We at Blackbird World Headquarters are unapologetic bookworms. One of us also happens to collect fairy tales, so when it was time to brainstorm our first photo shoot for the new website, turning to the magical world of literature was an easy step. While we could have run straight for Cinderella or Belle, we instead looked to the nameless, but fearless, heroine of a slightly more obscure story called The Enchanted Pig--or as we like to call it, The Girl in the Iron Shoes.
It isn't exactly a tale of boy meets girl. In this particular story, girl marries based on a prophetic book that she wasn't supposed to read. By night, the princess and her husband are able to...umm...live the married life. By day, he is a bona fide, mud-rolling pig. She happens to prefer the night-time version of her mate, and in an ill-timed attempt to break his porcine curse, the princess is punished with an impossible quest: to search the world for him, on foot, until she has worn through three pairs of iron shoes.
As the story goes: "On and on she wandered over nine seas and across nine continents; through forests with trees whose stems were as thick as beer- barrels; stumbling and knocking herself against the fallen branches, then picking herself up and going on; the boughs of the trees hit her face, and the shrubs tore her hands, but on she went, and never looked back." In addition to the traditional obstacles of a long journey on foot, the girl must visit four dangerous places to seek guidance. The first is the house of the Moon....
And what better outfit for this occasion than a cream 1960s mod mini and cape, paired with groovy 1960s cream Renauld sunglasses and a chunky silver pendant? The combat boots, of course, are her "iron shoes."
Next, she must hike to the house of the Sun. For this look, we put a 1960s gold sweater vest over a printed Carol Craig dress and added a copper turban, 1970s Dior sunglasses, and a groovy handmade copper statement necklace.
The third milestone of her quest is visiting the house of the Wind in a fluttery silk dress, 1970s green-framed Foster Grant sunglasses, faux pearl bracelet, and rhinestone earrings.
From there, she must walk across the vast Milky Way. We chose a sparkly sequined top with just the right amount of slouch, paired with cropped seersucker trousers, 1980s aviator sunglasses, a 1960s MGI studded purse suspended from her belt, a 1950s multi-strand necklace, and a shimmery rhinestone bangle.
At last, our intrepid heroine reaches the end of her quest at a weathered little house in a lush forest. Here, she will prove to her husband that she is no longer the girl that he married, but a better (stronger) version of herself. For the "Honey, I'm home--and we need to talk" reunion, we dressed our model in a 1970s floral chiffon maxi dress under a metallic silver vest, and added black and coral sunglasses and screwback earrings.
The story has a happy ending, in which the pig's enchantment is broken, revealing him to be a prince from another kingdom. He weeps when his bride relates the tale of her harrowing journey, and they kiss. Soon afterward, they travel together to her father's castle, and he asks them to rule in his place. As the story concludes: "And they ruled as only kings rule who have suffered many things."
And although our well-traveled heroine can now prop up her feet and indulge in a well-deserved rest, we're sure that she will continue to be the Queen of Cool, and look incredibly fierce while doing so--in more comfortable footwear, of course.
Our photos look great on our shiny new website with some vintage celestial illustrations, including a couple of our favorite artists: Don Blanding and Dorothy Lathrop. We're keeping the Etsy shop open, but our favorite finds will end up at www.blackbirdgirlsvintage.com. Check us out!