As reported in the December 2012 issue of the Lewis Carroll Society (UK)’s Bandersnatch, there is a new boutique at 14 Cecil Court in London called Alice Through the Looking Glass. (It’s right next door to well-known Carrollian rare book dealer Marchpane.) The founders of the boutique say they were inspired to start the business when they learned of the recent discovery of some draft designs for an “Alice” chess set by illustrator John Tenniel. They offer a couple of picture of the expensive, limited-edition set on their web site, along with teasing images of other Alice items. Sadly there are no conversations to go along with the pictures, so after visiting their web site, if you don’t happen to be in London, you’ll have to contact them directly for more information about what they actually have for sale! But at least you can see a couple of teasing glimpses of the chess set, if you’re curious. Or curiouser.
If shopping for Carrollian goodies is your “bag,” then you might want to check out Baba Studio’s web site, if you haven’t already done so. They have quite a selection of Alice-themed bags. To see the results of a search for “Wonderland” on their site, click me.
Baba Studio is also hard at work on a gorgeous-looking new Alice Tarot, for those of you who enjoy prognosticating with the help of a Tarot Deck, or for those of you who simply enjoy collecting unusual Alice items with nifty artwork. You can follow the progress of the deck’s creation on this Facebook page.
I think it’s safe to say that the Alice books will never go “out of print” regardless of what form “print” takes in the future. There is, however, a nifty online store called outofprintclothing.com that has a mission of creating literary-themed clothing and other objects. And, of course, Alice rates her own page with a half dozen items!
As fate would have it, I happened to see one of the tote bags in person this week on someone’s arm here in trend-setting NYC, and it looked quite spiffy and substantial. Plus the tote itself is made in Brooklyn, which adds to the cool factor.
From the “just when you thought you’d seen it all” department, along with the “Gee, I just don’t know what to do with this $36K burning a whole in my expensive pants pocket” department, comes this costly bauble: a diamond-studded mushroom charm that houses a 32 gigabyte flash drive. The designer claims the look was “inspired by the classic novel Alice in Wonderland.” We couldn’t make this stuff up. But someone did–and they’re selling it. To see for yourself, or if you’re looking for a last-minute Mother’s Day gift for that special someone, click here.
Here’s something we’ve never seen before (although it is true we tend to go about with our heads in a book): pantyhose that create the illusion of a Tenniel tattoo. Choose from the White Rabbit, the Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, or Alice with Flamingo for the finishing touch to any outfit, or any leg, for that matter. The tattoo tightsare printed by Hakosen and sold on Etsy.com for $20 a pair.
White Rabbit Tights by Hakosem
Hatter Tights by Hakosen
On the subject of Tenniel prints, we’ve also been meaning to mention this Alice Tea Party Pillowcase Set, sold by Urban Outfitters for $34 (curious dreams not included).
If you are wondering what you could do this weekend that might bring a little more Wonderland into your life, permit us to offer the following suggestions:
If you live in New York, you could try to get last minute tickets to Then She Fell, a creepy trip down the rabbit hole staged in an abandoned hospital and described by the New York Post as “a fiendishly clever immersive theater piece.” If the show is all sold out, you could console yourself by booking tickets to AliceGraceAnon at the Irondale Center between October 21 and November 9. The play depicts an emotional collision between three girls: Carroll’s fictional Alice, the lead singer of Jefferson Airplane, and the anonymous narrator of Go Ask Alice, the diary of drug taking that caused sensation in 1971. Reviewers say it is seriously trippy…
If you live in Seattle, you could try and gate-crash the 110th Annual Conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association at Seattle University to see Amanda Lastoria of Simon Fraser University deliver a paper called “Selling Wonderland: How Lewis Carroll Built his Alice Empire.” In her paper Amanda will advance her thesis that Lewis Carroll was a publishing dynamo whose considerable business savvy has been little recognized.
If you live in Manchester, England, you could see Gaynor Arnold speaking at the Manchester Literary Festival about her new book After Such Kindness, a fictionalized account of the relationship between Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell. The event will be held at the Portico Library on Saturday at 6.30 p.m.
And if you live anywhere else, well, isn’t it time you started planning your Alice-themed Halloween costume? A good source of ideas might be this this photo slide show of recent and not-so recent big-budget, Alice-themed events. The slide show reveals both what a strange assortment of organizations decide on an Alice in Wonderland theme for their event (OfficeMax is one) and that the Canadian Cancer Society knows how to throw a good party.
It’s hard to imagine anything less Victorian than the hula, but world-travelers like Alice always pay a visit to Hawaii sooner or later. Alice in Hulaland is a boutique in Paia, Maui, selling clothing, souvenirs and its own line of Alice in Hulaland t-shirts. You can order online or pretend you didn’t hear that and add it to your list of very important reasons to go to Hawaii.
Your destination will most certainly be uncertain if you follow the Wonderland/Looking-Glass Land Transit Map for sale on a t-shirt at ThinkGeek.com. According to the website, “the red line is Wonderland, the yellow line is Looking-Glass Land, and the blue line is a commuter line that makes it easier for all the queens to get together for tea.” But what happens if you try and change lines at Mount Jub-Jub, where in the world is the City of Charity, and will you ever find Dinah again? Proceed with caution.
The world premiere of Septime Webre’s ballet Alice (in Wonderland) in Washington, D.C., is less than a month away and Washington Life magazine is readying the town with a front cover photoshoot for their March edition. Sneak peak pictures are below and more can been seen online at Washington Life.
Also on the website is a behind-the-scenes account of the photoshoot, which involved trampolines, live white rabbits, and photographer Dean Alexander snapping the camera at just the right moment.