historical princesses


So it’s been five years to the day since I started my historical (or, well, historical-ish) Disney princesses series.  I have no idea how it’s been this long – I feel like I drew some of these yesterday – but it seemed as good an opportunity as any to revisit Belle now that I’m five years older and wiser.  And now that I’m way more into the 1780’s/90’s.

I drew that original Belle on a whim, fueled by my sister’s time working as a costumed interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, and assuming it would be a one-off piece.  In the long run, despite all their now egregious flaws, I owe this series for some pretty cool jobs, meeting a ton of cool people, developing an unexpectedly voracious appetite for historical fashion, and eating a fair amount of humble pie along the way.

I think this Belle probably marks the swan song of my historical Disney princess series.  Much as I’d love to continue doing it forever, I’ve got a lot of exciting personal projects that I’m ready to dedicate more of my precious free time to. I’ll probably continue designing this stuff in my off hours – who am I to resist drawing the likes of Slue Foot Sue and Katrina Von Tassel – but I’m going to focus less on polished illustrations, and more on the research and design.  When you get right down to it, that’s the aspect of this stuff that I love. :)

Thanks to everyone who stuck with me over the past five years, and here’s to way more historical fashion in the years to come  I can’t even put into words how lovely y’all’ve been. 

Just a little change. Small, to say the least.


YOI Royalty AU

This is 100% inspired by @skygemspeaks and their amazing headcannons. I was planning of writing all of it but for some reason the ending decided it need to be written first. So here it is.

A Royal Victory

“I’m betrothed.” Viktor blurts out, the painful discussion with Yakov from moments before too heavy on his mind to contain.

“Oh?” Yuuri says weakly, the traitorous chorus in his mind screaming “I told you so”

“To the Emperor’s son, I’m sorry-”

Yuuri tuned Viktor out. He could have laughed at the insanity of the situation. After a moment Yuuri realized he was laughing. A full body laugh, radiating out from his core and bringing tears to his eyes. He hadn’t laughed like this since he was a child, since Mari had caught him and tickled his chubby three-year-old tummy until he couldn’t breathe.


Had Yuuri been able to see through the tears pouring from his eyes he would have noticed the utter confusion on the Tzar’s face.

The laughter faded for a moment before Yuuri re-realized the absurdity of his life again and fell into fresh laughter. Viktor couldn’t be with him, because he was betrothed…to him.

“If you’re quite done mocking me,” Viktor said. His sharp coldness sliced through Yuuri’s amusement like a freshly fired blade through butter. They locked eyes, one pair startled into seriousness the other as frosty as their colour suggested.

“Viktor,” Yuuri said reaching out to the shaking monarch.

“Yuuri.” He replied, the steel of a challenge in his tone as he turned his face away from his lover.

“Vitya, I’m sorry. I wasn’t laughing at you.” Yuuri said softly, lightly gripping Viktor’s chin and pulling it towards him. Their eyes meet once more, soft care and icy hurt.

“What was so hilarious then?” Viktor asked his voice wavering between bitter and hurt.

Yuuri opened his mouth, a soft smile curling his lips but just as he went to speak the throne room was thrown open and a voice from Yuuri’s childhood echoed around the room.

“We have been waiting for far too long your grace! It is an insult to my lady and the treaty we’ve come to sign!”

Long hours spent stretching his tendons to their limits and floating across deadly obstacle courses under the instruction of that voice flooded Yuuri’s mind for a split second.

“Minako?” Yuuri said, his attention snapping up the the willowy figure standing impetuously at the threshold.

“My Lord?” Minako shot back completely gobsmacked by the fact her lost Prince, and best student, was on his knees with the Monarch of the Rus and said monarch’s chin lovingly in his grasp.

“Yuuri?” Viktor said countless questions within that one name.

Yuuri smiled weakly at Viktor and stood up, helping the taller Tzar to his feet as he went. Yakov and several guards, with the curious Grand Duke in tow, had poured into the room by the time Yuuri and Viktor had gotten to their feet.

“I have some explaining to do,” Yuuri said to room before addressing his lover, “Greetings Great Tzar Nikiforov Viktor Aleksandrov of Rus, I am Imperial Prince Katsuki Yuuri of Nippon. It is a pleasure to officially make your acquaintance.” Yuuri followed his introduction with a deep bow and a sheepish look.

It was Viktor’s turn to hysterically laugh now. A grin brighter that the gold topping the palace they stood in spread across Viktor’s face.

“Take that Yakov,” He muttered before throwing his limbs over Yuuri and pulling him into a kiss. A polite cough had Yuuri pulling away from the rather enthusiastic Tzar, a vibrant blush flaming on his cheeks.

“Brother,” A new arrival said, Yuuri’s native tongue rich in his ears.

“Mari,” Yuuri greeted, unsure of his sister’s reaction.

“I see you’ve come to terms with you betrothal,”

“Ah yes.”

“Good, I’m glad I didn’t have to go to war over that. Although it does appear as if you’ve been kidnapped. Should I inform Yuuko that we must rescue you?” Mari said her lips quirking up as she mocked her brushing brother.

“Wait so the piggy is a Prince?!?!?!” Yura demanded, understanding none of the conversation between the Imperial siblings.

“Silence Yuratcha,” Yakov ordered, finally finding his voice as the shock of the last minute restarted and stopped his heart several times over before deciding on life. Thank goodness it did, Rus would fall apart with only Viktor and Yuri to lead it.

“N-no that won’t be necessary,” Yuuri responded, somehow blushing deeper as Viktor snaked his arm around his waist.

By the time the royals and their advisers left that room the alliance between Rus and Nippon was well and truly solidified. And by the time Mari and Minako left the Seaside Capital the next morning the alliance was well and truly consummated, much to the torment of Grand Duke Plisetsky Yuri Nikolaevich


I needed a patronymic for my Russian boys so Yuri is named for his Dedka and Viktor gets to be son of Aleksandr because I like the name.


Princess Diana’s Catherine Walker slubbed turquoise silk ensemble worn for a Royal tour of New Zealand, April 1983

Dress with vertical pleats to front and back bodice, elbow length sleeves, gently gathered skirt; with matching long sleeved jacket

Princess Diana wore this ensemble on the 36th day of the Royal Tour of Australia and New Zealand, April 24, 1983. She visited the Te Poho-o-Rawiri Marae Meeting House, Gisborne, North Island, where she was given a traditional Hongi welcome by the local Maori dignitaries. Princess Diana was photographed wearing this ensemble rubbing noses (the traditional Maori greeting).

Kerry Taylor Auctions


Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth in ‘Elizabeth’ (1998).


Princess Margaret’s Horrockses Fashions printed cotton summer dress, 1967,

Short strapless sundress with boned bodice and matching button-backed overbodice with bow to neck, ; together with a newspaper clipping and a Daily Mail supplement showing the Princess wearing the ensemble with Lord Snowdon on a visit to the Bahamas in 1967

Kerry Taylor Auctions