Courtesy of Alfred Angelo
When Alfred Angelo designer Michael Shettel first got the news that he would be designing a collection for Disney, he immediately picked up the phone. "I called my eight-year-old niece," he says. "We went over the seven Disney princesses the collection would be based on—Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, Tiana, Jasmine, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty—and she gave me her point of view on each one. I got some really interesting ideas from her!"
To create the collection, Michael avoided designing "costume-y" dresses that resembled too closely what the princesses wore in their films. Instead, he chose to focus on iconic symbols or memories the princesses evoked. "For me, Cinderella is all about the glass slipper," says Michael. "I created a crystal-encrusted ballgown with lots of sparkle tulle that twinkles in a way that's as radiant as the glass slipper.
In designing the Jasmine gown, Michael was inspired by the "glistening sand dunes" in the film Aladdin, creating a soft, sultry gown in a shimmer satin. And for Snow White, the iconic apple was translated into an apple blossom motif on the bodice.
"One of my favorites is Belle," Michael says. "She was such a unique princess--a real individual, so I created a gown that invoked her character and the luxuriousness of the grand ballroom where she dances with the Beast." The gown features a satin bodice, gold embroidery, a gossamer shrug, and layers and layers of draped tulle on the skirt. Another favorite is Sleeping Beauty (shown above), which Michael calls "a real showstopper."
The gowns range from $599 to $1199. "We wanted to make sure that the collection didn't break the bank," says Michael. And while the first collection will feature only bridal gowns, bridesmaid and flower girl dresses are in the works. The Disney Fairy Tale Weddings by Alfred Angelo collection will be sold at all Alfred Angelo signature stores and partner retailers in early 2011. —Kim Forrest
See more dresses by Alfred Angelo in our wedding dresses photo gallery.