NEW YORK -- The fashion world has found a muse at the movies: Alice in Wonderland.
Following the storyline of the new Tim Burton adaptation of the classic Lewis Carroll book, this Alice is distinctly more mature -- and has outgrown the headband and pinafore so familiar from her previous animated persona. Now she is live-action, edgy, adventurous and confident.
She wears a corseted style and a halter dress with haphazard ruffles and ribbons (the latter look seemingly ripped from the Paris runways).
That makes her a perfect inspiration for the atypical fashion and beauty partners Disney Consumer Products lined up for Alice, including jeweler Tom Binns, Swarovski, Bloomingdale's and makeup brand Urban Decay.
It's Burton's explosion of color, texture and dramatic costumes that has people talking, says Avril Graham, executive fashion editor at Harper's Bazaar. "The whole package for each character, with its other-worldly hair, makeup and design combo almost echoes the mood of current popular culture," she says, comparing it with the communal fascination of Lady Gaga.
The Lexington Avenue windows of Bloomingdale's flagship store in Manhattan are filled with Binns' jewelry modeled after the Red Queen, the White Rabbit and the Cheshire Cat, among other kooky characters, and there are Tea Party vignettes set up in the home department. Movie props decorate the dress floor where designer Sue Wong's Alice-themed cocktail dresses hang.
Swarovski, which collaborated with the film's costume designer Colleen Atwood, is selling replicas of the sparrow pendant worn by Mia Wasikowska's Alice character. The centerpiece is a smoked topaz crystal on a pendant.
Urban Decay crafted an eye-shadow palette housed in box made to look like a gold-spine book. When you open it up, out comes a pop-up scene from the mushroom forest. And, of course, there's a keyhole latch.
"I never connected with the old Disney cartoony Alice because she was very clean and had an apron," says Wende Zomnir, creative director and founding partner of Urban Decay. "But I don't think the Lewis Carroll book is quite so shiny and perfect, and I think this movie will be more like that."
Each person has their own image of what "Wonderland" looks like and that's what fuels so much creativity, says Stephanie Kraus, vice president of fashion and home at Disney Consumer Products. Disney saw this film as an opportunity to branch out from its usual marketing partners. "We wanted to align with the right designers and right brands because it has a bit of an edge," Kraus says.
Alice, being a century-old story, obviously has a life beyond of-the-moment trendy fashion, and the clothes, accessories and beauty items that use it as inspiration will be relevant years from now, she predicts, just as the imagery from the book and all its movie versions have lasted.
Zomnir says that Carroll's original tone encouraged readers to get in touch with deeper, perhaps even decadent, sides of their personalities, and that's what Burton does in his films: He takes viewers on a journey to the edge.
That idea, Zomnir says, actually translates quite well on the runway and in makeup. "We want you to explore the dangerous side of yourself, even if you're a soccer mom in the middle of the country."