Y Magazine

Fairytale Fashion

Everyone needs an escape to a fantasy world once in a while – and these fashion pieces will help you do just that, says Penny Fray



My name is Penny Fray and I’m addicted to sparkle. And when I say addicted, I mean that my cleaner is threatening to resign over the amount of sequins she has to hoover up. But in a drab world of “normcore” neutrals, grey sweaters and taupe tunics that only look good on Scandinavian models, fairytale dressing is a reminder that there is a world beyond bland. A pair of sparkling pumps, for instance, are truly magical things in that they transcend the notion of accessories being fit for purpose. They are gloriously decadent, as are bejewelled crowns, velvet capes and tapestry bags. And yippee, because it seems designers such as Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana agree – weaving a spellbinding story with couture-like creations, from Erdem’s warrior maidens to Dolce & Gabbana’s forest-dwelling heroines.

Of course, Little Red Riding Hood should be your main inspiration because scarlet dresses are so this season – as are snoods and capes. If red isn’t your colour, how about trying something dark and embroidered? My choice would be Alexander McQueen’s black cutout gown, embroidered with whimsical crimson beaded poppies. Beautiful. Thankfully, you don’t have to have a royal budget to look like a princess because Muscat’s malls are full of pretty lace dresses and heavily embellished gowns. Alternatively, dress up your trusty LBD with a bejewelled necklace or pair of pearl-encrusted pumps. The whole idea of this trend is to remember that time when you were little and felt like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz in your glittering Mary Janes. All you needed to do was tap your heels together to be transported to a magical kingdom. Now that’s the kind of emotion this season should evoke – an innocent belief that anything’s possible.

Keys were a major theme of Dolce & Gabbana’s autumn runway. Topped with an ornate crown and flower, these gold-plated brass earrings are heavily embellished with dark green and white Swarovski crystals. Sweep back your hair to keep them on full display. From RO410

The “Elizabeth I & Her People” exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery inspired Simone Rocha for autumn. Contrasting heavy and light fabrics, this striking red dress is cut from sheer tulle with a checked brushed wool-embroidered overlay. The crochet-knit collar and a layered petticoat add structure and volume. RO1,077 from Net-a-Porter

For a cheaper version of the little red dress, try this embellished number from e-tailer Simply Be. From RO25

Master modern elegance this season with gothic-style gloves from H&M. From RO19

Even devotees to minimalism need an occasional dress-up moment, and the chicest way to live out your fairytale fantasy is via a whimsical headband. If designer crowns are a little too regal for your fashion needs, try these sparkling kitty ears from Accessorize. From RO4

Jimmy Choo’s pointed leather flats are embellished with silver sequins and covered with black flocking for a fantasy feel. Finished with a velvet bow, this slip-on pair will stylishly take you from desk to dinner. From RO230

Brothers grimm get up:

  1. If you’re not into sequins, this is the one time we’ll sanction woodland animal motifs for the over 30s. If it’s good enough for Dolce & Gabbana
  2. Look for a cardigan or light coat with a large hood. We understand scarlet capes aren’t for everyone.
  3. Swap a crown for a bejewelled headband for a little daytime dazzle.

Little Red Riding Hood

Red is the season’s most seductive shade and was spotted on the runways of Valentino, Simone Rocha and Dolce & Gabbana. Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren (pictured) and Yve Saint Laurent’s haute take on Little Red Riding Hood are the stuff of fashion fairytales.