Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Alice Look

This year is a very special year for all Alice in Wonderland enthusiasts like myself. This year celebrates 150 years of this very special text which has been read - and used as inspiration - worldwide. To celebrate it's 150th anniversary, this is being marked by several events in London in 2015. Some of you may of heard of Alice Underground (I've yet to go!), Macmillan has announced it's re-releasing some of the texts in 2015, and there's currently an Alice in Wonderland themed exhibition hosted at the Museum of Childhood in London's Bethnal Green.


The exhibition hosts a collection of books, images and outfits showing the impact and amount of influence the book has had on pop culture. What was most interesting to me, was how the image of Alice has transformed over the years to fit in with the fashions of the time. Little changes like frills added to her apron, a fuller skirt, ribbons in her hair and a more defined waist. It was interesting how Disney has shaped our perception of how we think Alice should look - because in the first colour illustration of Alice, she was in fact wearing a yellow dress not a blue one.


In some texts, she is depicted as wearing a black and white check skirt, a pink t-shirt, or even jeans!


It was also interesting how the image of Alice - and her attire - varies from country to country. For years it has been a major form of inspiration for the Harajuku girls in Japan - particularly Lolita style.


There has been Alice in Wonderland inspired Liberty print for Vans
 

... as well as appearing in fashion editorials, Temperley London's shop window and Vogue


Younger visitors to the museum are  encouraged to design their own Alice outfit - a variety of ages participated, most of the designs very cute.
 

My favourites included an East London hipster Alice who wears culottes as they're both "on trend" and "practical"


... and let's not forget "stroppy Alice" (definitely had a giggle there!)


 Most drawings adhered to the well known dress and apron combo - because why change a classic?


Although not a massive exhibition, it's definitely worth a visit. Ideal for those who are really pushed for time, as it's right at the front of the museum and will only take you about 10-15 minutes to look around... if that. The Alice Look will be at London's Museum of Childhood until 1st November 2015. You can find out more about the exhibition and museum here.

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