Welcome everybody to the first installment of my new ‘Once upon a time’ series. I uploaded a sneak peek of this shoot over on my Instagram stories a couple of weeks back and got such a huge response from you all trying to guess who I was. Well the majority of you got it right and I’m so excited and happy to finally share the finished product with you…
“With a dreamy, far-off look
And her nose stuck in a book
What a puzzle to the rest of us is Belle.”
Disney’s Beauty and The Beast holds such a special place in my heart. It’s not only my mums favourite film but it was the first West End musical I ever saw in London. Even as a child, although I was petrified of the Beast (I used to have to hide when he steps out of the shadows at the beginning) I always loved Belle! Something about her character resonated with me, she was a bit quirky and different, not quite fitting in with the others around her and full of dreams to escape the small village she’d grown up in. So when originally having the idea for this series, there was no doubt that Belle would be the first. I didn’t want to do fancy dress however, I wanted more Belle circa 2018 and to use clothes from the highstreet to bring my vision to life. This outfit is all asos (bar the shoes and hair bow) and I was thrilled by how it emulated the original costume so well. The shape of the dress was perfect and still gave that ‘village girl’ vibe, adding denim for that all important modern twist. For the blouse underneath I knew I wanted white, again so it stayed within the realms of the original but also adding a nice contrast to the slightly darker background. I scoured the internet and finally came across this little number from Neon Rose via asos. The selling point was the broderie balloon sleeves which I felt added a little touch of ‘Disney Princess.’
“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere
I want it more than I can tell
And for once it might be grand to have someone understand
I want so much more than they’ve got planned.”
For the location, I had originally seen a picture of Daunt Books Marylebone on Instagram and just knew I had to shoot something there. You could say that Daunt books actually inspired this entire series. I was brainstorming potential themes and outfits that would work well with the bookshop as a backdrop when I suddenly thought of Belle and well, that was that. I went ahead and told Zoe (my fabulous photographer) she sounded just as excited about the idea as I was and so it was on! I visited the bookshop a couple of days prior to get a sense of the place and to scout out different angles and shots we could potentially get, the staff there were lovely and were fine with us taking pictures etc. When I first walked in, it was just like that moment in the film were Belle walks into the Beasts libary. An original Edwardian bookshop with long oak galleries and graceful skylights lighting each section, it felt like I had been transported back in time. Book wise, there was literally every genre and topic you could imagine, shelves upon shelves all stacked one on top of the other, fairytales, travel, history, It was mesmerising! If you ever find yourself in Marylebone it’s definitely worth a visit for sure, even if you don’t go on to buy anything, it’s such a special place and has reading areas for you to lose yourself in a book whenever you have an hour or two to spare.
“If he could learn to love another, and earn her love in return by the time the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken. If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time. As the years passed, he fell into despair, and lost all hope, for who could ever learn to love a beast?”
Photography – Zoe Griffin
I’m so proud of how this shoot turned out, big love to Zoe who always goes along with my crazy ideas and smashes it everytime! From the original thought and concept to seeing it here, live and edited for you guys to read – I’m so happy! A few weeks back I was feeling very uninspired by the blog and felt like I was just writing for writing sake with no real passion behind it. This post and this new series has changed that. I have so many ideas and have already got another shoot booked in for Friday… any guesses who I’ll be doing next? A clue: It’s a character I’ve been obsessed with since I was a little girl, I have SO much merchandise from the film in my room back home in Grimsby and I even played the character on stage once when I was 10. Needless to say I can’t wait to share the next one with you and keep this series going. I would love for you guys to let me know who you’d like to see me re-create in the comments below or over on Instagram – @littlemisswinney. I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I have creating it, I realise it’s a tad different from my usual posts but I have honestly loved putting it together so much. I hope you’ll stick around to see what I do next. Becoming Belle, even just for a few hours was magical and I sincerly hope I’ve done the character justice.
“It’s a pity and a sin
She doesn’t quite fit in
‘Cause she really is a funny girl
A beauty but a funny girl
She really is a funny girl
As always, a big thank you to each and every one of you. You guys are the reason I keep on keeping on so please, if you’ve enjoyed this and want to see more let me know in the comments! I love hearing from you because it’s easy to feel like I’m just writing for myself sometimes so hearing your thoughts and feedback always puts a big smile on my face. I hope you all have the best week and if you’re in the UK at the moment, enjoy this glorious weather we’re having! I’ll be back with another post very soon but as always you can keep up with my day to day adventures over on the gram. Big love and enjoy the week ahead!