*Where possible I have cited photo sources. If you recognize a photo that is unsourced please let me know the source so I can give credit!*
I’m starting a new cosplay project and it’s one that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now: design a holiday dress for Rapunzel. If you’ve ever watched or seen photos from the Disneyworld Christmas Parade you may have noticed that the princesses and princes get a little extra spruced up.
For example, here is Cinderella’s normal dress compared to her Christmas dress.
She’s got long sleeves, a collar, a tiara, and sparkles. Basically she is *fancy*. Same is true for Aurora and Snow white. They even get capes! (Christmas gowns in the middle, normal dresses on the outside for comparison)
In fact, all the princesses get fancified Christmas gear except Tiana and Rapunzel, but at least Tiana is wearing a ballgown to start with. We won’t even go into how Belle has her own Christmas movie and thus an amazing Christmas ballgown.
Now as far as I can tell, most of these fancified dresses are recycled from a show Disneyworld used to run in front of the castle called Cinderellabration. This show ran from 2005 to 2006, before Rapunzel or Tiana’s movies came out, thus why they don’t have dresses left over from it. If this were the only reason Rapunzel didn’t have a fun Christmas dress, I would be mollified. However, the other princesses get a lot of other variations on their dresses as well.
Belle is one example. Almost any time that Belle appears in a parade or show, she has some fun variation on her normal dress.
The same is true for the other princesses. Rapunzel has only two variations on her dress that I have been able to find.
The first is from the Soundsational parade in Disneyland, and it’s pretty but all they’ve really done is add some sparkles to the bodice and some pearls to the sleeves (although I love this hair design). The second is from Disneyland Paris and is… an odd choice. It’s not shown in the picture, but she wears this version of the dress with gold lame boots. Why.
So I’m taking matters into my own hands and designing my own version of a fancy Rapunzel dress. My first step was looking at different pictures of Rapunzel dolls that have been released. I wanted to see what kind of dress variations had already been approved for Rapunzel.
There are quite a few! The doll designers must have more freedom than the park designers because the designs for Rapunzel dolls are all over the place.
My first design idea was to just lengthen the sleeves and skirt of Rapunzel’s dress and make the dress into more of a ballgown. However, then I realized that using that design would essentially make the dress Barbie Rapunzel’s. Which isn’t what I was going for.
It was back to the drawing board. I was a little stumped until I came across this doll:
This dress was the perfect springboard for my design. I’m going to length the sleeves and the skirt of Rapunzel’s dress to mimic the design of the Christmas dresses for Cinderella and Snow White. The bodice will be made from a mauve velvet in our costume stash, and it will have a sweetheart neckline to mirror Rapunzel’s original dress. Taking inspiration from the doll, the neckline will have gold lace trim and there will be gold lace appliques on the front of the bodice. The puff sleeves will be fuller than Rapunzel’s normal sleeves and will be similar in construction to the style of Snow White’s Christmas sleeves.
Whew, that was long post, but hopefully it gives you an idea of the inspiration for this project and what my design idea is moving forward. Next step, fabric!