French store Printemps is lightning up the the dreary, gray winter with their delightful Alice in Wonderland windows. To celebrate the release of Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland they gave free rein to a group of top designers to use their imagination and create their own Alice dress.
Also, as a tribute to the legendary Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Ladurée and Printemps has installed a tearoom with long community tables to make your own tea party.
Ah, le sigh…I want to go to Paris!
with shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood
“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?”
“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.”
“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.”
“Running around careless and free in a romantic dress, falling down the rabbit hole, chasing time in a dreamlike state of mind, meeting unexpected characters with many tales to tell—sounds like many a girl’s night out!”
“My favorite character is the Duchess, who at first seems nearly as unpleasant as the Queen of Hearts. But she’s the antagonist of the queen, and at the end was only respectful and friendly, despite her tremendous ugliness. When I was designing this piece, I was seeing Alice running, escaping through the forest destroying her shiny dress.”
“I’ve always been intrigued by cutout silhouettes. They are so intriguing, so poetic—the shadow of a soul. They tell everything about a character and they are open to be filled with one’s own imagination.”