Bella Swan’s Hyacinth Blue Prom Dress from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Click for larger version; click for the list of dolls.

So I read Twilight a while back, after reading about how it was the hot new thing for starry-eyed young girls and their unappreciated mothers. (I had to go through a waiting list of about 114 people for it, too.) I admit that I enjoyed it, in the same way I’ll admit to liking Naruto — it’s definitely shallow, artless wish-fulfillment, but that straightforwardness in and of itself makes it rather sweet. Also, Edward reminds me of Brian in one respect, in that he’s always teasing me about something or another. Beyond that the comparisons are few, but between me and Bella, I’ve got the better guy.

The criticisms of the book depicting really lousy relationship behaviors as desirable, Bella and Edward being Mary Sue characters (e.g. entirely perfect — clumsiness is not a character flaw, thank you), Bella being a moron (I don’t agree with that one, I felt like she was depicted as a book-smart, classics-reading, aloof old soul) and so forth have been addressed at length elsewhere, I’m sure, so I’ll stick to what I know — what? no good dress descriptions? Bella is always wearing things like jeans and flannel, or a brown turtleneck or some such monstrosity. What’s the fun of a proper vampire romance if you’re wearing flannel? The only fancy dress she gets comes in at the end, and isn’t very well described besides being hyacinth blue and off the shoulder. On Stephenie Myers’ website is a cut first draft of the dressing for prom scene, in which the dress gets a little more attention. It wouldn’t work for my paperdolls since I don’t do see-through fabric (so Sylvia and Iris, as well as any other skin colors I draw, can both wear anything), but even if I did, even after much musing on the relevant paragraph, I’m not sure quite what to make of the description. Mostly I’m stuck on the sash at the waist, which is “paled-flowered, hyacinth fabric, that pleated together to form a thin ruffle down the left side” and then goes on to be long at the back and open at the front. Rosalie calls it haute couture, and given that a lot of haute couture is a little beyond me too, maybe the problem is on my side after all. But anyways, that dress is merely from the first draft; I decided on my own version for the paperdoll. For that is the appeal, after all, to put yourself in the heroine’s shoes and stunning gown, imagining yourself the target of slavish devotion from the perfect man. I like it that way, because a quick search through DeviantArt will show as many Bella prom dresses as there are Twilight fanartists, all the way from “her dad wouldn’t let her out of the house wearing that” to full-on medieval princess. Even the movie’s version looks nothing like the others. Me, I envisioned the dress as somewhere between a 1950s party dress and something out of Gone With The Wind, and so that’s what we have here.

I probably won’t go see the movie – I’ve got enough vampirism in my own house.

Anyways! I think the last two polls are pretty clearly over, so let’s start the Grand Halloween Showdown!