Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lionhearts Aflutter

Like stumbling through a certain wardrobe of wonder in late Victorian London, grownups feeling their way through the sale racks of online sameness will suddenly rediscover a fantasy world at Wovenplay that bears little resemblance to anything else. It isn’t just the organic fabrics, fresh-wrung stressed textures reminiscent of old Allied army cloth, or graceful illusion of child’s craft (sorry, you couldn’t make this at home); it’s the mystical blend of courtyard commonness with rich imagination that makes creations like Moth so exquisitely brillig, as English kid-lit icon Lewis Carroll would have mused before dashing down his rabbit hole again.

Knight, for example, is what most boys’ playsuits aspire to be, but rarely become: a tunic-and-headpiece fit for dragon-slaying that won’t fall to pieces (as most parents’ well-intentioned cardboard “chainmail” always seems to do) en route to the treehouse castle. Little lionhearts, after all, want to be taken seriously by all but perhaps Guinevere; even more so, however, every mother wants to feel she’s outfitted the cutest warrior on the block. With a costume out there that conjures up the best of both worlds, I’m done trying to be Merlin, rolling out laughable paper helmets with homespun magic as my five-year-old eyes the whole operation suspiciously. From now on, I’ll trust the wizards at Wovenplay to ready my boys for battle.

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