Saturday, 20 February 2010

Inspiration from Alice

With the long awaited Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton coming to cinema's next month, the mysterious, childhood fairytale has got fashion ears from around the world pricked. The Printemps shop in Paris has got a collection of designers to create outfits inspired by their favourite characters. My favourite are the Nicholas Kirkwood shoes... Each describes their own interpretation:

“I think my favorite Alice character is the March Hare. You can see I’ve made his watch rather prominent. This was a different design process for me, because I’m not usually so applicative—typically, I’m thinking about line, silhouette. But this time, I figured, why not just pile as much as I can on top?” —Nicholas Kirkwood

“I went to John Tenniel’s original illustration of Alice for inspiration. She’s seated at a table having tea, and her dress looks much more asymmetrical and theatrical than that boring Walt Disney version. It was also an auto-reference to my collections, as Lewis Carroll’s work has been one of the main inspirations of my label since its creation. Alice Liddell, the real little girl with long dark hair who inspired Carroll, is one of the very few icons that I have. The pictures of her are a constant inspiration for me.” —Charles Anastase

“Alice’s silhouette is a blue upside-down dress with cage sleeve, as if she walked through the mirror and her dress completely reversed. A long ball gown has been reworked, upside-down, into a minidress. The bustier in taffetas becomes a pleated miniskirt. The petticoat in plonge becomes an asymmetrical draped top. The skirt in ‘plumetis’ tulle becomes a veil. A cage sleeve of whale-boned velvet ribbon is embroidered with pearls, crystals, and recycled jewels.” —Maison Martin Margiela

In 2008 the Fashion Institute of New York held an exhibition called "Eat me, drink me, now walk with me" which was an installation of garments created in muslin hich represent the designers modern interpretations of the characters in the Lewis Carroll classic.

Everyone must remember the Vogue Photoshoot of Natalia Vodianova along with many fashion designers as Alice.

Last year, a friend used this shoot as inspiration and produced her own interpretation with me as Alice. Take a look:

Photographs by Suzannah James

What is it about the enchanting tale that excites the fashion minded individual?
Please e-mail me any comments or questions to: