Humour me for a paragraph while I rant about not-fashion. I absolutely adore the Alice books and the subsequent works of art they’ve inspired including half my Year 12 portfolio. The books themselves are fairly unintelligible (in a good way), but I believe the strength of Alice comes from the ability of new artists to project onto the existing work. Burton’s recent remake was one of the most disappointing and heartless adaptations I’ve ever seen, and I say that because I’m a fan of Burton, Depp and Alice. It was truly horrible and whenever someone brings it up I always point them to the recent Syfy adaptation that’s at least 20 times better made at a fraction of the price.
The adaptation is not without its weaknesses and I would go on if this were a TV review site, but what is important is the fantastic costume interpretations of the characters. I’ve read they were designed by Angus Strathie who also designed the costumes for Moulin Rouge. At some point in the future I might write a deconstruction post for several characters, but what I like to focus on is either the sheer brilliance or fashion suicide:
Blue dress, red tights.
I’m on the side of sheer brilliance. They’re both primary colours that contrast and really bring out the vibrance of the other colour. Most people, myself included, tend to stick to analogous colour harmonies when “matching” colours. But there are lots of harmonic colour combinations from colours that you wouldn’t think could work together.
Visual artists and graphic designers are probably familiar with colour theory and the colour wheel but I think just knowing a little about how colours work can really improve an outfit! For some people this comes quite naturally, but I personally find it difficult to even entertain the idea of combining brown, blue and green even though it looks great if you pick the right hues and shades.
If you want to expand your colour combination horizons then I would suggest playing around with Adobe’s online kuler tool. The site was meant for graphic and web designers to experiment with colour combinations, but it works equally well for clothing choices. The tool has several preset colour harmonies so you can pick one colour and it will adjust the other colours for you. Be bold!
Aaaand if you’re sick of all this arty-farty stuff then this site has a pretty good rundown of the Alice and Hatter costumes (and strangely homewares too) although the focus is more on shopping than improvising.