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Monday, April 27, 2015


The Alice Look 
2 May – 1 November 2015 

2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the first publication of one of Britain’s best-known and most-loved children’s books, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. To mark the anniversary, the V&A Museum of Childhood’s display The Alice Look will bring together garments, photographs, rare editions and illustrations to show Alice as both a follower of fashion and a trendsetter.

Using photographs by Annie Leibovitz, book cover designs by Vivienne Westwood and Japanese Lolita clothing, The Alice Look will show how Alice has always embraced contemporary style. The display will also show how she has strongly influenced the way people dress and inspired designers and stylists the world over. The display culminates with a new commission by Josie Smith, pattern-cutter for Roksanda Ilincic, who will make fashion literally out of fiction, producing a 3-D version of Alice’s Wonderland outfit using fabric printed with text from the book.

The display will be divided into four parts: Beginnings will twin early editions of the Alice books with children’s garments from the Victorian period. Sir John Tenniel’s illustrations will be brought to life alongside the distinctive trademark elements of the original Alice look - striped stockings, apron, full-skirted dress and T-bar shoes from the V and A’s collections.

Follower of Fashion will show how illustrators have kept Alice relevant and up-to-date for contemporary audiences through a selection of 20th-century editions of Wonderland.

Inspiration will use magazines, photographs, posters and fabrics, as well as a compilation of films and still shots, to show how a vast array of people dress like Alice or wear clothes adorned with her image. A series of photographs that Annie Liebovitz shot for US Vogue featuring Natalia Vodianova and styled by Grace Coddington will sit alongside images of Lizzy Jagger in GQ. A selection of fabrics and supporting artwork from the Liberty Spring Summer 2015 Alice-themed fabric collection will demonstrate how Carroll’s work continues to excite and inspire. There will also be a film showing clips of pop videos and catwalk shows inspired by Alice, featuring Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne and Aerosmith among others.

Global Alice will combine costume and text to show how Alice’s appearance alters according to her location: Provençal Alice wears tropézienne sandals and a sundress, whilst a Swahili Alice dispenses with crinoline and opts for a local kanga. A complete Lolita-style outfit from the 1980s will show the pervasive influence of Alice on Japanese sub-culture.

On Saturday 9 May 2015 a one-day conference will be held at the Museum exploring Alice as both follower of fashion and trend-setter, with papers spanning the century and half since the publication of Wonderland. It will look closely at what Alice wears and what this can tell us about her, and at some of the diverse practices of dressing as Alice in different parts of the world. It will also explore the extent of and reasons for the profound influence of the Alice books on the world of fashion. Confirmed speakers will include Will Brooker, Aneesh Barai, Shahidha Bari, Ellen Kirkpatrick, Emma Mawston, Clare Rose, Mark Richards, Josephine Rout and Kiera Vaclavik.

You can visit the Museum of Childhood's website here.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Kristine here, picking up at Osterley Park where Victoria left off. We took the train out to Osterley and walked to the estate from the station. It was a glorious walk and seeing the grounds from different viewpoints was indeed special.


As we began our walk towards the house, we noticed horses loose in the paddock and, of course, we were compelled to speak to them, to pet them and to take about 718 photos of them.

As you can see by the photos, the horses were quite friendly. I was a tad surprised
 to see a Palomino in England, but then, why shouldn't there be?

Further up the drive, we spotted a pair playing table tennis. 

At last, we reached the house, as you are well aware after Victoria's fabulous photos that ran in last Friday's post. The house was just stunning and I spent much of our time there taking pictures of the architectural details and of the views from various windows, all of which I'll be sharing here soon.

Osterley's downstairs is as fabulous as its upstairs as the domestic areas in the basement remain relatively in their original state - and there are so many of them, more than can be seen in other stately homes.

I apologize for the shaky photos, but they may still go a ways towards showing you how well turned out some of the "servants" rooms were. Above is the game keepers room, the house keepers salon below. 

You can tell that the servants were valued at Osterley Park - 
they actually had windows to provide light, fresh air and a view. 

Here is the wine room - barrels of wine and beer would have been fitted into each compartment. 

More wine! And champagne! Sadly, there was no tasting on this tour. 

Even the Osterley horses were well regarded, as evidenced by the grand stable block above, now fitted out with a gift shop and tea room.  

As you can see by the photos below, Victoria and I stopped by the Osterley farm stand on our way back to the station.  The fruit and veg were simply gorgeous and Victoria and I snapped away with our cameras until I had a laughing fit. 

"What's so funny," Victoria asked as I doubled over with laughter.

"We're taking a hundred pictures of cabbage," I said, tears running down my face.

"So?" Victoria replied, snap snapping away with her camera.

"Oh, God," I said, "Veg! We're photographing veg. Would you take pictures of cabbage and potatoes if we were in the produce section at Publix?"

Victoria finally saw the humour and began laughing herself. "But it's British veg."

"I know! That's what's so funny. If anyone saw us, they'd think we were from some third world country where onions are a luxury. Thank God no one else is here - they'd think we were mad."

"Now you're worried about that? It's too late. People who know us already think we're mad."

More Loose in London Coming Soon!