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30.5.16

#ManchesterFW Pandorella SS16

Pandorella by Karina So. at FashionE Manchester Fashion Week for Ses Rêveries

Easily one of the most adorable fashion shows I've ever seen, children's wear label Pandorella picked right up from where Fashion Pony left off with embellished gloves, floppy hats and big, bright dresses en masse.


The dance-pop harmonies of Madonna's Vogue alluded to the carefree extravaganza we were in for as the opening "act" skipped down the catwalk. Exploiting as many little-girl cliches as could be fit into a single collection - sequinned black tulle peeking out between tiers of hot pinks, leopard print bows, elaborate headpieces - this was no satirical exposition of what defines picture-perfect girlhood, nor was it a show highlighting the nuances in girlish fashion. This was a shameless celebration of the stereotypes surrounding young femininity in one of the most exciting times to be female.

Pandorella by Karina So. at FashionE Manchester Fashion Week for Ses Rêveries
Pandorella by Karina So. at FashionE Manchester Fashion Week for Ses Rêveries

The abolishment of the strict dress codes of yesteryears has left the overexposed youth of today at the mercy of hashtag-relatable mass marketing, desperately vying for the cursory attention of Generation Y in their quest to challenge social and cultural assumptions. Not all girls like pink. Not all girls play with dolls. Not all girls love to sing and dance. However, as essential to the feminist movement as this disillusionment is and will continue to be, it now comes at the expense of the girls who do like pink, who do like dolls, who do love to sing and dance.

Pandorella by Karina So. at FashionE Manchester Fashion Week for Ses Rêveries
Pandorella by Karina So. at FashionE Manchester Fashion Week for Ses Rêveries

Pandorella by Karina So. at FashionE Manchester Fashion Week for Ses Rêveries

Pandorella provides the often overlooked appendix. You don't have to like glitter, but it's OK if you do. And what better way to show the world you're reclaiming your inner princess than by carting a lace parasol over your shoulder, fingers clad in silk white gloves? Crown yourself with a tiara over tight ringlets, as your full skirt - my own Kryptonite growing up - sweeps the floor behind you. If at any point designer Gail Delaney thought to herself, "there's something missing" the only correct answer appears to have been "more tulle" because the bigger the dress, the better.

Pandorella by Karina So. at FashionE Manchester Fashion Week for Ses Rêveries

Pandorella by Karina So. at FashionE Manchester Fashion Week for Ses Rêveries
Pandorella by Karina So. at FashionE Manchester Fashion Week for Ses Rêveries

Pandorella by Karina So. at FashionE Manchester Fashion Week for Ses Rêveries

Pandorella by Karina So. at FashionE Manchester Fashion Week for Ses Rêveries

Pandorella by Karina So. at FashionE Manchester Fashion Week for Ses Rêveries
Pandorella by Karina So. at FashionE Manchester Fashion Week for Ses Rêveries

And the cherry on top of this wickedly sweet feminine affair, the inclusive cast of models with varying abilities handing out balloons showing Pandorella's support for the National Autistic Society. It's the unspoken rule at runway shows: upon crossing the threshold, facial expressions and vivacity must be left at the door. But not a poker face in sight was a match for little Ella as she lapped it up for the cameras.

Pandorella's message to little girls everywhere was clear: be loud, be proud.

And when in doubt, add tulle.

Pandorella by Karina So. at FashionE Manchester Fashion Week for Ses Rêveries
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