Alice in Wonderland by English author Lewis Carroll is celebrating its 150th anniversary and Vivienne Westwood is marking the milestone by designing a special cover for the book. WWD reports that the English fashion designer, who was inspired by the tale to shape up her Fall/Winter 2012 collection, has teamed with Vintage Classics for this special gift edition of Lewis Carroll’s tale of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. Vivienne has personally designed front cover and end papers as well as written the introduction which reveals her passion for the story and its personal ties with her own manifesto for positive activism and sustainability. The unique front cover was inspired by the Harlequin; a print synonymous with the Westwood brand since the 1980’s and has been deconstructed to echo the hazy, kaleidoscopic fantasy world that Alice inhabits in Wonderland. This special edition includes Through the Looking Glass as well as the original illustrations by Sir John Tenniel that have been especially requested by Vivienne Westwood.
While Westwood’s introduction includes “Kids! Never become complacent,” she also adds, “The world we think we know reflects the way we are conditioned to see it. Maybe it’s not like that at all. Carroll is on your side. Always wonder. ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is timeless, but with my cover and endpapers, by adding the ‘climate map’ and the text, ‘end capitalism,’ I have helped fix it in the present moment.”
The designer also held a Mad Hatter’s Tea party at her Conduit Street store in London where she read excerpts from the story. The store’s decor played the theme by suspending red playing cards from the ceiling and laying out Alice-inspired sandwiches, biscuits, cakes and herbal teas. Illustrated by John Tenniel, the 348-page hardback is priced at $22.