the one. Beautiful golden ballgown, off the shoulder sleeves, big skirt with fancy gloves that you probably really wanted as a kid and still want.

And here’s the version from the live action movie:


Now, admittedly it’s not a great photo of the dress. But it shows enough to see that this dress seems… kind of plain.

For comparison in the Cinderella movie we got this mega gorgeous gown. It’s not the exact same as the animated movie, but it hints at it and is very opulent. When we saw this dress it was a WOW moment.

Cinderella’s dress is fantastical while taking inspiration from history, unlike Belle’s which looks like a modern prom dress. From Beauty and the Beast costume designer Jacqueline Durran: “In Emma’s reinterpretation, Belle is an active princess. She did not want a dress that was corseted or that would impede her in any way.”

Ignoring the fact that corsets were not always used to shrink a woman’s waist and in many eras they were just kind of like bras, I’m disappointed that for Emma Watson to consider her Belle a “feminist”, Belle couldn’t wear anything that”would impede her in any way”. Someone can be a feminist princess AND like dressing up in big ballgowns. Those aren’t mutually exclusive. /rant

For comparison, to show what the dress could have been, here’s what Belle wears at Disneyworld:

Belle 7/22/15

This is a great interpretation of the dress. It looks rich and princess-y. And if you aren’t a fan of this iteration, Disney has adapted it A LOT. If Belle is in a parade or in a show often Disney makes it EVEN FANCIER. (Note: most of the photos below should be linked to where I found them, but if you see your photo and want credit/ want it removed, let me know!)

What it to be more gold, less yellow? And have tassels and a tiara? Disney’s got you.

Want it to be lighter and fluffier with lots of roses?

Belle has a new dress!:

Or maybe you want something a little richer in color for the holiday season:

A Christmas Fantasy - Disneyland princess belle #MagicalMemoriesbyMaddy:

Maybe you want Belle to be shiny, SO SHINY:

Okay, maybe still gold but a little less shiny:


Maybe you want Belle’s dress to have sort of weird, hard sculptural elements:


Maybe you want it more theatre-y, like Broadway style. For anyone wondering, THIS is in the vein of what I was expecting from the movie version.

Or maybe you don’t even want Disney, you want something entirely new. Enter stage right, from the 2014 Belle et la Bete. It’s totally different from the Disney version, but so amazing. The fabric! The details! Swoon worthy.

Or maybe you want something fan made. I won’t even go into all the amazing cosplays there are (because there are so many), but I’ll highlight this amazing one by Davidfordisney, because it makes me feel like I’ve grown cartoon heart eyes. Go to his instagram to see more detailed shots of the bodice because that thing is covered in pearls and other details.

So in the whole wide world of options, you might understand why I’m a little disappointed by this.


Maybe it’s just a promotional photo. Maybe in the movie her hair is more done and she’s wearing gloves, and it all looks fancier. Fingers crossed, because I want to love it.

So if you want to know how I’m ignoring the real worry that is this election, it’s by worrying over movie costumes.

Stay magical readers!

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One thought on “Belle’s Ballgown

  1. I really like the peacock blue dress – perhaps because it is my favorite color. Long gloves
    are an elegant touch. The dress with roses is nice too.

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