Out of This World

Real-world style from fantasy heroines.

Sweet, sweet fantasy, baby…so deep in my daydreams. Oh, sorry, I was just singing along with Mariah, since we’re about to discuss the fashunz of my favorite fantasy-film queens. Why do these chicas have truly badassical clothing? Well, they live in worlds that exist only in our imagination, so obviously they aren’t going to be wearing beige slacks and a T-shirt. Costume designers dream of these kinds of movies—the opportunities are endless—but you can also work some of their enchanting style into your own wardrobe any old day of the week.

Left to right: white mesh dress, $67, Romwe; Crystal Crown headband, $18, ASOS; London Rebel metallic ballet pumps, $32, ASOS; People Tree earrings, $13, ASOS; Dark Side of the Moon earrings, $44, Catbird.

In The Neverending Story (1984), Bastian (the name of my future first-born) is a contemplative dude who gets bullied a lot by his classmates. One day while trying to outrun them, he ducks into a bookstore and borrows a seemingly regular book, which he reads cover to cover in his school’s attic, because it is that absorbing. It’s a really dark story about a terrifying force called the Nothing that’s destroying Fantasia, a world ruled by the Childlike Empress from her seashell bed in the Ivory Tower. Where can I get a bed like dat? We don’t see the Childlike Empress a lot, but I will always remember her coolest accoutrement—a pearl headpiece featuring one bead that dangled right in the middle of her forehead. Obviously, I’m not the only one, because you can find a near-replica of it on Etsy, or a similar piece like this one from ASOS. And it’s pretty easy to channel the empress’s precious, softly lit vibez with a floaty white dress and a pair of ballet shoes.

Clockwise from left: puff-sleeve dress, $76, Polyvore; Lip Tar in Tarred, $16, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics; viper ring, $12, Nasty Gal; Deborah Lippmann Dark Side of the Moon nail polish, $16, Catbird; Just Acces necklace, $58, ASOS.

Legend (1985) features more than one of my favorite otherworldly creatures: Tim Curry, and a unicorn. Princess Lili (Mia Sara) and her friend Jack (Tom Cruise) decide to do some spying on unicorns while gallivanting in the forest, and Lili dares to touch one of them, which is forbidden. Everything goes bananas, some goblins chase after them, and Lili is captured by the Lord of Darkness (Curry) and falls under his sinister spell. She turns from a fair maiden into a serious goth queen: long black gowns, black lipstick, and a widow’s peak to rival Eddie Munster’s. Obviously, we love Dark Lili’s look the best, but I doubt we’d be able to get in and out of a car with that thing on, so I suggest looking for a black dress with some exaggerated oopmh, like this one from Romwe. And you will definitely need some black lipstick—everyone is going crazy over the radness that is Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar, which comes in lots of cool colors, though Tarred is ideal for your inner-goth goddess.

Clockwise from top left: Swan Dance Dress, $80, ModCloth; Giant Dwarf constellation crown, $48, Catbird; faux-fur coat, $88, Nasty Gal; Agate bracelet, $40, Etsy.

In The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005), four siblings discover a magical closet that leads directly to Narnia. (After reading the book by C.S. Lewis when I was nine, I’d hold my breath and slowly open my closet in the hope that some fantasy land of mythical beasts and talking animals would be there waiting for me.) The kids soon find out that the White Witch, played by Tilda Swinton, has put a curse on Narnia and turned it into an eternal winter. OH HALES NO. That sounds like my worst nightmare. Still, I can’t hate on the White Witch—I mean, look at her threads! If an endless winter means nothing but icicle crowns and elaborate gowns, sign me up. To achieve some of her flave, find some faux fur in pastel blue, like this coat, and make it even chillier with some crystal bracelets and sparkly accessories, like this constellation crown from Catbird. If you want to be RULL LEGIT, get an icicle crown like this one from Etsy.

Clockwise from left: Night Tutu Remember dress, $18, ModCloth; faux-fur collar, $35, Topshop; Heavenly Angel nail polish, $7, Nicole by OPI; shoes, $62, ASOS; Retro Rosie Ring in Light Blue, $13, ModCloth

The Sleeping Beauty (2010) is French director Catherine Breillat’ s feminist take on the classic fairy tale. The princess Anastasia is cursed to sleep for 100 years after pricking her finger on a spindle, and in her sleep state, she embarks on a series of whimsical adventures: she hangs with Gypsies, eats cake with albino royalty, rides a deer across a snowy landscape, and chases after the queen who kidnapped her crush. Eventually, she wakes up to reality as a teenage girl, still aching for her old beau. WE ALL KNOW HOW THAT FEELS, ANASTASIA. The interpretation may be new, but the clothes she wears are befitting of a princess on a journey (fur coats with matching hats, long lace gowns, and tutus), and you can mimic her style by finding your own ballerina-style dress and fashioning some lace into a mask, like this one from Etsy.

Now I hope you’re ready to make all of your fantasies a reality, especially the ones that involve crowns, because let’s face it, you’re the badassest of them all. ♦


  • jenaimarley January 29th, 2013 7:09 PM

    Oh my gods I love Tilda Swinton and those dreads!

  • DreamBoat January 29th, 2013 7:16 PM


  • Abby January 29th, 2013 7:20 PM


  • Karine January 29th, 2013 7:32 PM

    Never Ending Story is one of my all time favorite movies! I’ve stopped counting how much time I’ve seen it! I think no one will ever be able to reproduce exactly the princess look, she is just one of a kind! :D

  • StrawberryTwist January 29th, 2013 8:51 PM

    It’s like a magical mist of the most wildest day dreams that you can imagine.


