Costume designer Colleen Atwood's sketches of Alice in Wonderland dresses. Photo: Courtesy of Disney

In Tim Burton's epic "Alice in Wonderland," Alice may be lost, but her costumes were anything but.

The brainchild of Colleen Atwood, a Hollywood-favorite costume designer with two Academy Awards under her belt for "Memoirs of a Geisha" and "Chicago," the fantastic flounces and madcap flourishes that brought the characters to life were carefully calculated.

The storyline posed costume challenges that were a first for the experienced designer. With every new snack, Alice shrinks to Lilliputian proportions or grows into a giantess, which, since she's wearing the same dress throughout, became a continuity puzzle. In one scene, the Mad Hatter even makes Alice a dress from fragments of her old garment.

"We had to really think out how all that worked together," explains Atwood. "And make different scales of fabric and stuff to make it work with the, you know, shrinking and growing of Alice."

Costume designer Colleen Atwood's sketches of Alice's changing stature, and the dresses to support it. Photo: Courtesy of Disney


To celebrate its release to DVD and Blu-ray on June 1st, Walt Disney sponsored an Alice in Wonderland themed exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, open to the public through September 30.

The exhibition features Atwood's designers and costumes -- like Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter garment, Helena Bonham Carter's Red Queen Dress, and a few of Mia Wasikowsha's Alice dresses -- along with Alice-inspired fashions by designers like Sue Wong and Avril Lavigne, and themed gowns created by FIDM graduates.

Watch Colleen Atwood and Alice star Mia Wasikowsha talk about Alice's dresses.