1 March 2009

Designers In Wonderland

(Click for a close up)

Alice In Wonderland
Vogue (December 2003)
Photography by Anne Leibovitz
Modeling by Natalia Vodianova

The Alice In Wonderland fashion shoot concept has become somewhat of a cliché since this legendary editorial. However the imagery, and more importantly, the memory, of the story still retains a great power.

For many, the original novella by Lewis Carroll pertains to happy childhood memories and the wonderfully whimsical and dreamlike nature of the story's imagery. I have always found those nostalgic feelings towards the story somewhat odd considering its message. Indeed, the main theme of the writing is actually one of the loss of childhood innocence. Carroll conveys the ideas of the inherent loneliness of growing up, the confusing nature of the world and futhermore, the underlying reminders and inevitability of death around us. Yet there is something about this dichotomous pairing, between the sadness of growing up evoked within the story the invocation of childhood memories through the story itself, that gives such a magical power to the writing.

I would venture to guess that many would consider Tim Walker a more fitting photographer to shoot this concept, however in this case Anne Leibovitz provides the perfect answer. Her strength as a portrait photographer allows for the shots to have a clear focus on the individuals within the scene. Although the styling and setting is important to the overall concept, and indeed this proves to be beautifully coherent throughout, the main focus is clearly on the portraits. The individuals are not lost within the setting and concept, rather clearly defined and complimented. With Walker's photographic approach, he is far more suited to providing a complete shot with regards to clothing and setting. The model does not and should not take front stage in his photography, for indeed the magic is the image as a whole. As such I have a great respect for Leibovitz's concept and execution in this editorial - the results are simply stunning to behold.

Currently playing: Rock With You - Michael Jackson

xxxx

37 comments:

  1. i like this collection so much.
    natalia vodianova + designers
    it's really cool.

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  2. I think these adds are very interesting, besides there are some designers that went into that and appear in the pictures.

    Hope you're having a nice sunday.

    xoxo

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  3. these images are wonderful and very inspiring :)
    and Natalia Vodianova is so beautiful!

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  4. That's so weird, I was writing about this editorial yesterday for my Art coursework. I love it, I don't think it would have been as strong with Tim Walker either. x

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  5. I love such shoots that seem so magical!!!!!

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  6. Haha, Karl's pose is fantastic. What an extraordinary editorial.. from 2003? Wow. Natalia looks so different from what I've seen the last two years. Anne Leibovitz did an amazing job.

    peace&love,
    nicole.

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  7. Karl is the perfect candidate for this project. I loveeeee his Alice more than anyone else's. Have you ever been to the Alice store in Oxford? I could spend days in there...

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  8. yeah i saw this on fakingfashion i think it was :)
    i was hoping you would do a post about it

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  9. love that editorial especially the galliano page haha :D

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  10. This is one of the first editorials I ever fell in love with. I love Natalia's expression in all of the photos and the photo with John Galliano was always my favorite! You're right, whenever someone tries to do an Alice-themed photoshoot I always compare it to this one!

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  11. When I saw those... I fell in love with the volume of all those dresses.

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  12. I remember this editorial. I love seeing designers incorporated into shoots.

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  13. Amazing editorial, I need another 5 minutes just to absorb the photos entirely, but unfortunately I'm at work haha. What a great find that book was too! Even if it is cliche, I think Alice in Wonderland still holds magic :)

    Did you want to do a link exchange? :)

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  14. great photos and great collection

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  15. This is one of my favorite editorials from Anne Leibovtz. The pictures are just incredibly awesome (that sounds like a dumb adjective, but they are just spectacular).

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  16. heart this.
    heart your blog xxx

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  17. I just loved all those images. Can you believe I never read the story?

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  18. This editrial completly blew my mind. The colors, the expressions on their faces, the settings. Evrything was aced to perfection !

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  19. only natalia can pull this off.
    only natalia.

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  20. I LOVE IT! thanks for sharing. i love alice in wonderland and fashion!

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  21. hi again!!! :D i think i just fell in love with this post. you wrote well about it, dk! natalia is perfect for alice and leibovitz did a stunning job.

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  22. Stunning AND funny, that's fashion at it's best.

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  23. really great execution in these, and the designers all seemed such a perfect fit!

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  24. that spread is absolutely stunning..

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  25. I am so glad Vogue has finally started getting a little more original!

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  26. this is awesome research material!!! i was suppose to do an alice in wonderland themed shoot. thank you!

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  27. Still amazing.

    Do you have larger versions of these scans? I need them to feed my Alice obsession. Otherwise I can just download from here.

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  28. This has always been one of my favorite editorials. I absolutely adore Natalia.

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  29. I am simply blown away by your writing in this post. Alice in Wonderland is sort of like a mild addiction for me, and so I am always pleased to see editorials like this one. But the way you spoke about the book, and Leibovitz execution of the theme was just smile inducing.

    You have a wonderful blog here my dear.

    -rush

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