If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?
i fell in love with alice when i was 3 years old and visiting my grandparents in nevada. to keep me entertained over the visit, they had bought me, as a gift, a VHS copy of disney’s alice in wonderland. now, as an especial treat, a new mainstream alice movie is about to open in theaters, directed by my favorite, tim burton. i.am.so.excited.
i’ve loved everything alice for as long as i can remember, though, my favorite copy of both alice in wonderland and alice through the looking glass is the annotated version edited by martin gardner. i love the original illustrations by john tenniel–but for pictures, i have to say my favorite copy of alice is my copy illustrated by arthur rackam. i do love tenniel’s detail and the original black and white lines, but rackam adds a key victorian depth to bringing wonderland to life.
so, in light of the approaching momentous occasion, i have planned a big screening party, and have already signed up to be notified with movie tickets are available! and i have encouraged (gently!) all my friends to come and dress up for this important date! try googling “alice in wonderland costume” and you’ll see that the mainstream selection is somewhat limited. as i’m going to a venue in daylight, i prefer to eschew the “sexy alice” look in favor for something that i would actually wear outside the privacy of my own home. i’ve had the good fortune to find a number of dress options outside of the “halloween costume” alice couture. particularly, i’m having good luck with the japanese gothic lolita/cosplay market. here are a few more “traditional” alice dresses i’m thinking of ordering for the movie.
though, i’m also wondering, as an homage to tim burton, if i might also look outside the typical sky-blue alice dress with the white apron. i’m not blonde, after all, and maybe i should go for something a little less predictable. it might be fun to stand out a little bit from the hordes of women and girls dressed in blue that are sure to be in and around on opening night. i’m especially fond of the black club/spade dress below, which is a nice play on an alice theme, but still a little bit different. it’s a little more edgy, but still clearly belonging to the wonderland cannon.
i’ve noticed too, as she sometimes does, that alice has come en vogue lately. i’m seeing reflections of wonderland in tea sets (of course), but also bridal showers, weddings, parties, clothing, and all manners of art. a local artist, justin hillgrove, has a collection called “imps and monsters“. in the past his themes have included a number of adorable monsters and robots. my husband and i stumbled upon his artwork at a regional music festival. we were hooked immediately and used some of the money we’d received as wedding gifts to purchase some of his pieces. we hang proudly in our living room a limited edition print-painted-on-canvas of sleeping monsters, as well as a couple of his original robot paintings. i’ve had difficulty resisting his line of alice paintings, and to ease the pain my husband recently bought me the below print on a t-shirt of alice and the cheshire cat.
i’ve also looked around on etsy and there are literally hundreds of pages of handmade treasures featuring wonderland themes. it makes deciding how to dress up for a movie pretty difficult, really. and could easily break my bank, frankly.
it’s trendy now–but alice will always be important to me. it’s a story that’s held meaning for me throughout my life–and it always will. from watching the video as a little girl, to studying the story in a victorian literature class, to frequent reenactments of the mad tea party, a love for croquet and the color red–as well as playing cards–my love for this story will always be. it’s a story about girlhood and responsibility. it’s a coming of age story that combines adventure with life lessons–and teaches us the wonderment of being alone sometimes. it helps me center and reevaluate my life and is symbolic of my making of life choices–and like the cheshire cat points out, even when the solace of advice from my friends fails to bring me peace, i remember that no one can tell me how to get there if i don’t know where i want to go. it’s wonderful and wise, fantastic and real, all at once.
though–it is rather nice to have it be en vogue–so there are lots of wonderful things available. i’m trying to hold back, but, my friend’s dear little son, at 2. 5 years!, spent his time looking through alice necklaces made from old scrabble tiles, until he found one my my initial on it.it was so sweet my heart almost burst!