By Story Star correspondent Jane Haynes
When you think of iconic fantasy fiction characters, it doesn’t get more crazy or memorable than Alice in Wonderland. Whether it is the dainty, girly style of the eponymous Alice, the formal and dapper figure of the White Rabbit or the off-the-wall statement look of the Mad Hatter which have captured your imagination, take a trip down the rabbit hole and discover how to steal that style.
Alice personifies childhood innocence and grace, which is mirrored in her now classic costume. Her flowing blue and white gown, dainty slippers and hairband are instantly identifiable in any and every Alice adaptation, and paint a telling portrait of a dainty (if curious) little girl. Alice’s look is the epitome of a timeless and classic girly style, where the more frills and trills, the better. If you want to steal her look, be prepared to cast off your 21st century edginess and embrace all that is truly and traditionally feminine in fashion.
The most popular takes on the Alice look will undoubtedly feature the prominent baby blue and white colour palettes, a combination which is synonymous with the character. Whether you are opting for a signature dress in the primary Alice colours or giving a more modern take on the look, stream Alice’s look with either a flowing A-line skirt on the bottom and anything with the puffball sleeve on top (sheer blouse, structured shirt, etc.). Gingham accents or accessories simultaneously hint at Wonderland style and dainty, girly fashion.
For those opting for a more subtle approach, whether dressing down for a casual day look or dolling up for a night out, a pair of sheer white tights will add instant Alice-esque prettiness to the mix. Concentrating on accessories and subtle detail can often provide statement enough, and what channels Alice better than her trademark Alice band? Whether plain or adorned with bows, jewels and feathers, the mere sight of a classically styled Alice band conjures up that pretty, girly style.
The style influences of Alice in Wonderland don’t stop with Alice, or humans for that matter, as the whole host of whimsical characters prove. While his tardiness may be some cause for concern throughout the tale, one thing which the White Rabbit has down to a T is eye-catching style. Indeed, this is the most fashionable rabbit I have ever seen; his tailed waistcoat, cravat and pocket watch striking a dapper statement.
Fashion has been all abuzz with the formal styles of the Victorian era, with the image of the dapper gent and the sophisticated madame dominating popular trends. What accessory is more befitting of the traditional formal attire than the pocket watch? Indeed, the White Rabbit’s trademark trinket strikes the perfect statement of traditional sophistication, whether in the form of a lady’s pendant, a gentleman’s shirt clip or the classic pocket chain.
Continuing on the thread of formal suit attire is none other than the Mad Hatter, albeit in the most whimsical manner possible. Perhaps the most infamous of all of Wonderland’s inhabitants, the Mad Hatter is known primarily for his outrageous tea parties and general craziness, but secondly for his out-there costume. Instantly recognisable on sight of that enormous top hat, his trademark dickie-bows, jacket tails and kaleidoscopic colour palettes make for a very interesting style inspiration.
As Tim Burton’s vivid incarnation of the character proves, anything goes with the Mad Hatter. While the staple elements of his look are quite traditional, Johnny Depp’s distinctly 21st century portrayal proves that this look is easily adapted to any era and occasion. The top hat is the Mad Hatter’s signature; understandably however, its’ very image and symbolism can be intimidating for the 21st century fashionista. My advice is to reserve the Mad Hatter top-hat look for that very special occasion which calls for optimum glamour and strike a dramatic figure in a miniature top-hat fascinator or headband.
The Mad Hatter’s dickie-bows, on the other hand, are an accessory fit for every outfit and occasion. Whether donning your favourite casual checked shirt or a sophisticated blouse, or simply drawing attention to a fab Peter Pan-collared dress, a dickie-bow, bowtie or cravat tie will add a distinctly funky touch, reminiscent of the Mad Hatter himself.
And who would the Mad Hatter be without his trademark tea cups? The tea cup is a constant draw for both high street and haute couture designers, whether displaying it in their jewellery collections or branding it in a print form across their clothing. Nothing channels the Mad Hatter quite like the tea cup, and so whether donning a print on a pretty prom dress or investing in some statement jewellery, keep the tea party motif in mind with cute cutlery and china patterns.