Today I have a new instalment in my 'Fashion Fancies' series, where I take a fictional or historical character and create some outfits for them that I imagine they would wear. Previously I've dressed Catherine Howard, Cathy Dollanganger and Wednesday Addams, and for this post I decided to put some outfits together for Mia Thermopolis, aka HRH Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo, the protagonist of the The Princess Diaries novels by Meg Cabot.
I first read The Princess Diaries books when I was 8 years old after I got the first six for Christmas from my grandma, and I've reread the whole series pretty much every year since. What I love about them is how I pick up on new things each time, such as pop culture references that I wouldn't have understood aged 10, and whole themes that I totally glossed over the first few times round. I think a lot of people dismiss these books as tween fiction, but in my (admittedly biased) opinion they are so much more than that.
Mia is the Princess of the title, an ostensibly average teen who lives in New York City with her mother but who discovers she is actually the heir to the throne of the small (fictional) European principality of Genovia. The books, which take the form of her diary, chronicle her everyday life as she gets to grips with the reality of being a princess - which means suffering daily princess lessons from her grandmother, dealing with her bossy best friend, and navigating the field of romantic relationships. To this day, Mia is probably one of the most relatable fictional characters I have come across, which is saying something: she's clumsy, insecure, has a tendency to over-analyse things and struggles with school and friendships just like any other teenager. To be fair, that description matches a few characters I can think of, but Mia's voice is so vivid and memorable and really sets her apart.
1. School day
Mia goes to Albert Einstein High School in New York City, and the uniform is described on a couple of occasions as being blue and gold in colour - here's the blue, anyway. Books, pencils, a sturdy backpack and sensible school shoes are all essentials for surviving the school day, especially when you have to go straight from school to princess lessons in the afternoon.
2. Royal engagement
Naturally I had to include some princess-wear here, so this is my take on the pink poufy dress Mia's cousin designs for her to impress her long term crush (and best friend's brother) Michael Moscovitz. Mia isn't the most natural princess, so I feel like she would have benefitted from The Girl's Book of Glamour. A tiara completes the outfit.
3. At the loft
When she's not at school or learning to be a princess, Mia likes to wear her overalls and trusty Dr Martens, and write in her diary. She gets a mobile phone of her very own for her 15th birthday from her parents (bear in mind this book was published in 2001), so I've included a brick here. Notice the detail of the snowflake necklace, a present from Michael also for her 15th birthday which symbolises the Winter Dance when they first declared their feelings for each other.
4. Party at the Moscovitzs'
This is quite a specific reference: in the seventh book Michael throws a party while his parents are out of town, but Mia worries she isn't enough of a 'party girl'. She turns up to a party in quite an uncharacteristic outfit, drinks a beer, and naturally the whole evening ends in disaster. The beret deserves a special mention.