The following were presented at a panel at Wesleyan University about dressing in the fashion of Wonderland using street clothes we already own.
For Alice I wanted to get away from the illustrated, Disney, or ‘Gothic Lolita’ version — so how do we create “Alice” without a pinafore?
1. Color: I retained the Blue and White color palette.
2. Hints: The thick headband is so married to Alice in Wonderland it is named “an Alice band” and along with Mary Jane shoes, the “girl” archetype is achieved without a poufy dress. I also selected the pleated blouse to hint at Victorian styles.
3. Talismans: Alice and Wonderland are equated with Rabbits, Keys, Playing cards, Chess pieces, Mushrooms, Potion bottles, Tea sets… any and all of which can be found or created as accessories.
Recently I was part of a little panel at Wesleyan University about dressing in the fashion of Wonderland using street clothes we already own. Anyone who has spent any amount of time with me, received an email from me, or followed me on twitter or tumblr or any of my various blogs knows how important the stories of Alice in Wonderland are to me. The Alice books and many adaptations are not simply my favorites, nor is it merely an intellectual captivation. It’s personal. Alice, Wonderland, Mirrors, Rabbits, Pills, Keys, Pawns… these are concepts I use to express myself and explain myself to the world, and in a very Alice way, to myself. Now, I’m hardly the only one — Alice has fascinated people since she was first introduced and that fascination, and how we all play with the imagery and ideas, are why I can use it all to express myself and explain myself — it’s become a shared mythology.
Wonderland is probably most often used as a metaphor for madness; as the text directs us. But whether Wonderland is mental dysfunction or simply a childish dream the lesson most important to me is that Alice has complete control over it. Alice gets herself into, around, and out of Wonderland all by herself.
The other panelist Elseachay put together the following presentation on “closet costumes” which is the other side of the mirror equivalent of my ready-to-wear outings. I deconstruct costumes to create “real world” fashions and she uses “real world” clothing to create costumes. The results by definition meet in the middle: mirror images!
I really enjoy putting together ready-to-wear superhero outfits, I’m not giving it up, but like I played with my own wardrobe for Avengers Week I decided I wanted to challenge the idea. I’m going to Wiscon this weekend and I decided to pick a science fiction heroine and put together a con-day RTW look with elements I found at the mall. Challenge!
I chose: Daenery Targaryn (Dothraki Leathers)
And headed to the Westfarms Mall.
We went to a number of stores, at first avoiding the big department blocks (Nordstrom, Macys), but as the afternoon wore on we ended up everywhere. The above was found at Free People and though it was on the sale rack was about $50 over our budget. For this particular challenge I wanted to keep the cost below $100 (note: I didn’t buy new shoes).