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Monday Muse: Alice in Wonderland Inspires Mulberry Fall 2013

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

For quintessentially Brit brand Mulberry, drawing inspiration from literature is turning into a fashion story that we love watching unfold. And we’ve noticed a particular fondness for children’s books. Mulberry’s last fall/winter campaign was inspired by Maurice Sendak’s children’s classic, Where The Wild Things Are. And the brand’s exclusive Coachella fete last year (read it here) played the theme to the hilt with everything from a monster-themed motor coach to cushions, balloons and more.

Now, the latest collection from Mulberry creative director Emma Hill takes inspiration from yet another children’s classic: Alice in Wonderland. With eccentric prints, oversize proportions and the perfect ratio of whimsy to wearability, the Fall collection’s bags, boots and boucl© coats will be what the cool girls are wearing in London, New York and Wonderland!

While we predict success for this collection, when Alice in Wonderland made its debut in 1865, it was an instant flop. Reviewers panned Carroll’s work and instead, praised the illustrations, which were done by John Tenniel. It wasn’t until Carroll’s sequel, Through the Looking Glass, that Alice became an icon of children’s literature. Most people can recall images of Alice squashed in a room after a dalliance with magic potions, playing croquet with flamingos or quizzically conversing with a caterpillar. From the page to the screen, images of Alice have jumped from mere imagination to Disney’s animated classic and Tim Burton’s live-action adaptation, both searing the image of Alice in a blue dress into the world’s collective psyche.

Mulberry Fall 2013

Mulberry Fall 2013

The Fall 2013 collection from Mulberry had nary a hint of Alice blue, however.

Instead, Hill focused on playing with shapes. Inspired by Alice’s big-one-minute-small-the-next romp down the rabbit hole, high-collared boucl© jackets had huge sloping shoulders or exploded check patterns. Dresses and jackets also included dreamy flower prints, echoing images of Alice cavorting with marigolds, pansies and irises during her golden afternoon.

Mulberry Fall 2013 Bags

Throughout the collection, outerwear was short and then long, cinched at the waist and then floating away from the body in a trapeze silhouette. Hill explored shapes throughout, but the Mulberry girl never quite finds the magic pill that brings her back to her real size. But Alice doesn’t care as long as she has a fabulous accessory. That would be the gold-tinged Suffolk bag, which will no doubt cement Hill’s status as queen of fashionable hearts on both sides of the pond. And as for the Alice-inspired lost girl? She’ll find plenty to wear before she finds her way home!