The Dress Diaries

Maria Murphy

Posted on July 10 2018

 

“You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret… All the best people are!’
- The Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland.

 

For anyone who’s familiar with Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland series, you’d know how weirdly wonderful they are. The series has been made into countless movies and television shows, most notoriously by Disney and more recently by director Tim Burton, both of which are incredible. But you can’t go wrong with the original books. Carroll’s writing style is so descriptive: you’re almost right there with Alice as she makes her way through the wacky world of Wonderland. He put so much thought into developing such notable characters: The Mad Hatter, The White Rabbit, The Cheshire, The Queen of Hearts right down to the little sleeping Dormouse just to name a few.

 

Why the love for Alice?

What I love about Alice is her curiosity and need to explore. Depending on how you interpret the story (there’s many-a theory) she’s certainly got a wild imagination and at Sarsparilly, we’re all about creativity, colour and tapping into our individuality – much like our friend Alice.

I’ve made quite a few dresses featuring Alice in Wonderland references. For those who have been following the Sarsparilly journey for a while, I wonder if you can remember my ‘Alice and the Blue Box’ dress? It was so much fun coming up with this design. It was probably one of the most popular dresses I’ve ever made at Sarsparilly – but because there was no more fabric left, we had to stop making it. So gals, if you own one of these beauties, hold on to it tight, as you’ve got some seriously special Sarsparilly vintage hanging up in your wardrobe.

sarsparilly, vintage dress, alice in wonderlandWhen you combine two totally different stories, you get designer magic.

 

Artist Karen Hallion was the creative behind the design and alright, you’ve got me... it wasn’t strictly about Alice. It was actually an Alice in Wonderland and Dr Who mashup – talk about bonkers! Karen’s style is amazing and notoriously brings pop culture to life through her work. A self-described ‘fluent geek speaker,’ Karen has been commissioned to do artwork for Marvel, Cartoon Network and Disney. It was such a privilege to have her designs on our dresses.

How gorgeous are the original drawings by illustrator John Tenniel? Images courtesy of Alice in Wonderland Net.

Our Alice dresses really represent vintage

I loved the original drawings so much, we actually incorporated John Tenniel’s illustrations across all of my currently Alice-inspired designs. We take vintage next level. Take our ‘Introducing Alice’ skirt for example. The fabric designer breathed life into Tenniel’s illustrations, taking his drawings and transforming them into the French toile style. The blue and white gives a gloriously vintage feel and looks beautiful on a summer's day. Ooh la la!

On another note, I’m also really excited to let you know that this gorgeous skirt will be appearing in the Australian publication, Frankie Magazine in the near future - so stay tuned.

 

Just like Alice, you'll be rocking the blue and white in this sweet skirt. 

 

Our ‘The White Rabbit’ dress is a vintage style dress with tie up straps. Our fabric uses the colours red, black and white – the perfect colour combo for Queen of Heart’s court and a nod to the good old fashion pack of playing cards. The dress features a lovely little illustration of The White Rabbit announcing the Queen’s arrival at the Queen of Heart’s court. 


I’ve always pondered over the characters in Lewis Carroll’s book, so here’s a little fun fact about The White Rabbit. If you’re familiar with the story, you’ll remember that Alice and The White Rabbit meet many times throughout. Whenever they bump into each other, The White Rabbit is always running late and Alice ends up chasing him. Because it’s Alice that always ends up following him, you could say that he’s the character that always gets things moving again during the story. In a way, he is some kind of a guide through Wonderland and keeps Alice on course.

 

You definitely won't be late for a very important date in this showstopper of a dress. 

 

I think that life’s better in colour and that’s exactly what our fabric designer did with our 'Oh Alice’ dress. Once again, this dress is dotted with Tenniel’s illustrations, but they’ve been carefully coloured in to give the dress life and make the design pop. The dress is covered in a range of drawings and features plenty of characters that appear in the book –so if you can’t decide who’s your favourite, then this delightful dress is the one for you. 

 

Just like the Chesire Cat, you'll be grinning from ear to ear in this vintage style frock. 


Curiouser and curiouser... 

We love the wacky, we love the strange. In the words of the Cheshire Cat, “imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.” At Sarsparilly, we celebrate everything off-the-wall and different. So embrace being unique and wear your Sarsarilly with pride. Oh… and if you own one of our Alice in Wonderland inspired dresses, get in contact with me. I'd love to feature you on our Instagram. I bet you look ‘wonder’-ful.

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