There are two big spoilers in this costume review, so click away now if you haven't seen OUAT 3.21 "Snow Drifts" and 3.22 "There's No Place Like Home" which premiered last night in an epic 2-hour finale. (My full review of the episodes can be found here)
Once Upon a Time has this habit of being very hit or miss with their princess gowns. Either the dress is jaw-dropping amazing or just a little 'meh'. Emma's red dress falls closer to the 'meh' side. Yes, it is extremely striking, but without a single bit of contrast decor, it seems a little too plain. Not to mention that red is a color pretty strongly associated with either 'evil villainess' or 'prostitute' in historical and fantasy settings. The only thing I can think of is that Emma has some character parallels with Elizabeth Swan, who has an iconic red dress, and since Emma is up to pirate shenanigans in this episode, the color could be connected to that character parallel. But I'm not sold on it.
Belle's wedding ensemble was a little sad, since it would have been so wonderful to see her in a gorgeous bridal gown. However, storywise, it makes a great deal of sense that she would have gone very understated, and with that in mind her ensemble is elegant, chic, and with a bit of retro French flair that is Belle's signature style.
But we all know what costume is going to be iconic next season and thankfully the glimpses we got in the last two minutes were gorgeous.
I love how they seem to have kept very true to the movie's style, but are adding some very rich beadwork embellishments in appropriate places, such as the wrist above.
I'm just drooling over that neckline! I did wonder how they would transfer it to screen, as the film version would be difficult to keep historically flavored in a live-action setting. So far it looks great!