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The Alice Look – V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green

Running from May 2nd through to November 1st, this new and exciting exhibition celebrates the 150th birthday of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Marking the birthday of this most extraordinary book, which has transcended medium after medium for generations, the V&A Museum of Childhood has worked hard to bring together a number of artefacts to showcase an international obsession with the character of Alice, and her literary companions…and in some cases, enemies.

The exhibition will showcase a number of garments, photographs, rare editions of the book and illustrations, which show how Alice has influenced fashion over the years. From representing Alice’s original look, the exhibits will also explore modern interpretations from celebrities such as Gwen Stefani, Aerosmith and Avril Lavigne.

Although many attribute Alice to period dress, her image has inspired many, from Vivienne Westwood to Annie Leibovitz. Discovering the ways in which Alice has inspired fashion across the world, the V&A has brought together some interesting pieces, from Lolita-style dresses in Japan to Provencal sundresses. The exhibit also includes a brand new commission by Roksanda pattern-cutter, Josie Smith.

There will be four main areas within the exhibition. The beginning showcases early editions of the book with illustrations from Sir John Tenniel, alongside children’s dress from the period of the books release. The subsequent areas look at how illustrators have kept Alice up to dater throughout the years, and look at how Alice has made a global impact on culture, inspiring fashion, and music across the globe.

There will be a one day conference on Saturday 9th May, which will explore more around the notion of Alice as a trend-setter, with tickets costing £25. Confirmed speakers include Will Brooker, Ellen Kirkpatrick, Emma Mawston, Josephine Rout and Aneesh Barai.

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