With a story arc so familiar it's spawned sports jargon (who doesn't instantly know how a "Cinderella story" turns out?), a rags-to-billowing-ball-gown makeover and one extremely crucial lost shoe, Disney's live-action version of "Cinderella," which hit theaters Friday, is a fairy-tale film tailor-made for fashion moments. On screen, that task fell to three-time Academy Award-winning costume designer Sandy Powell and her team, but beyond the multiplex — on the movie-merchandise front — it has involved cobblers, jewelers, dressmakers and designers from far and wide.
The result seems to be a Cinder-something for everybody — and every room — in the castle. In addition to lots of clothes, jewelry and cosmetics options, there's prince-appropriate bedding, bejeweled ear buds, perfume sprays, big-headed vinyl figurines, butterfly-festooned latte mugs, crystal candelabras and even a set of Cinderella and Prince Charming magnetic salt and pepper shakers (thank you, Hot Topic, our lives are now complete). Even within the apparel and accessories category there's a lot to choose from, including model Coco Rocha's debut clothing line, an exclusive-to-Kohl's LC Lauren Conrad collection and graphic T-shirts and dresses from Mighty Fine that are screen-printed with "Every Girl Needs a Fairy Godmother."
Here are just some of the "Cinderella" merchandise tie-ins that piqued our interest.
The eight-piece Atelier Swarovski by Sandy Powell Tremaine Collection is a collaborative twofer. First, as a collaboration between the film's costume designer and the crystal house that furnished some 1.7 million crystals for the costumes (not to mention the slippers cut from solid crystal), it has the closest authentic connection. Second, the pieces, inspired by the costumes of Lady Tremaine (played by Cate Blanchett), don't scream "Cinderella" in a pumpkin coach kind of way. Instead, the collection, which includes rings, necklaces and earrings, has a leaf motif in an antique gold finish and features geometric, baguette-cut Swarovski crystals in emerald and gold topaz hues. Prices range from $299 to $1,690 and are available through select Swarovski boutiques and independent retailers and online at http://www.atelierswarovski.com.
The butterfly, long a symbol of metamorphosis, appears in several key scenes in the new movie and is a motif on Cinderella's blue ball gown, so it's not surprising a flutter of butterflies alight on all kinds of movie merchandise too — from the aforementioned latte mugs to black and blue Hot Topic infinity scarves to silver-plated necklaces by LA Rocks. The butterfly can be found printed on sleeveless tops, peplum skirts and embellishing biker-style jackets from Modern Princess by Coco Rocha, and printed on scarves and maxi dresses from Eureka by Christos Garkinos (both collections are available exclusively via HSN).
The Hot Topic Cinderella Fashion Collection filters the fairy tale through a goth-meets-steampunk lens and is worth perusing for the humor value alone. (Is it wrong that we're secretly hoping the Prince Charming in this version turns out to be the goth teen "Gor-don" from the Sprint commercials?) Key offerings here include a peasant print dress that falls to mid-thigh and a high-waisted skirt with flocked clock and carriage graphics.
A Disney Editions book titled "A Wish Your Heart Makes: From the Grimm Brothers' Aschenputtel to Disney's Cinderella" by Charles Solomon may sound self-serving — and it is. But it's also a near-encyclopedic and richly illustrated primer on the fairy tale that stretches from the first century B.C. (with the story of a Greek slave girl named Rhodopis who marries an Egyptian pharaoh) all the way to the current Kenneth Branagh-directed live-action film, with stops at Charles Perrault's 1697 "Histoires ou contes du temps passé" (Stories or Fables of Times Past) and Disney's own 1950 full-length animated movie in between. Among the interesting pieces of Cinder-trivia in the book: The 1950 film was launched with a serious merchandising effort too — including a home-improvement campaign, a cottage cheese promotional push (seriously) and a J.C. Penney "make your own Walt Disney's Cinderella apron" kit.
Proof that while the products themselves may change, there's nothing novel about the studio's latest efforts to leverage the iconic Disney princess.