“You may be interested to know that fairies live at my farm in Vermont,” says Eugenie Bird matter-of-factly. “Also, I have asked the woodchucks in the area to stop eating my garden, and I am grateful to say that they have honored my request.”
All of this seems appropriate in light of Eugenie Bird’s contribution to Fairie-Ality: The Fashion Collection from the House of Ellwand, where stunning photographs of hand-crafted fairy fashions are augmented by witty captions written by Eugenie Bird herself. Her clever, saucy copy makes it abundantly clear that the feathered hats in Fairie-Ality are designed for maximum lift, the sharply tailored oak leaf jacket boasts ample wing vents, and all flower-petal flats are easily removable for flight.
Eugenie Bird says that flipping through vintage issues of Flair, Fleur Cowles’s influential fashion magazine of the 1950s, helped her achieve the perfect fashion-savvy tone. Combing through books such as The Encyclopedia of Fairies by Katharine Briggs alerted her to such details as the fact that not all fairies have wings, necessitating the use of flying aids such as special hats. And the author’s innate love of fairies and nature went a long way toward helping her shape the background story, written in the voice of a breathless young fairy. Offering details only an insider could know, she follows a whirlwind season of social events that begins with a royal cotillion as the first bluebells bloom and ends with a Fairie Tale Wedding on Midsummer’s Eve.
Eugenie Bird has taught art, edited books for Senator Adlai Stevenson, assisted the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and created a cultural history program for grammar schools. She is also a certified arc welder. In her spare time, she says she enjoys all sorts of things: “Reading, art, writing, gardening, cooking—which I try to do as well as I can. I like to surprise myself.” The author and her husband raised two children and now divide their time between Chicago and their Vermont farm, which they share with a thriving fairie community.