Elle est Belle

This is a beautiful series of photos done for Vogue in 2005 by the talented photographer Annie Leibovitz. Drew Barrymore poses as Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

Color guides the end of the story as Belle finds herself falling in love with the beast. Though not originally photographed to be in this order for Vogue, I believe the photos tell a wonderful story through the gown choices as Belle returns to the beast in the garden of roses and later joins him for supper in their ornate dining room. Soft shades of pink progress to a deep red as her affections grow into a love that will last forever.

The story of Beauty and the Beast has been told for over a hundred years. I loved seeing these old illustrations from children's books and comparing the depictions of Belle and her gown to the more familiar Disney version.

Though many versions I saw had Belle wearing simple gowns of blue in Medieval-esque designs, this 1870 drawing shoes the famous shade of gold that continues to live on through Disney.

I love the dance scene between Belle and the beast. It's so beautiful...the dress, the music, the stars. I found this photo from the San Francisco ballet. To see the entire story told through dance would be amazing I'm sure.
And of course every fairytale ends happily ever after. A real life castle to live out this storybook romance would be Germany's Neuschwanstein. This castle was built in the late 1800s to resemble the gothic designs of centuries past. The rich colors in the bedroom and ornate chandeliers are the perfect setting for Belle and her prince.
Vogue feature photos and runway photos: Style.com