Once upon a time in a land far far away there existed a magical kingdom governed by the principles of beauty, romance and nostalgia. On the border of this kingdom, amidst the flower meadows and woods, dwelt a fantastical dressmaker in a humble cottage with a rickety door whose sign read simply Fanciful Doll. Despite the frugal appearance of the cottage, onlookers were astounded to see a never-ending flow of girls from neighbouring kingdoms frequent the tiny dwelling, all of whom appeared to be a Princess. The dressmaker was busy morning, noon and night, and some whispered that the cottage was holding a secret…
Little did they know that down the ivy lined steps and through the tiny front door you would be transported to a fantastical wonderland where the imagination could run unrestrained, and every indulgent whim was satisfied. This heavenly world was dripping with gowns in the most lustrous brocade and delicate organza; there were dreamy concoctions of lace and tulle bursting from the cupboards; every surface was scattered with blousy roses, jewels, and exquisitely tempting morsels. Days felt like hours in this paradise, and weeks felt like days. It was possible to lose all sense of time and purpose in such a magical place.
Of course the maiden’s of the village were deeply jealous of their royal kinswomen. They looked on with envy as procession after procession made the long journey to the magical cottage and Princesses left holding gowns and heirlooms beyond their wildest dreams. Yet although no girl who did not possess royal blood in her veins had never entered the cottage, still it was an untold truth that only a true Princess could behold this vision.
Yet one girl named Rose who was a scullery maid in the dirty kitchen of one of the nearby palace’s had always harboured a desire, if not a firm belief, that the unknown wonders of Fanciful Doll were meant for her. One morning Rose left her bed early, slipped into her simple slip and boots, and stricken with some unyielding desire to see for herself she made the short walk to the cottage. Tip toeing down the stairs she listened cautiously for voices within and hearing nothing she gently turned the handle and pushed the door ajar.
What a sight beheld her when she opened the door! Such an opulent array of delights and delicacies, such as Rose had never seen before! Overswept by the wonders of this dreamworld Rose rushed to the nearest closet and started gleefully clasping the lustrous fabrics, burying her face in the countless ruffles and bows to quell her excitement. Temporarily lost, she did not notice a pale raven haired Princess approach behind her until she felt her sharp tap on her left shoulder.
‘Who are you?’ asked in a shrill, hostile voice?
Rose swiftly spun to face the Princess and looked up into her ill-natured eyes. ‘I’m Rose, a maid at the big castle’ she stuttered.
‘Sweetheart,’ replied the Princess in a sour tone, ‘you don’t belong here. This wonderland is reserved for royalty. You must be a Princess to be dressed in the label of royalty. Afterall, this is Fanciful Doll.
Rose thought for a minute, the lustrous fabrics still clutched between her fingers and the opulent array of gowns running through her mind. For the first time her heart’s lust for romance felt satisfied and free, for the first time the beautiful concoctions she saw in her dreams had been made a reality, for the first time she had found a dressmaker’s who understood the very essence of her being, who understood who she truly was.
Turning to the raven haired Princess, Rose gathered herself up and spoke calmly to her regal accusor.
‘I make my OWN fairytale’