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Disney takes fashion down the rabbit hole with 'Alice'

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When fellow Rage blogger Melissa Magsaysay came back from Las Vegas with tales of MAGIC marketing madness -- which included an "Alice in Wonderland" flash mob in the convention center lobby to tout Disney's upcoming fashion/film tie-in -- I didn't give it a second thought.

It wasn't until last weekend's trip to Disneyland as I sat all mouse-eared in the dark and rumbling through the "Alice in Wonderland" ride that I realized I was actually looking forward to Tim Burton's take on the Lewis Carroll classic.

And the ride itself reminded me of just how trippy the original tale is -- what with a hookah-smoking caterpillar, a tardy, waistcoat-wearing rabbit and grinning Cheshire-cat. Who knows what adding Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter will do to that menagerie? (Unfortunately, in some of the early movie posters I've seen, Depp comes off looking like a cross between Elijah Wood and Carrot Top).

So yesterday I got around to digging out the press release from Disney Consumer Products (DCP) and was surprised to see that the jewelry collaboration is with a pretty notable name: jewelry designer Tom Binns.

Apparently Binns collaborated on two lines in conjunction with the film, and the pieces are inspired by the various characters including Alice, the aforementioned Hatter, the Red Queen, the White Queen and the White Rabbit.

One is the six-piece, higher-priced, limited-edition Tom Binns for Walt Disney Signature collection (which will sell in the $1,000 to $2,000 range), and the other is a less expensive ($100 to $500) 35-piece Tom Binns for Disney Couture collection, which will be done in collaboration with Lucas Design International. Both are slated to roll out for spring 2010.

According to a DCP representative, the Binns baubles will be just the tip of the Alice iceberg for a full collection that's still being finalized. The rep wouldn't serve up any specifics, saying only: "The collection will include a number of surprises that will connect fashion conscious folks to the whimsy of 'Alice In Wonderland'." It certainly sounds like they're trying to court the hard-core stylephiles -- the trailer from the Vegas spectacle (posted below) even ends with a version of the beaten-to-death fashion mantra: "Alice is the New Black."

What fashionable "Alice in Wonderland" merchandise tie-ins would you like to see? A Red Queen shade of nail polish (suitable for painting rose bushes)? Mock turtlenecks? March Hare styling gel? Frankly, if there's not a stylish, Depp-worthy topper in the mix, I'll be mad as a hatter.

-- Adam Tschorn

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Photo: A model "Alice" wears a mockup of a Tom Binns for Walt Disney Signature collection necklace during an "Alice in Wonderland"-themed tea party/flash mob at the MAGIC trade show in Las Vegas on August 31. Credit: Disney Consumer Products.


 
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What is even more interesting than the jewelry competent, to me, is precisely WHO designed the costumes for this event. On DisneyLiving's YouTube site, the name Stella McCartney is in the keyword tags, but I can't be sure that it is indeed her or Disney's own designers.



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