Last night, Justin and I decided to check out a new-to-use deli for dinner. The shopping center where it’s located, which is a mere five minutes from our neighborhood and full of local shops, is more of a warren than a plaza, with many narrow streets and alleys between clusters of buildings. Since it was nearly 8 PM when we finally settled on where we wanted to eat, it was already dark and difficult to figure out where the deli was amidst all the other cafés and boutiques.
While driving down one of the many one-way streets and peering up at the neon signs, Justin said something fantastical that was completely at odds with his level tone: “That’s a Disney princess.”
“There’s a Disney princess on the sidewalk between those two buildings.”
Intrigued, we decided to park the car and investigate. (Rather serendipitously, we ended up walking by the deli, which we’d driven past.) Sure enough, there were three young women in full princess regalia being photographed under the streetlights in the covered walkway between two shops. They were perfect replicas Cinderella, Elsa, and Anna, from their hair and makeup down to their gloves and shoes.
I’m a huge enthusiast when it comes to costuming/cosplay, and I’ve been to a fair few Renaissance festivals, Halloween costume contests, and fancy dress parties (as I found out they’re called in England). I have no problems going out in public in garb, whether or not there’s an event, and I don’t mind when people ask questions—far from it!
But I can’t think of time when I’ve seen others in costume outside of event, and I don’t chat up random strangers about their clothes on a normal day. Actually, I don’t chat up random strangers at all, if I can help it. I avoid small talk more diligently people with sniffles and those salespeople at mall kiosks selling lotion. I will absolutely dodge down another aisle if I think someone in the grocery store might try to strike up a conversation.
As someone who loves costumes and likes to make things, though, I had to know: did they make their dresses?
So, bolstered by my curiosity, I walked up and said hello. We admitted to stopping because we caught sight of their photo session; were they dressed up for something in particular? The Cinderella premier at a nearby theater, it turns out. Cinderella herself said they were a huge hit with the kids going to see the movie.
“Did you make your own outfits?” I asked, all nervous anticipation.
Anna pointed to Elsa and said matter-of-factly, “She made everything herself.” Anna’s was a group effort; Cinderella’s was purchased.
While I would have loved to stay and get more details, it was clear that they’d planned the photography, and I didn’t want to interrupt them any further. I let them know that they all looked amazing and wished them a good time. I left feeling heartened that there are other sewists here, and that they’re some super-talented and warm ladies to boot. Even if we never run into each other again, I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and shared my admiration for their work. I know if I were in their glass slippers, I would have been immensely flattered. I’m glad I could spread the love.