Vivienne Westwood rules Alice’s new Wonderland

Feb 26, 2010
Rachel Helyer-Donaldson

Westwood gowns galore at royal premiere of Tim Burton’s new film

Actresses Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway and Barbara Windsor greeted Prince Charles and his wife Camilla at the world premiere of Alice in Wonderland last night. The film's director Tim Burton and actor Johnny Depp, who plays the Mad Hatter, also braved torrential downpours to talk to fans in London's Leicester Square.
But the star of the royal premiere was undoubtedly Dame Vivienne Westwood. She was there herself and her gowns ruled the sodden green carpet, part of a magical Wonderland set complete with topiary animals. The Duchess of Cornwall wore a floor-length Westwood gown in royal blue taffeta while Bonham Carter, who plays the despotic Red Queen, chose an Eighties-style white chiffon dress with tulle layers. Hathaway, who plays the White Queen, looked stunning in a slinky strapless Westwood dress made of brown sequins.

Meanwhile Australian newcomer Mia Wasikowska, who plays Alice, wore a striking nude floor length gown covered in black lace.
Many of the British actors who provide the voices for Wonderland's eccentric animal characters also turned out for the premiere. Along with Windsor, who plays the Dormouse, they included Stephen Fry (the Cheshire Cat), Alan Rickman (Absolem the caterpillar), Michael Sheen (the White Rabbit) and Sir Christopher Lee (the Jabberwocky).
Other guests at the premiere included Australian newcomer Mia Wasikowska, who plays Alice, who appeared in a striking nude floor-length gown covered in black lace, singer Avril Lavigne, who wrote the theme tune, and comedian Matt Lucas, who plays Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Also there was Sharon Osbourne who, when asked if she had ever been to Wonderland, responded: "I lived my whole life in fucking wonderland."
Hours before the premiere, Alice in Wonderland producers received the news that the Odeon cinema chain had finally agreed to screen the 3D film across the UK and Ireland. Odeon, Britain's largest cinema chain, had threatened to boycott the film in protest against Disney's plan to release the film on DVD just three months after the March 5 cinema opening instead of the usual four.
Meanwhile early reviews for Alice in Wonderland appear favourable, with the Times and the Guardian both giving the film four stars. "Traditionalists may quibble with Burton’s Gothic ride through the Alice books, but his hallucinogenic humour is true to the originals. Plus you don't get a cast any better than this," wrote Kate Muir in the Times, although she noted that Depp had "too much of Willy Wonka lingering about him".  The Guardian's Xan Brooks described Burton's latest film as a "glorious feast".

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