Tuesday, 1 October 2019

"She flies through the streets of the town and breathes with her frosty breath upon the windows"

I have a long personal history with the original story of The Snow Queen, certainly long before Frozen stole my heart. It's been my favourite fairy tale since I was a little girl for no deep reason other than it's a good adventure tale, and I've collected various book editions and film adaptations of it throughout the years. I've always loved fairy tales, being an illustrator they give my work endless supply of inspiration, and I've always especially been fascinated with those by Hans Christian Andersen as well as Russian fairy tales.

As part of my Illustration foundation degree back in 2012 we had to write our own brief, and I chose to illustrate a full 32-page book of The Snow Queen which ended up taking me on quite an adventure of my own and involved travelling around the country to study some real life reindeer (as they're not abundant in the UK!). This was shortly before Frozen was released, and as I'd poured so much of my heart into this illustrated book of the original tale I admit I wasn't too keen on Frozen when it first came out. Despite being 'inspired by' Andersen's tale, it bares very little resemblance and it wasn't until about 2015 when I gave it a re-watch and I finally understood the hype. It's been my favourite Disney film ever since then and has come to mean a great deal to me, especially the character of Elsa as she was finally a fictional character I could relate to in absolutely every way, and having felt like an oddball my entire life that really mattered. I also really love Prince Hans who is very similar to Elsa in many ways - two sides of the same coin if you will. In fact all of the main characters are incredibly complex and relatable, which is no doubt a huge part of the film's success.

I've mentioned in a couple of entries already, but for the past few months I've been learning Danish. My reasons for doing so have nothing to do with The Snow Queen of course, that would be absurd, but it did make me realise that I'd be able to read my favourite fairytale in its original language. I'm always a little sceptical of book translations since being a fan of The Phantom of the Opera for so many years and knowing that whether you enjoy the novel by Gaston Leroux is entirely dependent on which translation you read - the most widely available is the de Mattos translation which is so highly abridged that it verges on not making sense. (And if you're wondering, read the Lowell Bair translation and thank me later)

I'm far from any fluency in Danish (yet! I am hopeful!) but it definitely makes reading The Snow Queen more fun - and the fact that I already know the story so well is helping me learn new words as I know the gist of what it's supposed to be saying. I've become really passionate about languages, and although I'm certainly no expert on the subject I do want to share more of my journey with it on my blog, and what methods I've found do and don't work. Let me know if that's a topic you'd be interested in reading about!

This is one of my Secret Honey dresses - I've written about Secret Honey before, they're a Japanese brand who make beautiful clothing licenced by Disney. Some of their clothes are every day inspired by, whilst they also create screen and park accurate cosplay costumes. I generally collect the everyday items, although this Anna dress verges slightly more into cosplay territory, especially when worn with the blouse. A while ago that would've bothered me; my self-confidence was at an all time low and I had the mindset of 'I can't wear that, it'll look like a costume, when would I wear it, etc, etc' and I don't know where these thoughts came from honestly. I used to go out in full sweet lolita coords, I grew up never giving a damn what small-minded strangers with nothing better to do thought of me, and I don't know why my self-confidence took such a hit, but collecting these dresses and wearing them regardless because I like them has been a huge part in rebuilding it. I do enjoy the challenge of dressing this down into more casual looks, and it's bunad style suits my aesthetic perfectly. Although Elsa is my favourite of the sisters, Anna definitely has the better wardrobe of the two! I've collected the full set of Frozen Secret Honey dresses, and can't wait to see what they release for Frozen II!

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