HOW THE REBOOT COMMITTED A FASHION CRIME AND DISAPPOINTED FANS
Netflix recently released a teaser trailer for its new show, Fate: The Winx Saga, a live-action reboot of the classic Italian animated series Winx Club. Yet, many fans are shaking their heads at the aesthetic of the reboot, which is set to hit the streaming service on January 22nd, 2021.
Why are fans so upset? For one, the new series has been slammed for whitewashing two of the six main characters and eliminating one fairy’s character altogether. On top of this, many fans argue that the reboot took away the fashion that the fairies were so loved for—and who can blame them?
The reboot turned to a darker and edgier color palette in lieu of the glittery and colorful shades in the original show. The new color palette is akin to that of popular series like Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. While this switch was made to appeal to the now grown-up fans of the original show, it left most fans feeling disappointed.
The teaser trailer introduces us to characters Bloom, Stella, Aisha, Terra and Musa— looking nothing like anyone would have expected. The girls are seen donning ill-fitting, uninspired outfits in muted hues, their ensembles nothing like the iconic attire that Winx Club fans commonly associate with the characters. With one look at the girls, it feels like costuming—something that was so integral to the original animated series—was an afterthought.
It is no wonder that fans of Winx Club are upset with what Netflix has shown them so far. It seems as if the creators have taken all the parts of Winx Club that were so beloved by fans and trashed them in an attempt to mimic the popular shows of today.
In the original Winx Club series, each character was based on a famous woman of the time, and the unique fashion sense was heavily inspired by early 2000s trends. The creators even went so far as to hire fashion designers of the time to help create the animated outfits. Each of the fairies had their own color palette that went along with their powers, and the fashion was girly, feminine and fun. Netflix’s reboot seems to miss how vital the fashion was to the original show. While the girls’ ensembles may not be as pertinent to the actual plot line of the reboot, it is something that fans strongly associate with the nostalgic original series.
In an interview for the Guardian, Brian Young—one of the reboot’s writers—explains why the girls look nothing like the original characters, stating, “Nobody looks like that. It was the most important thing to me that every kid can feel like they see themselves in it … Real girls, real people.” What Young is referring to is that the fairies in the original series often wore scandalous outfits and had perfect hair. While it is completely understandable to aspire to accurately represent the teens of today, the reboot fails even in that endeavor.
It is understandable to take this reboot as an opportunity to promote body positivity and keep the costuming from objectifying the fairies by putting the main characters in more conservative outfits. The objectification of women in media is all too common an issue, especially in shows directed towards a younger audience. Yet, the costuming could have successfully prevented objectification while still maintaining the girly and colorful outfitting of the original Winx Club.
Take one look at the teenage girls on Instagram and TikTok, and you will see that many of the current fashion trends reflect those that were popular in the early 2000s. Few teenage girls truly dress like the characters of Fate: The Winx Saga.
As a result, fans have taken matters into their own hands, creating artistic renditions of the girls in the original Winx Club with a modern style. The fan creations maintain the nostalgia of the original series while doing exactly what Young was attempting. The Winx Club fandom has put the cast in outfits that real teenage girls would wear today.
Perhaps the series will redeem itself when it airs at the end of January. However, for many fans, the show’s future is looking grim. If the series truly follows in the footsteps of shows like Riverdale, many will face disappointment. Fans fear that another classic will lose its nostalgic charm in favor of a sexy, edgier tone.