I can't quite express how BIG of an impact Disney had on my childhood. Most will have watched the films in passing and maybe remember a song or two. I'm the geek who will be breaking out with Pocahontas' Colours of the Wind or The Little Mermaid's Part of Your World at karaoke. Hell, not even karaoke. I'll bust those tunes out at any dinner chez Lau. Disney rules. If anyone says otherwise, I'll sing Disney tunes right into their ears until they bleed. Or animated flowers and birds come flying out.
Of all the characters of this animation empire, Minnie Mouse has been somewhat shafted in the attention stakes. Her beau Mickey is far more famous and their shared silhouette of the ears sometimes makes it easy just to lump the two together as a pair that are permanent attached to each other, devoted in their love of bright red garments and spongey white gloves, a jolly smile and a squeaky laugh. 2012 is the year that Minnie has decided to strike out on her own. She's her own woman and she'll be getting a wardrobe to prove it. This moment of emancipation comes courtesy of a big ol' fashion initiative to get Minnie some better duds beyond her usual polka dot dress (although I wouldn't knock it - Rei Kawakubo and Yayoi Kusama owes a fair bit to Miss Minnie) and in London a quite brilliant rollcall of designers are involved - Giles Deacon, Richard Nicoll, Michael van der Ham have all provided Minnie-inspired outftisand Husam el Odeh, Katie Hillier, Tatty Devine, Piers Atkinson, Lulu Guinness and Terry de Havilland have kitted her out with jewellery, bags and headgear. These "Inspired by Minnie" pieces will be going to auction on eBay to raise money for the BFC/Bazaar Fashion Arts Foundation. Thus far, the auctions aren't looking too scarily priced but the auction does run until the 23rd September. I'll do my usual eBay thing and try and jump in last minute to see what I can get my hands on.
Given my love of all things Disney, I asked all participating designers to tell us a Disney-related memory. Ok, so not everyone shares my very INTENSE love of Disney but they were all a good sport for answering the question.
"I actually don't have strong memories particularly which maybe helped me to make something abstract and un-nostalgic from the brief." Richard Nicoll
"I was aware of Minnie from being a youngster, thought I was always much more of a Goofy,Daffy and Pluto fan." Giles Deacon
"Growing up, America always seemed so bright and exciting, and I think that Minnie Mouse and the Disney characters are very much part of that landscape. Even as an adult visiting Disneyland, I was drawn to the 'Ears' Hats, so I think that there is something very special and direct about that simplicity." Andrew Bunney
From left to right, top to bottom: Bags by Lulu Guinness, Necklace by Tatty Devine, Dress by Richard Nicoll, Hat by Piers Atkinson, Shoes by Terry de Havilland, Necklace by Katie HIllier, Dress by Michael van der Ham, Jacket by Meadham Kirchhoff, Dress and bow by Giles, Dress and trousers by Richard Nicoll, Headband by Husam el Odeh, Badges by Bunney