One of my favorite stories of all times is Alice in Wonderland. While the original story was published by Lewis Carroll in 1865 and the animated film, which I watched over and over as a child, was produced by Walt Disney and released almost 90 years after the book’s publication in 1951. It still fascinates me to see how Alice has influenced fashion, art and even décor. I was elated when I learned almost a year ago that Tim Burton was directing a new version of Alice with the most amazing dream cast! I can’t wait to see Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter or the unbelievably-talented Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen of Hearts.
Some of the artwork used by Disney to promote Tim Burton's Alice
I could go on forever about Alice’s magic and influence, but I can’t get the idea of checkerboard floors out of my mind. It is a recurring theme in my design dreams—an appealing palette of contrasting colors, the dark-magic gothic vibe of the Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel, some of the amazing works of German photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten, not to mention a fashion editorial shot by Annie Leibovitz in Vogue circa 2003, starring Natalia Vodianova as Alice and some of the best designers of our time as the characters surrounding her, including Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Donatella Versace and John Galliano as one of the best Queen of Hearts I ever saw.
The lobby at the Gramercy Park Hotel (designed by Julian Schnabel)
The Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel
Images from British designer's Abigail Ahern's home (she says she's also been influenced by Alice)
Vodianova as Alice and Galliano as the Queen of Hearts, pure genius!
With Marc Jacobs
To celebrate the release of the new Alice, lots of designers are getting in on the act. Stella McCartney, Tom Binns and Swarovski have come up with cool costume jewelry and dazzling baubles for the spring. Opi has launched a line of new nail polish colors with names such as Thanks So Muchness! And Off with Her Red! and even Urban Decay has created a shadow palette all inspired in Alice. In Paris, the windows of Printemps are dedicated to and inspired by all things Alice and Bloomingdale’s flagship store on 59th street will be featuring Alice in Wonderland exhibits and window displays in March. But, this would all be nonsense without the images that I’ve put together for you, and, no, we are not all mad here!
Julia Fullerton-Batten's Milk Bottle (2005)
Tom Binn for Walt Disney Signature: hematite chains, ruby pearls, light amethyst, swarovski crystals, and gold safety pins
Stella McCartney's bracelet and necklace. Hand made in Italy: brass and aluminium light gold anthracite chain and plexi Alice charms.
One of the fabulous windows at Printemps (clothes by Manish Arora)
The shoes that Nicholas Kirkwood designed for the window display at Printemps