and she became the hero of her own fairy tale

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

I went to an advance screening of Alice and Wonderland last night and it’s all I can think about today. I may need to see it several more times. As you’d expect from Tim Burton, everything is just a little bit off – at times outrageously so, as it should be. And just when you think it’s getting a bit too box-office (explosion/chase scenes, girl-power cliches), some camera angle or line throws it back into fantastical delirium. The clothes, notably Alice’s wardrobe, are gorgeous – there’s a long blue gown with straps criss-crossing it (above), an unfinished-looking red dress with a tulle skirt, and a long pajama jacket with pants and sandals…somehow both costume and ready-to-wear at once. I’ve read a review or two suggesting that the clothes look “too runway” for this story, but I think they fit perfectly into Burton’s imagining of Alice as she teeters on the precipice of adulthood, learning love and instinct over fear, trusting the internal and exploring the external, and discovering the distance between impossibility and possibility. If fashion is fantasy, then these clothes are ideal for the film (and don’t we all want the fairy tale?). In keeping with Burton’s vision – the story is an interpretation – an expansion, if you will…they remind us of an Alice we knew, or thought we knew – before.

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