While there is certainly no shortage of movie-merchandise tie-ins pegged to Disney's upcoming live-action version of "Cinderella," due out March 13 (think fairy godmother wands and Bluetooth speakers shaped like pumpkin carriages), let's be honest: This is one fairy tale that's all about the footwear.
Modern Americans who grew up with the tale may not know that it doesn't always include a glass slipper. Different versions of the story describe different kinds of slippers (such as "Aschenputtel" by the Brothers Grimm, which features a pair of gold shoes). It's Charles Perrault's 1697 version that gave us the now familiar glass slipper that helps the prince reunite with Cinderella.
Some suggest that the oddity of a glass shoe stems from a mistranslation in which pantoufle de vair (fur slipper) became pantoufle de verre (glass slipper), but most Cinder-scholars have dismissed that as a straight-up urban legend.
The upcoming film doesn't mess with tradition; costume designer Sandy Powell reportedly had Swarovski make the glass slipper that appears on the big screen.
So it makes perfect sense that Disney Consumer Products reached out to some of the biggest luxury shoe brands in the business to create ball-worthy footwear confections inspired by the glass slipper of the Cinderella story. The results include such different interpretations as a pair of midnight-blue, high-heeled glitter sandals by Jerome C. Rousseau (suggested retail price $795) and glittering stilettos with a blossom of thumb-sized crystals at the toe ($4,595) designed by Jimmy Choo's creative director Sandra Choi. (If we're not mistaken, a pair of the latter could be seen gracing the feet of "Cinderella" star Lily James at the film's recent Berlin premiere.)
In between those two extremes are offerings from Charlotte Olympia, Stuart Weitzman, Paul Andrew, Alexandre Birman, Salvatore Ferragamo, Nicholas Kirkwood and René Caovilla. While many of the shoes have transparent panels or crystals that evoke the notion of a glass slipper (see the accompanying gallery for more detailed photographs of each shoe), none seems to actually be made of glass. (And yes, it is possible -- the Q by Pasquale folks made wearable pairs out of Murano glass back in 2010.
The shoes will be be available at Saks Fifth Avenue department stores in New York City and Beverly Hills sometime this month as well as in some of the designers' own stores.
The big question is no longer whether the fantastical footwear will fit your foot -- it's whether they shoes will fit your budget.
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