  • Lascelles January 29th, 2013 9:26 PM

    Whoa! A little advice; DOUBLE CHECK the rating and WHY for Sleeping Beauty. Once, I watched the movie Never Let Me Go from just seeing the ads, because seeing a movie cold is the best way, I think to see it, and… yeah, anyway, just double check the rating!!!

    • airplanes.books January 30th, 2013 6:33 PM

      never let me go, what a fantastic film.

  • Apple Juice Mufasakins January 29th, 2013 9:54 PM

    I absolutely LOVE the Neverending story, and now I really wanna see legend. I like the queens outfit from “Queen of The Damned” It. Was. Badass-_- I just found this site, and I’m absolutely in love. I plan on writing a peice for you guys, sometime in the future.

  • missblack January 29th, 2013 10:44 PM

    oh my LORD ABOVE the White Witch is my ultimate style inspiration. I may even have considered getting dreadlocks because of her. Not included in the photos above is her BEST outfit, which is the one she wears at the Stone Table because it literally has a dead bird affixed to the shoulder. SO AWESOME.


  • Ladymia69 January 29th, 2013 11:12 PM

    Thank you so much for giving Catherine Breillat a shout-out on Rookie. Her films are incredible, tough, and beautiful feminist retellings of fairy tales and takes on modern womens’ sexuality, and I think should be on the top of any feminist’s movie list.

  • raggedyanarchy January 29th, 2013 11:26 PM

    Now I have to add all these movies to my Must-Watch list (cept for Narnia; I’ve already seen all three movies and read all three books and they are all AMAZING and beautiful works of art and they are my favorites)!
    I always loved the White Witch’s style in the movie; it seemed so cruel and winter-y, like one of those leafless, gnarled black trees covered in snow.

  • October in the chair January 29th, 2013 11:53 PM

    What the white queen and the evil queen wear in Mirrormask is amaaaazing. Not to mention the circus troupe’s costumes!
    Also, I ALWAYS used to hold a necklace around my head and pretend to be the Chil-Like Empress.
    And i Love Tilda Swinton’s head thingies too.
    Btw, Legend is hiLArious.
    Also, kind of off topic, but Padme’s clothes in Star Wars ARE. AMAZING.

    • Blythe January 31st, 2013 1:50 AM

      Did someone say MirrorMask!? I think they should do a style article just on that movie. I love Helena’s iridescent performance outfit, as well as the White Queen’s bangles, Joanna’s performance outfit, everything the Princess wears in both world, and the Shadow Queen’s feathers.
      Also the dolls. So creepy and so stylish!

      • October in the chair February 1st, 2013 12:48 AM

        Don’t forget Valentine’s hat! :)
        And I love the mirrorworld prime minister’s weird tinfoil tree branch mask/hat/thingy.
        And the white queen’s thousands of silver bangles!

  • julalondon January 30th, 2013 2:44 AM

    OMG that white and blue fake fur coat. OMG OMG OMG OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG…..

  • Domenic January 30th, 2013 3:47 AM

    That blue fur coat is tots out of this world.

    XX Domenic.

  • Sorcha M January 30th, 2013 4:08 AM

    The tiara out of Neverending Story is my number one most lusted after item since I was five!

  • rowanna78 January 30th, 2013 9:27 AM

    Hey Marie! It’s awesome to find other people who love bitchLily and her badass black getup. Buuuuutttt…. The Sleeping Beauty movie you are talking about sound way too much like The Snow Queen, by Hans Christian Anderson, to be a coincidence. If you’ve never read it, please do. It’s a true female empowerment legend from 1845 and it’s awesome.

    • alisatimi January 30th, 2013 2:33 PM

      It does! I love the Snow Queen, I used to watch it as a cartoon when I was younger.

  • Mary the freak January 30th, 2013 2:08 PM

    OHHH MY GAAWD! Narnia & The neverending story in one article! And it’s a style article! I WILL TOTALLY DRESS LIKE THIS ALL. UGH SO AMAZING!

  • Acid-moon January 30th, 2013 11:21 PM

    In the book Bastien turned evil, burned down the ivory tower, arrested and stabbed Atreyu, and crowned himself emperor. I was kind of disappointed that they left that out of the movie.

  • lydiamerida January 31st, 2013 1:11 AM

    This is great and I love all these movies/books! And though she isn’t really a snow queen, I feel that Lyra Belaqua from the Golden Compass would have fit in just perfectly here, with all her furs and the fact that she rides a giant white bear.

  • pushelildaisies February 1st, 2013 5:23 PM

    Dude, the White Queen’s name is “Jadis”, which is utterly beautiful and badass. He previous incarnation was in the first novel of the series “The Magician’s Nephew”, and she was an alien-goddess-like-creature, with long Red hair, whose planet is about to die, when we meet her.

    Yes, I’m a nerd, but she’s such a cool queen, I felt it worth noting.

  • kaylafay February 2nd, 2013 12:14 AM

    Is no one going to point out the cultural appropriation going on here? I know sometimes it can be hard to draw te line between what is and isn’t appropriation, but you’ve got the head piece which i think is used in Indian weddings (I’m not sure but I know it comes from Indian culture), the lowkey dreads on the white queen, and the geisha ballerina outfit on the little girl. It’s just kind of questionable and i expected better from Rookie.

  • Katherine February 5th, 2013 7:48 PM

    This post inspired me to sculpt a miniature bust of the Childlike Empress. I love her crown.