Mary Jane Fashion
Mary Jane Fashion looks at some of the most fashionable fairies depicted in film
Ever since the birth of storytelling, magical and mystical beings have featured prominently. Many are benevolent, helping the main characters in their battles against injustice whereas others take delight in being bad for the sake of being bad, used as a narrative to tool to frighten and scare children.
In film, there have been many depictions of fairies and witches who fall into both of these categories. It is a very visual medi um, relying on what we see and perceive in the worlds created to tell us stories and, as a result, directors opt for fabulous costume designs and makeup for their depictions of fairies. They have become iconic fashion stars in their own right, prompting numerous copies and cementing themselves in cinema history as some of the most sartorially fabulous beings. If we could pick only three, these would be our fairy favourites (if only we had magical powers too…)
Glinda the Good Witch, The Wizard of Oz, 1939
Glinda the Good Witch was immortalised in the 1939 film adaptation of Frank L. Baum’s novel The Wizard of Oz by Billie Burke. As a witch, she’s not exactly a fairy but nothing quite spells magical, fairytale being than Glinda. As her name suggests, she is a force for good and happiness, travelling everywhere in (what else?) a bubble, setting Dorothy on her way down the Yellow Brick Road to find the Wizard, rescuing Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion from the deadly poppy field and, most famously, helping Dorothy to find her way back home to Kansas by telling her to click her slippers together at the heels. In a huge full-skirted pastel pink dress, a tall silver crown and a long wand, Glinda is the quintessential fairy, who has sparked young children’s desire for sparkles and magic for over 75 years.
Tinkerbell, Peter Pan, 1953
Mischievous and feisty, Tinkerbell is a small pixie with a big attitude. Over the course of the film, she becomes jealous of Peter Pan’s friendship with Wendy, tries to kill her and then leads Captain Hook and the rest of the pirates to Peter Pan’s hiding place. This is even more impressive given that she doesn’t speak at all throughout the film, intimating her thoughts and feelings through her actions and through twinkly sound effects. Tinkerbell is easily recognisable with her chic topknot, her tiny waisted strapless green dress (shop similar styles at Mary Jane Fashion) and pretty wings, and become an instant hit with audiences, and was used by Disney in many of its publicity and advertising campaigns. Urban legend dictates that Tinkerbell’s design and figure was modelled on Marilyn Monroe who had become a huge star across the world at the time. However, Tinkerbell was actually modelled on Margaret Kerry who posed for reference shots on a soundstage so that the famous pixie could be animated.
Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent, 1959 and 2014
Maleficent is a fairy not invited to the christening of the baby princess Aurora and, as we soon find out, is not happy about it. The word ‘maleficent’ derives from the Latin ‘maleficus’ meaning harmful or evil in intent or effect. There is no doubt that with a name with evil literally built into its meaning that this fairy is not looking for peace and harmony. And yet, there is something very sartorially inspiring about her, with her manicured nails, popping lips, chic, all-black streamline cloak and cheekbones to die for. In the 2014 re-imagining of Maleficent’s story starring Angelina Jolie, which gave us a different insight into the fairy’s background, the makeup team used prosthetics inspired by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way music videos to create those famous cheekbones, and had her wear plenty of high collared black cloaks and gowns like the animation. As a result, wickedness aside, Maleficent has inspired many to don a similarly fierce and powerful look.