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Aug 18

With “Disneybounding,” the Princess Style Trend Goes to Fantastical New Heights

McHugh cohosted the event and introduced Stamos to “Disneybounding,” a concept Leslie Kay, a Canadian Disney style enthusiast, coined eight years ago on her website (and Stamos discussed in a March 2017 appearance on The View). While planning a trip to Disney World, Kay began putting together colorful, contemporary looks inspired by the theme park’s most recognizable inhabitants such as Ariel and Rapunzel. Her closet and mall supplied each item. Within a week, the site’s following surged from 300 to 10,000 readers; DisneyBound now has almost 500,000 followers across all social media platforms, many of them adults looking to circumvent the parks’ rule forbidding costumes for those over 13 (which Kay, who set up her site shortly after graduating college, learned about from her readers). Kay, who came dressed as a Clueless-era Cinderella, said although people often “confuse” Disneybounding with the “amazing work” of cosplayers, “I don’t want to pretend that going out and buying a dress from Forever 21 is what they do.” According to McHugh, the fashion subculture is “a cool way to celebrate love for Disney that’s sort of incognito.”

To them, Disney is not the corporate behemoth poised to buy Fox for $71.3 billion. “I love the magic,” said Kay, as well as the knowledge that the movies, parks, and how they continue to shape our culture “was just some guy’s idea.” Such sentiments led Richard Kraft—the agent for composers Alan Menken (Beauty and the BeastPocahontas), Danny Elfman (The Nightmare Before Christmas, 2019’s Dumbo), and Richard M. Sherman (Mary Poppins, “It’s A Small World”), who also directs and produces Disney concerts at the Hollywood Bowl—to spend the past 25 years assembling the largest personal collection of Disneyland memorabilia, much of which is in the exhibition. The possessions not in storage decorated his Encino home, from concept art predating the park’s 1955 opening to posters, ride vehicles, and even a 48-foot-long animatronic sea serpent that once abutted his pool. In late August, after the public beholds his wares for free, Kraft will sell everything, including a restored, animatronic José bird from the Enchanted Tiki Room of Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park that’s expected to fetch somewhere between $50,000 to $75,000. His 4-year-old daughter, Daisy, has a genetic disorder that causes physical and developmental delays, and a portion of the proceeds will be split between its namesake Coffin-Siris Syndrome Foundation and her school, the Chime Institute. Disneyland Resort president Josh D’Amaro toured and praised the display the night before the preview.

The event had a ’90s theme, and guests in overalls, platforms, backward hats, tiny butterfly clips, fanny packs, flannel shirts tied around the waist, elastic chokers, and winged eyeliner danced to Chumbawamba and Hanson. Couple Sarah Sterling and Leo Camacho, bounders since 2012, dressed as Woody and Buzz from Toy Story (“She’s Alex Mack–inspired; I’m Will Smith–inspired,” he said). Other guests went more obscure: Bedecked in a pink gown and a bun full of gumdrops, Stephenie Pashkowsky explained, “I’m bounding as the cake castle from Walt Disney World in 1996.”


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