General: carousel boutique
Although it bears the appearance of a tent with a tall spire, Carousel Boutique is a sold wood-framed building that houses Ponyville's resident fashion designer, Rarity. Since there appear to be no zoning ordinences in Ponyville, the building also serves as a place of business in which Rarity both designs and sells her wares. The bottom floor hold a showroom, a kitchen, a small runway, and a general workspace. The upper floors contain Rarity's "Inspiration Room," her plush master bedroom, and a bedroom for her younger sister Sweetie Belle who, for reasons as yet unexplained, frequently sleeps over.
The design of the exterior and of the showroom is themed after a carnival ride called a carousel. For the benefit of readers under the age of thirty, a carousel is an open structure with elaborately decorated wooden horses that patrons ride upon as they rotate around a central pillar. Like a carousel, the showroom is decorated with tall mirrors and contains pony dress forms that resemble unpainted wooden horses.
Originally, the showroom was intended to rotate like a carousel with the dress forms wearing Rarity-made costumes, but it was quickly determined that it would be a nightmare to animate. Rarity's affinity for sparkling gems would have made the rotating mannequins look very much like the wooden carousel horses that inspired them. They had also intended to use bridles, a common feature of wooden carousel horses, as fashion accessories, but it was determined that they looked a little too much like fetish bondage gear.
Despite the alterations to the building's design and to pony fashion, Carousel Boutique retained a certain kinky quality. Saddles have a fetishistic air given that their purpose is to allow ponies to carry riders on their backs comfortably. Dresses have a strangely backwards kinkiness since ponies typically wear nothing at all. Ponies appear to be more naked when they are wearing clothes, as the saying goes. As for the building itself, the mirrors everywhere and plush accommodations are vaguely reminiscent of a high-class brothel. Fan "artists" have made extensive use of Carousel Boutique as a backdrop for carnal subject matter. Even the mannequins themselves are popular fetish subjects.
The show itself, however, aims to depict a more classy joint. The ever fastidious Rarity keeps the place spotless apart from the "organized chaos" in her inspiration room. In fact, the whole thing is about as neat and organized as your rich aunt's incredibly boring house that your parents used to bring you to when they would get the urge to visit family. Not too sexy, that.
The in-universe origins of Carousel Boutique are somewhat mysterious, although they are considerably less mysterious than the origins of Fluttershy's Cottage. In Cutie Mark Chronicles loli Rarity is shown working on costumes for a school play inside Carousel Boutique. That leads us to believe that her parents bought it for her. If that is the case, it would make sense that they bought the boutique for both Rarity and her younger sister Sweetie Belle, which would go a long way towards explaining why the younger sister has her own room there. That is one way to empty the nest, I suppose. Of course, that is just speculation.
The following tags are aliased to this tag: rarity's_shop