Preparing the Royal Court

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Preparing the Royal Court

Taylor Rutledge


Usually, I’m skeptical about letting other eyes peep at my sketches because it’s like reading my journal (definitely no eyes allowed).

I want to share this sketch, in particular, because I want to explain how my ideation for my theme for the fashion show came to be:


For this year’s Goodwill Rock the Runway show, my theme is “The Queen’s Court ” –  a fashionable homage to the Queen of Hearts from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland similarly to Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland.”

Before I decided on my theme, I was having designer’s block (similar to the effect of writer’s block). I couldn’t think about anything relevant or exceptional to stand strong as a theme for a fashion show. I had other shows to think about, too. For a while, the color palette I had to work with reminded me of a Colgate advertisement, and that was just not going to happen. I think I was too focused on being so unique and avant-garde that I couldn’t come up with anything reasonable. I felt like my theme had to be something unexplored so that my collection would reflect something entirely new, as well.

After a few weeks of thinking and sketching, I had been reflecting on my life entirely, all the way back to a tiny Taylor. Disney movies were a huge part of my life as a child growing up. As I was thinking about how these movies had a significant place in my life, I realized the same was true for fashion. I thought about reading magazines while playing a Disney movie for background noise, or how I would imagine wardrobes based off certain princesses. I thought then that I could merge two of my life’s biggest impacts into a singular theme that conveniently represented my childhood and evolving love for fashion. It didn’t matter that my theme may have been explored before or if it seemed cliché. I chose Alice in Wonderland simply because it was my favorite Disney movie, and I wanted to be the couturier-courtier for the Queen. I’ve also read both Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The books are more eerie than the movie, as you can imagine, and much of my collection is enigmatic because I wanted to create a sinisterly clad royal court.

So, after thinking through the deep archives of my mind and bridging a Carroll’s fantasy with fashion, I came up with “The Queen’s Court,” inspired by a what-if-analysis of a well clad royal court serving none other than the Queen of Hearts.


My mom still has my Disney collection.


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By | 2015-01-14T20:10:58+00:00 January 14th, 2015|