Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Natalia Vodianova

EDITORIAL: Alice In Wonderland
MAGAZINE: Vogue December 2003
MODELS: Natalia Vodianova
PHOTOGRAPHER: Annie Leibovitz
CREDIT: nataliavodianova.net

"Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a stammering bachelor professor of mathematics at Oxford University, was a gifted amateur exponent of the fledgling art of photography and a man of profound religious beliefs and bounding imagination. Under his nom de plume, Lewis Carroll, he gave posterity two of the most enduringly enchanting children's books in the English language. In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, first published in 1865, and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, Dodgson transposed the conventions of his genteel world into a magical universe. Instead of the dour, moralistic tales that were considered appropriate nursery fare at the time, Dodgson served up absurdist takes on Victorian England's polite tea parties, its eccentric dons, its gossipy news stories, its popular poems, songs, dances, and parlor games.
All this was calculated to entrance the grave, well-mannered, and preternaturally poised young girls that Dodgson cherished, so ambiguously to modern eyes. First among these was Alice Liddell, the middle daughter of Dodgson's dean at Christ Church; Alice is her story.

Today, the Alice fantasies, available in dozens of editions, are the most translated and quoted books after the Bible and the works of Shakespeare. Since their original publication, countless artists (from Arthur Rackham to Salvador Dalí and Ralph Steadman) and filmmakers and directors (from Walt Disney to Jonathan Miller) have risen to the considerable challenge of improving upon Dodgson's imagination and John Tenniel's brilliant woodcut illustrations. Now Vogue joins this illustrious roster, with Annie Leibovitz's photographs of a cast drawn from fashion's own often fantastical universe.

Vogue's Alice is 21-year-old Natalia Vodianova, whose heartbreaking blue-eyed beauty made her the inevitable choice to play the poignant and spirited heroine. "Alice is my dream girl, and so is Natalia," says Grace Coddington, Vogue's creative director. "She's a rare, rare model." Vodianova's unique trajectory—this self-proclaimed "poor little Russian girl" helped to support her family as a teenager, selling crates of fruit in far-flung Nizhniy Novgorod—is part of what made her ideal for the role. In 2002, Vodianova made a fairy-tale marriage to the Honorable Justin Portman, the dashing scion of a patrician English family; she gave birth to the adorable flaxen-haired Lucas; and she now has multimillion-dollar contracts with Calvin Klein and L'Oréal. Her trip has been every bit as fantastical as Alice?s fall down the rabbit-hole.

"I feel very chosen," Vodianova says, "by Vogue but also by the book, which is very precious. It's just amazing that people would give it up for a great idea—forget their own egos, give up their personalities—and become something different for a second. Alice is a very special little girl." "Alice in Wonderland" by Hamish Bowles has been edited for Style.com; the complete story appears in the December 2003 issue of Vogue. "



Curiouser and Curiouser
Beyond nonsense verse and coming-of-age fables, Lewis Carroll's true passion was photographing moody young beauties. Olivier Theyskens, in the guise of Carroll, captures model Natalia Vodianova as Alice Liddell. Natalia wears a Rochas iridescent blue-flower ruffle dress specially designed by Theyskens.





Down the Rabbit Hole
Faster, faster, faster she fell! Chasing Tom Ford's White Rabbit, our Alice disappears down the never-ending dark passage. Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent Gauche sky-blue silk-satin dress.







Drink Me
How was Alice to know the innocent little bottle would make her grow to such a size? As Helmut Lang watched from the wall, she curled her legs up and hoped the designer's organza minidress wouldn't be crushed by her startling height. Dress from the Helmut Lang made-to-measure studio.





Advice from a Caterpillar
Clad in Marc Jacobs's ruffled chiffon minidress, Alice found herself engaged in an infuriatingly roundabout conversation with a mushroom-dweller. Where am I? she wondered...and how have I gotten here?








Pig & Pepper
It was a queer-shaped little creature, and held out its arms and legs in all directions, “just like a starfish.” Chanel Haute Couture embroidered satin jacket with a draped satin skirt and cream leather boot pants. The Chanel designer wears Chrome Hearts necklaces and belt.






The Cheshire Cat
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” Alice asked sweetly of the cat with a grin as devilish as anything she had ever seen. “ That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” replied our Cat, Jean Paul Gaultier. Blue silk-jersey draped dress by Gaultier Paris.



Tweedledum and Tweedledee
“If you think we're alive, you ought to speak,” said the one marked DEE. Alice, in a Viktor & Rolf multilayered silk dress, stared as the Tweedle duo spouted nonsensical tongue twisters. Rolf Snoeren, left, and Viktor Horsting wear matching suits and bow ties of their own design.





The Mad Tea Party
“No room!” The March Hare and Mad Hatter shouted. “No room!” But Alice plunked down, desperate for some biscuits after a long day of living backward. Christian Lacroix Haute Couture dress with painted and sculpted mink dickey over a lace top and frilled lamé skirt. Stephen Jones (right), wears a custom-made hat of his own design. Lacroix, as the March Hare, is at far right.



Who Stole the Tarts?
“My name is Alice, so please Your Majesty,” the young girl, draped in Dior Couture, said softly. “ You make me giddy!” screamed the Queen. Dior Haute Couture by John Galliano hand-painted polka-dot dress. Galliano as the Queen of Hearts, wears a Dior Haute Couture coat and is accompanied by his King, Alexis Roche.







The Mock Turtle's Story
“What is his sorrow?” Alice, in Atelier Versace, asked the Gryphon. “Once,” sighed the Mock Turtle, “ I was a real turtle.” Atelier Versace layered silk-tulle and chiffon-organza dress lined in lace. Donatella Versace and Rupert Everett are in Versace.



Through the Looking Glass
Wrapped in ocean-blue Balenciaga couture, Alice perched on the mantel, longing to escape into the shadow world, as her black kitty purred nearby. Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière crystal pleated chiffon dress and grey ankle boots. Shot on location at the Château de Corbeil-Cerf. In this story: fashion editor, Grace Coddington; hair, Julien d'Ys/Island d'Ys; makeup, Gucci Westman.Set design by Mary Howard. Prop fabrication by Jean Hugues de Chatillon.












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