Alice In Wonderland at Printemps

June 10th, 2011 by retail design blog

If, like me, you’ve been looking forward to one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year, you’ll most likely have already drooled over the various editorials, movie set photos and anything else remotely related to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. When I heard that French department store Printemps had collaborated with a few of the biggest fashion designers, allowing them to decorate a window, create outfits and interpret their version of Alice as they saw fit, I knew we were in for a treat. I saw sketches of the windows a while ago, but thought it would be better to share the real thing.

Bernard Willhelm

Christopher Kane / Nicholas Kirkwood

“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 will say that the Kirkwoods were as spectacular as I though they’d be, although a little tricky to photograph. These shoes were made on commission for Printemps and were not available for sale. Since the store window version is the only pair in the world, I was determined to catch every detail… which resulted in me smacking my forehead against the glass several times as I crouched on the street floor. Very elegant (and sadly not the first time this has happened).

Ann Demeulemeester

“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

Charles Anastase

“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


“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 design team

Alexander McQueen

Manish Arora

Maison Martin Margiela

“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

Haider Ackermann

“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

quotes were taken from

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