Nicholas, Chloé, Ann, And More Take On Alice
Last week://www.style.com/stylefile/2010/01/alice-in-france-two-centuries-of-smythson-or-whatever-you-want-and-more/">Nicholas Kirkwood’s Alice in Wonderland-inspired heels, made on commission for the French department store Printemps, which is giving over its windows to all things Alice through March. (Sad to say, they’re window-only—you’ll have to find another pair to wear to the theater.) For the installation, Kirkwood is joined by Ann Demeulemeester, Alexander McQueen, Bernhard Willhelm, Charles Anastase, Christopher Kane, Chloé, Haider Ackermann, Manish Arora, and Maison Martin Margiela, each of whom were given a window to fill as they saw fit. The windows went up this week in Paris. Below, Style.com takes a tour through the various Wonderlands and asks a few of the participating designers and design teams about their trip there.
The windows are on view through March 14 at Printemps, 64 Boulevard Haussmann, Paris, 33-1-42-82-57-87, www.printemps.fr.
“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?” —Nicholas Kirkwood
“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.” —Charles Anastase
“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.” —Haider Ackermann
“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.” —Ann Demeulemeester
“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.” —Maison Martin Margiela
“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!” —Chloé