Faery has become its own sub-culture, like goth or hippy – and in fact it blends well with these two styles. Faeries and fairytales never seem to go out of fashion, and these days the faery scene is busier than ever, with faery balls and festivals, faery magazines and fairytale inspired films and TV all doing what they can to muscle in on the mundane. Faery festivals are great places for children to soak up the magic, and adults get to enjoy grown up face-painting and monumental dressing-up when attending faery balls. But why are we so fascinated by faeries?
Maybe it’s because they offer a chance to get away from all that is humdrum, probably on some dark and dangerous adventure. For there is also a dark side to the faery kingdom –those characters who trick, curse or cast their way to their hearts’ desires. Somehow, there is something just as compelling about these dark creatures as their lighter counterparts. Faeries are gender-fluid, which makes them pretty appealing to us modern folk, as less and less of us feel we should look, dress or act in line with old-fashioned gender norms. The other reason faeries are so popular is their natural origin. We’re beginning to understand the importance of our connection to mother earth, and faery wisdom can help us strengthen that bond.
So, just in case you’re headed to a faery ball or you simply don’t want to miss out on the fun of fae, here’s our guide to faery fashion.
First, pick your fae. Woodland pixie, elf, sprite, brownie or dryad? There are so many faeries to choose from when picking a look. For festivals, pixie is best. It’s a great look for layering – waistcoats, hoodies, pixie belts and even pixie skirts and vest tops work well, especially in leafy shapes. Go colourful with stripy tights and wrist-warmers, pixie hoods and plenty of sparkle. Really, glitter (faery dust) is your friend on these occasions. Complete the look with bright feather earrings. Have a look at Amy Brown’s faery art to get you started.
But what about full-on faery glamour? How to channel Titania and Oberon at your next faery ball?
American series Once Upon a Time, now into its sixth season (available on Netflix) is brilliant watching for inspiration. The costumes are superb – from Disney-esque ball gowns to skin-tight leather trousers and corsets.
Another firm favourite is 1986 fantasy adventure, Labyrinth. The film is a mix of Jim Henson’s puppetry, faery artist Brian Froud’s magical creatures and realms, and David Bowie’s inspired music and legendary trousers! Big hair and voluminous white shirts are the order of the day for Labyrinth-inspired looks. Try the simple addition of ribbons in your hair to channel Sarah at the masquerade ball. Or, for goblin king glam, a brocade jacket (look for a vintage or charity shop option) and a white shirt is ideal. Turn the collar up high and see if you can borrow some riding boots.
The fae way is fun, glamorous and mysterious. There’s something so entrancing about the familiar characters and tales, and we love the villains as much as the heroes. So the next time you’re thinking of dressing up for something really special, ask yourself: ‘what would Jareth do?’