The evolution of an “Enchanted” wedding dress

Mar 14, 2008 at 3:00 a.m. ET

SheKnows has been given an exclusive look into the princess empowered wedding dress designed exclusively for the DVD release of the Disney fantasy hit, "Enchanted."

Disney designs the GiselleENCHANTED EXCLUSIVE

Amy Adams stars as Giselle in the film that became a smash hit making her a star. "Enchanted" arrives on DVD March 18. To mark the occasion Disney employed the talents of designer Kirstie Kelly to create the Giselle gown based on the Adams' character that has enchanted millions.

Kelly gave SheKnows unprecedented insight into creating real-life magic with clothes for the entertainment company credited with possessing an enormous amount of its own magic. Her Disney Fairy Tale Weddings line possesses dresses inspired by Ariel, Aurora/Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, and Snow White.


With the addition of the Giselle dress, Disney's latest heroine is represented. "Giselle is our beautiful new heroine from the Disney movie, 'Enchanted' and I was asked to create a wedding gown which represents what Giselle would wear as a bride. The gown is very much in character with Giselle's personality. Giselle is a very natural, sweet and adventurous bride, so the gown represents all of these characteristics."

According to Kelly, what makes Giselle endearing is how she is a composite of every Disney princess that preceded her. "Giselle has elements of Cinderella. She has elements of Snow White and she has elements of other princesses," she said. Yet there is a clear independent streak in Giselle, perfectly captured by Adams. "Her personality is very much her own."

There are traits of Giselle that work in the framework of a film taking an animated princess and bringing her to life in Times Square, New York City of today.

"Giselle is very organic and natural. She's sweet, but she's also very curious, smart and industrious," Kelly said.

Giselle gown is fantasy and functionA NATURAL BEAUTY

Those natural inspirations are reflected in every element of Kelly's dress.

"There's definitely an organic feel to the gown because it's made from natural fibers. It incorporates some wonderful organza and tulle leaf work—as well as hand-corded vines that run up the lace body of the dress," the designer said. "The shape of the gown doesn't show every aspect of her body. However, it does show off a little of her shape, which highlights the more adventurous side to Giselle's character. But not a lot, so it is still quite demure."

Mirroring the feel of the other Disney wedding dresses she has designed, Giselle's gown emits amore. "It's a very romantic dress because Giselle is a very romantic heroine," Kelly said.

Witnessing Adams Giselle at the beginning of the delightful film, her "Enchanted" dress is slightly different than the one Kelly produced.

"When you watch a film like 'Enchanted,' there are going to be a lot of costume effects used," Kelly said.


It was her challenge to bring functionality while maintaining Giselle's unique Disney princess style. "The filmmaker needs the outfits to be very costumey to have a certain effect on screen. But in real life you want a gown to represent the personality and the mood of a character," Kelly said.

You've come a long way, baby"For this wedding gown to work, we need it to be something you can look at in photos for years to come and still love and adore. It certainly wouldn't have been appropriate to create a Giselle gown that was as big as the dress she's wearing when she comes out of the manhole at the beginning of the movie."

As the film progresses, Giselle changes into a modern, real-world woman full of the power and strength to which audiences so relate. This evolution altered the classic Disney wedding dress complete with the traditional poofy, lacey arms.

"That large wedding dress doesn't belong to the personality of the girl Giselle evolves into during 'Enchanted.' Giselle becomes a smart, intelligent woman who is very charismatic. She's feminine and romantic—and she's very different to the girl we see at the start of the film," Kelly said.

"As her character develops in the film, so does her clothing. Her gowns become more form-fitting and show off a little more skin, in an elegant way. We wanted to capture the essence of the smart Giselle at the end of the film—and hopefully that's what we've done."

Kelly lives an experience parents can relate to, watching the Disney princess films in what seems to be one continuous viewing. "To understand each Disney princess or heroine, you need to watch the film continuously because you often spot something new every time you see it," she said of the perks of her work. "Even the smallest detail can result in an improvement for the gown."

Kelly believes the Adams character would adore what she has designed. "I think Giselle would be very pleased with the dress," she said. "She'd probably love the texture, the fabrication and the neat silhouette. It's a beautiful gown."


Sitting down to design her next masterpiece, Kelly incorporated the needs for the myriad of women who will wear the Giselle dress. "I think it's perfect for a bride who wants to have a destination wedding, a beach wedding or any sort of untraditional wedding," she said. Elegant in its "Enchanted" connection, Kelly's gown works for the inner princess who is also practical.

"I also feel that it's perfect for the bride who is having a traditional wedding—perhaps in a cathedral or a church—because the shape of the gown and the workmanship and detailing that has gone into it fits in with this, too."


A passion for princess bridesFor those concerned with matching jewelry to the gown, Giselle comes equipped. "When we were designing for Giselle we wanted to make sure that the look we gave her was complete, so we created some accessories in the form of a veil, tiara and jewelry," Kelly said.

Those accessories also mirror the earthy feel of the gown. "There's a bracelet, necklace and earrings which incorporate a gorgeous leaf-like pattern. The set is very organic with its leaf detailing. The crystal work is beautiful and it all has a white gold appearance."


The designer is confident her Giselle dress plays its part in fulfilling the bridal fantasy. "There are a lot of different things that come together to make a bride feel like a princess on her wedding day. When she finds the gown of her dreams and puts it on, that's usually the first step to feeling like a princess," Kelly said. Overall, the entire event is about love. "I help as much as I can with this step. The second is the way her fiance looks at her when she walks down the aisle."

The Giselle bridal gown also brings smiles to more than brides. "We're tying in with the Make-A-Wish Foundation from August to the end of the year. With every Giselle gown sold during this period, $125 goes back to helping children via the Foundation, which is a wonderful thing for Disney to be involved with," Kelly said. "It's so great to be able to give something back and I feel blessed to be in a position to do that. I hope the dress does extremely well because not only is it beautiful, but it's also helping others with this charity aspect. I couldn't be happier to be involved."

To experience the entire Kelly collection of Disney dresses, visit