In 2019, not long after the birth of my kid, I began this illustration.
It took me a long time to finish it – I blame the intricacy of those Jean-Paul Gaultier ruffles – but now, in a COVID-19 world, it feels appropriate to share it finally.
Alice best symbolizes the situation we’re in right now. As we sit at home in self-isolation, we resort to books, films, music, and games to pique our interest and distract us from the realities of the outside world and the virus. What better time to go down the rabbit hole than now?
Pig + Pepper is a segment in Alice’s story that is frequently overlooked in film and animated adaptations. But here’s how the narrative goes: Alice walks into a scene of pure mayhem at the Duchess’s house. A cook with an excessive amount of Pepper engages in a violent altercation with the Duchess, hurling pots and plates around the room, as a baby sobs continuously from the Duchess’ lap, presumably in protest of the lullaby she’s singing, shaking it violently at the conclusion of each verse. While this is going on, Pepper floats through the air, making everyone sneeze. Are you still with me?
The sobbing baby is then snatched from the Duchess, and Alice flees the house. The baby’s screams morph into grunts, and it transforms into a pig right in front of her eyes! Why?
It’s not the first time I’ve tackled Alice, and it won’t be the last. But I knew I had to dress our beautiful Alice in this cascading beauty as soon as I saw it on the runway during Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring 2019 couture collection. Isn’t it just like her? Add a little Prada headband to complete the look.
I couldn’t leave out a small reference to the door mouse. You might be able to see it if you squint!
I believe the Mad Hatter’s tea party is calling to me.