Elsa, the Snow Queen, has become one of the most beloved characters in modern-day fairy tales. Her story captivated audiences in the Disney animated film, Frozen, and has continued to inspire young girls all over the world. The character of Elsa is powerful, both in her magical abilities and her unwavering strength of character. Her costume, too, is an essential part of her character, designed to reflect her journey from a shy and insecure princess to a confident and powerful queen.
Frozen debuted in 2013, and Elsa’s Ice Queen costume immediately became a fan favorite. Designed by Brittney Lee, the costume’s striking blue hue and intricate designs were inspired by the traditional Scandinavian rosemaling technique. Lee drew upon the beauty of ice and snow to create an elegant, yet powerful look for Elsa. Her dress was long and flowing, with a train that shimmered and sparkled as she moved. The bodice was adorned with a snowflake design that was both beautiful and intricate.
The design of dress
The dress itself was designed to be both practical and functional. Elsa needed a costume that would allow her to move freely, as well as one that would protect her from the harsh winter weather. The long sleeves and high collar kept her warm, while the flowing skirt allowed her to move gracefully across the frozen landscape. The dress was also designed to be easy to animate, with each layer of fabric and embellishment carefully considered to ensure that it would move seamlessly on screen.
But Elsa’s costume was more than just a beautiful dress. It was a reflection of her character’s journey from fear and isolation to acceptance and love. Elsa’s Ice Queen costume was designed to be a symbol of her power and strength, as well as her vulnerability and humanity. Lee wanted to create a costume that would convey Elsa’s emotional journey, from a young girl struggling to control her powers to a confident and powerful queen.
Change of dress
One of the most significant changes to Elsa’s costume came in Frozen 2, released in 2019. The new film saw Elsa journeying beyond the kingdom of Arendelle and into the unknown. As a result, her costume had to evolve to reflect her new surroundings and adventures. Costume designer, Michael Giaimo, took inspiration from indigenous cultures around the world, incorporating elements of Scandinavian and Sami design into Elsa’s new look.
The most noticeable change to Elsa’s costume was the addition of pants. Elsa’s new outfit was designed to be more practical and functional, allowing her to move more freely as she navigated the rugged terrain outside of Arendelle. The pants were made of a shimmering blue fabric, with intricate designs that echoed the snowflake pattern on her original costume. The pants were paired with a long, flowing tunic that was designed to evoke the beauty of ice and snow.
Another notable change to Elsa’s costume was the addition of a new cape. The cape was made of a sheer, glittering fabric that shimmered and sparkled as Elsa moved. Its design was inspired by Sami culture, featuring intricate embroidery and beading that added texture and depth to the costume. The cape also served as a symbol of Elsa’s growing confidence and power, flowing behind her as she moved with a sense of purpose and determination.
But perhaps the most significant change to Elsa’s costume was the removal of the corset. In the original Frozen film, Elsa’s costume featured a corset that was meant to symbolize her constriction and discomfort in her role as a princess. But in Frozen 2, Elsa’s journey had taken her beyond the confines of her kingdom and into a world of adventure and self-discovery. As a result, her new costume was designed to be more comfortable and free-flowing, reflecting her newfound sense of liberation and independence.
Overall, Elsa’s Ice Queen costume has evolved to reflect her growth and transformation as a character. From her humble beginnings as a shy and insecure princess to her powerful role as queen, Elsa’s costume has mirrored her emotional journey, from fear and isolation to acceptance and love. The costume has also been designed to be practical and functional, allowing Elsa to move freely and confidently as she navigates the world around her. With each new iteration, Elsa’s costume has become more beautiful, more powerful, and more representative of the character herself.