There’s no question that the live-action rendition of the famous blue “Cinderella” dress is gorgeous — critics are raving about the costume design in the film, which opened this weekend.
But if you thought actually wearing it didn’t look so comfortable, you’re not alone.
British star Lily James, who unexpectedly landed the title role of Cinderella in Disney’s latest big-screen adaptation after originally auditioning for one of the stepsisters, told The Washington Post earlier this winter that it was certainly a struggle wearing the gown for filming.
“The dress that [costume designer] Sandy Powell created — I mean I think she’s a genius and I’m grateful for that dress — but it was like torture,” James said. “It was so tight and delicate.”
James estimated that it took about 45 minutes to get in and out of the gown, which was “12 layers of silk and different colors.” However, she added, “It did feel quite magical every time I put it on. So it kind of does all the work for you.”
The dress, as magical as it may be, has also been the center of controversy since the movie’s trailer was released, given that James’s waist looks alarmingly nonexistent. There was quite the Twitter storm after it debuted, including claims of digital alteration.
— Sarah Ann Masse (@SarahAnnMasse) January 2, 2015
The director Kenneth Branagh told the Huffington Post that the dress was not digitally altered; James, who appears sick of answering questions about the issue, also denies any post-production tricks. As she’s told multiple outlets, not only does she have a naturally small waist, but she had to wear a corset. (One that was so tight it demanded an all-soup diet.) And she didn’t want to talk about the dress critics anymore.
“I think it’s all very hypocritical, and they contradict themselves, and they’re drawing more attention to it,” she said to the Los Angeles Times, while insisting that she’s “so healthy,” so stop fretting about her. “I think all that stuff’s so negative, and you’ve got to let it wash over your head.”
One aspect of Cinderella’s costume that is fake, though: The famed glass slippers — Swarovski crystal — fit on her feet with the help of CGI.
“The glass slippers — no human foot can fit in them!” James told The Post. “I always feel like I’m breaking the fairy tale, I’m ruining the magic for everyone. . . No maiden in the land fits the shoe. So the prince is going to die alone.”