Bonus update! I had a couple of super-awesome artists get back to me this last weekend about using their art for Sartorially Smart Heroines, and I’ve been pretty excited to get to discuss their work. As both Rapunzel and Snow White were orginally Grimm’s fairytales, they seemed a fitting followup to Nick’s Red Riding Hood painting. I’ve got a break in some freelance editing I’ve been doing, so I decided to post an extra update. While putting Disney princesses in armor is hardly a new concept, I really like Adelruna’s heroines and the overall look of their armor.
Rapunzel’s armor is a lovely suit of layered plate and chain mail. She’s definitely armored for a heavy scrum. Her torso and upper legs are protected by at least four layers: padded hauberk, leather jack, chain shirt, and whatever she’s got for an arming tunic. Her neck and shoulders are further protected by a chain mantle and steel spaulders. Our knight-princess’s sword arm bears a plate sleeve and steel-plated leather gauntlet to prevent shattering or severing blows during heavy combat. Rapunzel’s legs are kept safe by padded or leather pants with steel grieves strapped over flexible leather boots.
I like too that Adelruna picked sword and shield as our princess’s weapons of choice. A lot of role-players and fantasy enthusiasts seem to prefer dual-wielding characters, despite that this was an uncommon practice historically. While certain martial-arts in Europe, Japan, and other parts of the world offer techniques for using a slashing and a parrying weapon in tandem, these were used mainly for individualized close-combat and generally involved a long and short weapon or two short weapons. The same effect, however, is created by using a blade and shield or blade and nightstick. Vikings with two battleaxes, Drow with two scimitars, and Jedi with two lightsabers may look cool in movies and on novel covers, but between two warriors of similar prowess, there’s no major advantage over the sword and shield.
I keep wondering: should we be alarmed that Rapunzel has to look up at whatever foe she’s facing?
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I have kind of a thing for late-Medieval, Gothic armor. I love that Adelruna adapted Snow White’s traditional Disney outfit to work with the armor’s assumed late-medieval time-period. Her cuirass is steel with gold or bronze embellishments, sacrificing flexibility for all-around sturdiness. Interestingly, Snow doesn’t seem to have spaulders or any other form of additional protection for her shoulders, though it’s not improbable that she wears padded or chain sleeves underneath that puffy blue and red silk. Leather gloves reinforced with steel plate protect her hands without hindering her sword-handling. Our dark-haired heroine’s hips and upper legs are protected by segmented plates over a chain skirt. Lastly, she wears mid-thigh plated leggings to protect her feet and legs, with hinged plates to protect her knees.
I’ll be honest that Snow’s outfit here looks more like dress armor than something you’d want to wear on the front lines. The embellished trim, silk cloak, and jeweled details are expensive to repair or replace. These shouldn’t, however, take away from the overall protectiveness of the armor, nor rule it out as combat attire. Plus it helps her stand out on the battlefield. To me this suggests that Snow is an officer or war-leader, rather than a frontline soldier or solo adventuress.
A million thanks to Adelruna for letting me borrow her princesses, as well as for her enthusiasm, advice, and suggestions for SSH. As always, thanks for reading and stay awesome, folks!