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Thoughts on Alice in Wonderland

March 23, 2010

I’m a longtime Alice in Wonderland fan. In middle school, I sculpted a clay Jabberwock to go with an essay for school about Lewis Carroll. Last year I made the Red Queen’s costume from the new movie. So despite the facts that I almost never see movies in theaters anymore, and I try to avoid Disney, I had to see this movie.

Overall, I didn’t hate it as much as many reviewers have. But I do have one big complaint:

Why did they insist on calling the creature the Jabberwocky?

“Jabberwocky” is the name of the poem. The creature is the Jabberwock.

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

That bothered me every time they mentioned it. I’m also still bothered by the combination of the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts characters into one, but that’s a Disney problem, not specific to only this version.

To completely change tracks now, a thought on the costuming. Slight spoilers ahead.

I expected the Knave to betray the Red Queen in a more dramatic way. Try watching movies with an eye on the costuming as an art. Think of the costume designs and choices as another tool in the performance. It’s especially easy with someone like Colleen Atwood, who is amazing at her craft.

You can see the Knave here. Now think of the Red Queen, the cards, her castle, her throne, etc. The only sign of a heart or anything red on the Knave is his eyepatch. If he was geniunely hers, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the scales of his armor were heart-shaped. Or at least the pattern in his cloak (oops–that was red, too, wasn’t it?), which was a fairly generic swirl from what I could tell.

As for Alice… poor Mia Wasikowska, draped in some of the most unflattering dresses ever designed. With the notable exception of the red dress. Love it! If I had any thought that I could find that stripe-and-heart fabric, I would make it.

I still love my Red Queen costume, and I’ll break it out at Dragon*con again this year. I heard such bad things about the movie, I was a little nervous seeing it. But I feel so close to that costume now that I can’t believe how much the one on screen made me feel like it was mine! I even got a little thrill when she sat down, and I saw that the hearts on her skirt are only in the front where they’d normally be seen. I didn’t take mine all the way around because I was out of time. But now it turns out I was actually being accurate. I would like to redo the shoes. But I’m sure that plan will get cut short by whatever this year’s costume is.

Which is a good question… what IS this year’s costume going to be?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Lianne permalink
    August 31, 2010 12:07 am

    I absolutely love your Red Queen costume! I will be attempting to do the Red Queen for Halloween this year. I Red your blog about the dress and how you made it! It’s just amazing! I am trying to find the tights that you used in the picture… I tried finding it on but can’t seem to locate it! Do you by any chance know how you searched for it , by name or by style?

    I would greatly appreciate it if you could let me know how I could get ahold of it! I hope my attempt to be the Red Queen will be a success…

    Thanks so much,


  2. Ruth permalink*
    August 31, 2010 1:13 am

    Thanks, Lianne! It looks like Yandy doesn’t sell them anymore, but I went back to my receipt, and the name was “Opaque Thigh Highs With Poker Suit Print.” That comes up with a few more results if you search a bit. Here’s one:

    Good luck! Send me a picture when you’re done.

  3. Lianne permalink
    August 31, 2010 1:30 am

    Thanks Ruth, I searched online again and found a few of them but it seems like everyone is doing the Red Queen this year! lol, For the dress I am actually getting the generic one online and then having someone re-build it like yours! It looks so much more authentic!

    Did you sew the black hearts onto the skirt? ( the ones the gold hearts are outlined with) I wrote down all the details of your description so I had it handy when my seamstress got ahold of the generic one! =) What kind of petticoat did you use if any! I see in the movie it looks like the sides of the dress is puffy. It it just the style of dress making? I am so thankful for all your help! I will seriously send you a pic of the outcome for sure! I’ll pay close attention to your details … If you have any more hints or information of how I could make it look more authentic like yours please please let me know .. Just email me anytime! This is getting exciting =)

    Big Hugs


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