Down the rabbit hole: Vivienne Westwood’s Alice in Wonderland cover
For an important date
It's hard to find a child or adult who hasn't fallen for the charms of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. In fact, the enduring appeal and timelessness of Lewis Carroll's classic makes it hard to believe that this year's marks the 150th anniversary of the children's novel.
And who better to celebrate the book's birthday but the grand dame of British fashion herself - Vivienne Westwood? With an eye to the universal appeal of the tale, the kooky designer has created a special cover in conjunction with Vintage Classics. Westwood's colourful book cover features a deconstructed Harlequin print (a pattern that Westwood clearly loves - she's used it since the '80s) and one of Alice's original illustrations by Tenniel.
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It was important to Westwood that her 2015 cover should feature the original drawings. "The original drawings by Tenniel... help to make the book so sensational," she says. "They are how we normally think of Alice - a little girl with a band holding her hair back. Because they are so brilliant, the drawings are an important part of appreciating the story."
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Like the rest of the world, the book holds a special place in the legendary designer's heart - it was even one of the influences for her Red Label A/W '11 collection. The new edition features an introduction written by Westwood, who has also added her thoughts on capitalism, the environment, sustainable energy and activism - written specially for today's kids in mind. "Kids! Never become complacent," Westwood writes. "The world we think we know reflects the way we are conditioned to see it. Maybe it's not like that at all. Carroll is on your side. Always wonder."
To further mark the occasion, Westwood hosted a Mad Hatter's Tea party at her Conduit Store in London, telling WWD she loved how radical Carroll's attitudes were towards children were at the time. "It's just such genius! It's so brilliant. It is really subversive of official opinion and official attitudes to children."
Considering that Westwood is credited for bringing '70s punk to the mainstream, we think the collaboration (of sorts) between English literature's great absurdist and British fashion's most eccentric couldn't be a better fit.
Priced at €25 (approx. $36), the book is available for purchase online at viviennewestwood.com.
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