is an unashamedly sumptuous coffee-table book that takes a tongue-in-cheek look at what all well-dressed little people will be wearing this season. Based on the latest collection from top sprite couturier
, the House of Ellwand, it offers a huge variety of outfits that the average fairy fashionista would sell her wings for.
Photographer and designer David Ellwand's pictures evoke garments of ethereal delicacy (and often downright eccentricity), interspersed with beautiful landscape shots of bluebell woods, mist-shrouded waterfalls and the like. Ellwand has taken his inspiration directly from nature, using real natural materials as diverse as flowers, leaves, shells and feathers. Fashion illustrator David Downton provides delicate watercolour interpretations of the outfits. Eugenie Bird's copy is a knowing send-up of breathlessly earnest fashion magazine style. A description of a dress for a "Romantic Getaway Weekend" reads as follows: "Wild geraniums and buttercups with narrow grass straps. Somehow you knew this would be the weekend that he would pop The Question."
Outfits for every conceivable social occasion are covered (if your social calendar includes such events), from a presentation to the Fairie Queen to an invitation to a fairy wedding. The quality of the presentation is indisputable, printed on good quality paper with all sorts of inserts and pockets. Particularly good fun is the "Mix and Match" section, where you can create your own combination of looks by overlaying different pages.
Appealing though Fairie-ality undoubtedly is, it's more likely to make an ideal gift for the fashion victim/New Age type in your life rather than the fairytale-loving youngster. Suitable for ages 12 upwards. --Alison Drury
"He caters not only for the willowy fairie form but also for those of us with a more petite stature." Thumbelina; "I wouldn't have dressed Cinderella in anything else, darling" The Fairie Godmother; "I can put a mantle round the world but I wouldn't be seen dead in public without my Ellwand birch britches." Robin Goodfellow