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Disney Princesses Redesigned With Historically Accurate Outfits

Sometimes, when I look back on old Disney movies, I can’t help but notice how historically incorrect some of the facts are. It can be a bit annoying too, if you’re a nerd.

So we’ve found a few art pieces designed by Claire Hummel which illustrate how Disney princesses would look if they had historically accurate outfits.

 

#1 Megara, from Hercules.

Artist: Claire Hummel

Comments from Claire:

“So fantastically simple to research, just put her in a simple doric chiton and spent most of my time researching fabric colours and patterns to see what I could get away with. It kinda looks like she killed Hercules and took his helmet? I’m okay with that.”

#2 Ariel, from The Little Mermaid.

Artist: Claire Hummel

Comments from Claire:

“The Little Mermaid is hard to place from a time period standpoint- Grimsby’s wearing a Georgian getup, Ariel’s pink dress with the slashed sleeves subscribes to several eras from the Renaissance to the 1840’s, Eric is… Eric.

I went with Ariel’s wedding dress as a starting point since those gigantic leg-o-mutton sleeves (so embarrassingly popular in eighties wedding fashion) were a great starting point for an 1890’s evening gown. It’s also not unfeasible that Eric’s cropped tailcoat could be from the same era, so I’m sticking with my choice. PLUS Ariel with Gibson girl hair? COME ON IT IS AWESOME.

I’m still not sure if I’d try to squeeze her pink dress in the same time period or if I’d just throw up my hands and draw it with a hoop skirt, but we’ll see.”

 

#3 Tiana, from The Princess and The Frog.

Artist: Claire Hummel

Comments from Claire:

“Most of the dresses in Princess and the Frog do have some historical basis (lots of dropped waists and slinky chemises), so I thought it would be fun to tackle Tiana’s magic-kiss-swamp-frog-something gown during the climax of the film. It’s the one dress that’s clearly meant to just be a standalone “princess” dress, but I liked the idea of a challenge and decided to drag it kicking and screaming back into the 20’s.

I based the dress on Lanvin’s robes de style, which were- unlike the flapper dresses most people associate with the Jazz Age- fitted in the bodice with a wide, panniered skirt. The robe de style was considered a relatively conservative dress choice so you probably wouldn’t have seen a hem hiked up this high, but COME ON HOW OFTEN DO I GET TO DRAW THEIR LEGS. Not often enough, I’ll tell you that.”

 

 

#4 Rapunzel, from Tangled.

Artist: Claire Hummel

Comments from Claire:

“I adore Tangled for many reasons, but historical accuracy isn’t one of them. It’s actually the first Disney film that feels entirely set in its own fantasy world, with no real ties to any particular time period or setting- unless you count that ever-forgiving time period of ‘Ren Faire’.

I drew up concepts for both the 16th century (the slashed sleeves) and 18th (Keane’s initial inspiration), but in the interest of choosing a time period I hadn’t touched yet I ended up going with the late Regency. There are a ton of gowns circa 1820 that have those inimitably princessy sleeves, and those palace guards aren’t fooling anyone.”

 

#5 Maid Marion, from Robin Hood.

Artist: Claire Hummel

Comments from Claire:

“A lot of people have been asking about Maid Marian, so I figured I might as well give her a shot- a bit tougher when you’re looking at clothing on anthropomorphic animals, of course, but there are still a couple of details that point to the 15th century- the cut of the dress, the ears disguised as a horned hennin headdress, the bag sleeves, etc. I still tried to maintain the relatively simple silhouette of Marian’s dress, just with added period details- making it more of a houppelande by design, and resolving the v-shaped neckline to show the kirtle underneath.

Also really wanted to hide some foxglove motifs in the lining of the gown- it’s subtle, but I think it really ties the whole design together.”

#6 Maleficent, from Sleeping Beauty.

 

Artist: Claire Hummel

Comments from Claire:

“I’ve wanted Maleficent to be the first villain in the series for a while now, ever since I made the mental leap between Maleficent’s horns and 15th century horned hennins. The time period works out pretty well, actually, since I wanted her to look a little more dated than Aurora’s 1480’s getup- both houppelandes and horned hennins were all the rage during the early- to mid-1400’s, and they make for pretty good analogues to her official costuming. Sexy stuff.”

 

#7 Elsa, from Frozen.

Artist: Claire Hummel

Comments from Claire:

“Frozen is purportedly set in the 1830’s-40’s, but I’ve been obsessed with finding a style that could marry her coronation gown with her ice gown more seamlessly; the open robes you see during the Regency era, including those being worn by Scandinavian royalty at the time, seemed a particularly apt analog for her… weird underarm-cape. Thing. You also see her mom wearing something very similar for something like ten years, so it’s not a huge stretch to think it could be a popular look in Arendelle. THAT’S MY EXCUSE.

I initially designed this for her coronation, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to explore how that same silhouette might work with her ice gown as well. Someday, theoretically, I would love to do a more literally iced-up version of her gown, but I figured the alternate colour way would be a nice middle ground to strike.”

 

#8 Jasmine, from Aladdin

Artist: Claire Hummel

Comments from Claire:

“Let’s be frank- Aladdin is hardly an exercise in historical accuracy. Combine that with Claire knowing veeeery little about historical* Middle Eastern clothing before starting on Jasmine, and you’ve got yourself a few days of research before digging into this thing.

It took some effort to track down some midriff-baring outfits but BY GEORGE I DID, thank you Persian fashion plates. I now know what sirwal are called (besides Hammer pants), and that Persian women wore some pretty sweet little jackets that I wish I owned.

OH ALSO I DREW A KITTY”

 

 #9 Pocahontas.

Artist: Claire Hummel

Comments from Claire:

“Oh, Pocahontas. Really not one of my favourite Disney films, but it posed an interesting challenge. Note that this is the Disney character, not the historical figure, so while I tried to make the outfit accurate to 17th century Powhatan clothing (yes, one-shouldered dresses and split skirts existed, YE GADS) she is, most definitely, not a 12-year-old. It’s my happy middle ground when drawing a historical version of an inaccurate portrayal of a historical person. That’s a mouthful.

My one big cheat on this was her necklace- the shell necklace should in theory be a deep purple (turquoise is a much more Southwestern commodity), but you lose so much of the Pocahontas visual identity without the splash of teal around her neck.

…And not the belabor the point, but she learns English by way of MAGIC? Come on, Disney, even Tarzan had the sense to do a heavy-handed language montage.”

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