Alice in Wonderland

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue.
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*"Lewis Carrol dressed her as an innocent in satin and ribbons. Disney made her flaxen, haired and saucer-eyed. In the pages of Vogue, the land of merry unbirthdays and late-running rabbits shimmers to life again- as the world most influential designers dress the original little girl lost in their own visions." *

Alice is sitting with her sister on the riverbank and is very bored. Suddenly she sees a White Rabbit running by her. It is wearing a waistcoat and takes a watch out of it, while muttering to himself ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!'. Alice gets very curious and follows him down his rabbit-hole.

The rabbit-hole suddenly goes straight down and Alice falls into it. She falls very slowly and while she is talking to herself she falls asleep. Suddenly she lands on a heap of sticks and dry leaves and the fall is over. She sees the White Rabbit running in front of her through a long passage and she continues to follow him.

When she turns the corner the Rabbit is gone and Alice finds herself in a long, low hall, with doors all round it; they are all locked. Then she comes upon a little three-legged table on which a little golden key lies. The key fits in a little door behind a curtain and when she opens it she sees that it leads into a small passage. At the end of the passage Alice sees a beautiful garden. She really wants to get into the garden, but she is too big to fit through the door. When she goes back to the table she finds a little bottle on it with the words ‘Drink me’ printed on the label. Alice drinks from it and starts shrinking until she is only ten inches high. Now she can open the door.

The White Rabbit appears again, looking for his fawn and gloves. When the Rabbit sees Alice he mistakes her for his maid, Mary Ann, and orders her to go home and get him a pair of gloves and a fan. Alice enters his house and finds a bottle marked ‘Drink me’. She drinks it, hoping it makes her larger. It does, but it makes her so large that she fills the whole room.

The Rabbit angrily comes looking for her and when he tries to get through the window Alice knocks him down with her hand. Finally they throw a barrowful of pebbles in through the window, which change into cakes. Alice eats one and shrinks until she is small enough to get through the door.

As Alice follows the white rabbit, she gets lost. Tweedledum & Tweedledeestumble upon her as they lurk out of the shadows. Alice greets them but states she must be on her way. Tweedledum & Tweedledee want to play, suggesting numerous games. When she declines they ask her why, and she replies "Because I'm curious".

Tweedledum & Tweedledee begin to weep, whispering "The oysters were curious too...". After Alice persists that she wants to know why, (and as they smile to each other menacingly) they narrate the tale of the The Walrus and the Carpenter to Alice. After they're done, they want to play again. They begin playing with each other as Alice slips away unnoticed by the two.

When she looks on top of a mushroom she sees a Caterpillar sitting on it while smoking a hookah. The Caterpillar asks Alice who she is. She answers that she doesn’t know because she has changed so many times that day. A brief conversation follows, during which Alice gets a little irritated because the Caterpillar is rather crusty and keeps making very short remarks.

Alice starts complaining that she is too small and the Caterpillar advises her to eat from the mushroom: one side will make her grow taller and the other side will make her grow shorter. Then he crawls away. Not knowing which side makes her grow, Alice tries one part which makes her shrink until her head hits her feet. Quickly she eats from the other part which makes her grow until her head and neck rise far above the treetops.

Because of her long neck a pigeon mistakes her for a serpent in search of her eggs. Alice succeeds in convincing it that she is only a little girl and eats again from the mushroom until she is reduced to her normal size. She walks on and reaches an open place in the woods with a little house in it. As she is too big to enter, she eats from the mushroom to bring herself down to the right size.

As Alice stands in front of the house, a fish-like footman comes out of the forest and delivers an invitation from the Queen for the Duchess to play croquet and leaves.

Alice walks to the door and opens it.She finds herself in a large kitchen with the Duchess nursing a baby, a grinning Cat and a cook who is making soup. There is so much pepper in the air that everyone but the Cook and the Cat has to sneeze, and the baby howls continuously. The Duchess tells Alice that the Cat grins because it’s a Cheshire Cat.

At once the cook starts throwing everything within her reach at the Duchess and the baby. The Duchess doesn’t seem to mind and continues nursing the baby in a very cruel way. Because she has to get ready to play croquet she throws the baby to Alice who takes it outside to save it from being killed. The baby starts grunting, turns into a pig and runs into the woods.

Alice notices the Cheshire Cat sitting on a branch of a tree and asks it which way she should go. It tells her that the March Hare and the Mad Hatter live near and disappears suddenly.

Alice sees a large table set out under a tree in front of the house. The March Hare and the Mad Hatter are having tea at it and a Dormouse is sitting between them, fast asleep. Alice sits down in a chair, although the Hare and Hatter tell her there’s no room.

Alice sees a large table set out under a tree in front of the house. The March Hare and the Mad Hatter are having tea at it and a Dormouse is sitting between them, fast asleep. Alice sits down in a chair, although the Hare and Hatter tell her there’s no room.

The Hare offers her some wine, but there is only tea. When she protests that it isn't civil to offer wine when there isn't any, he replies that it wasn't very civil of her to sit down uninvited. The Hatter tells her she needs a haircut and asks the riddle "why is a raven like a writing-desk?" Alice says that she believes she can guess that, and the others begin to ridicule her by starting a discussion about semantics. Finally she becomes really offended and walks away.

Alice notices a tree with a door in it, and when she enters it she finds herself in the long hallway with the glass table. She takes the key and unlocks the door, eats from the mushroom to make herself smaller and is finally able to enter the beautiful garden.

Alice comes upon a rose-tree with white roses. Three gardeners are painting them red. Alice asks them why and they explain that they planted the white roses by mistake and the Queen will cut off their heads for that. So they try to hide the mistake by painting them.

At that moment the procession of the Queen arrives, which is made up almost entirely of playing cards. The Queen severely asks Alice who she is, but she is not afraid and makes the Queen angry by making a rude remark. The Queen shouts 'Off with her head!’ but Alice replies that this is nonsense and the Queen is silent.

The Queen invites Alice to play croquet with them and she joins the procession. The game begins and Alice is surprised by the croquet-ground; the balls are live hedgehogs, the mallets live flamingos, and the soldiers make the arches. Alice tries to manage her hedgehog and flamingo, while the arches are constantly wandering away and everyone is playing without waiting for their turns, quarrelling, and fighting for the hedgehogs. All this makes the Queen furious and she constantly orders the beheading of people.

When the Queen has ordered so many beheadings that only she, Alice and the King are left, she takes Alice to the Mock Turtle. While walking, Alice hears the King pardoning all the prisoners.

They come upon a Gryphon and the Queen tells him to take Alice to the Mock Turtle to hear his history. When they arrive he is sitting sadly on a rock, sighing loudly. Alice asks what his sorrow is, and the Gryphon answers that he has none.

The Mock Turtle starts telling his history which is interrupted by sobbings and long pauses. He tells how he once was a real turtle and went to school at the bottom of the sea where his master was an old turtle called Tortoise.

After some more adventures in this strange world, Alice findes herself with her head in the lap of her sister, who is brushing away some dead leaves that fell down from the trees upon her face.

Alice realises that everything was a dream and tells her adventures to her sister. As Alice runs off for the tea, her sister thinks about the dream and falls asleep herself, and dreams the same dream as Alice. She continues to dream about how her little sister will eventually become herself a grown woman and how she will always keep the simple and loving heart of her childhood.

Voguealice in wonderlandfairytalesAnnie LeibovitzNatalia Vodianova
23 Jan, 2015
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