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Alice Through the Looking Glass: Costume Review

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Drexel chapter.

Alice Through the Looking Glass, which was released in theaters on May 27th, had some high expectations in the costume department. Due to the whimsical nature of the story, the costumes were an integral part of the success of the first movie, Alice in Wonderland. With this in mind, the designer chosen for this enormous task was Colleen Atwood. Having already worked with the movie’s director, Tim Burton, in the past, Atwood was ready to collaborate to create the amazing looks that appeared in this film. Here are our favorite costumes that made the Underland world come to life.

Anne Hathaway’s Premiere Look

Though this look didn’t make an appearance in the actual movie, Anne Hathaway’s ensemble for the Alice Through the Looking Glass premiere is certainly worth mentioning. A custom Christopher Kane, Hathaway’s dress embodies the whimsical attitude of the Wonderland universe. The design features black and white stripes and cartoonish flowers, but the real points of intrigue are the delicate vines that hang from her shoulders. They were just the touch of the unconventional needed to show how this dress and Hathaway’s movie were a match made in heaven.

Mad Hatter

The Mad Hatter’s costume is the same as the one in the first movie – a rather outlandish green suit with pink lace sleeves and an oversized bowtie. Of course, the look wouldn’t have been complete without a sash of thread for when the Hatter is doing what he does best – making hats. Though his outfit is as eccentric as he is, the Hatter’s costume is still overshadowed by his extreme makeup and hair in the movie.


Time, a new character in this movie, has a costume that establishes his persona as dark and powerful right off the bat, with outrageously broad shoulders and a tall helmet. Atwood actually designed the costume with a grandfather clock in mind – hence the overall silhouette of the look. Time’s muted color palette also contrasts with the vivid and bright colors found in almost every other character’s costume in the movie, establishing him as an outsider in the Underland world.

Iracebeth (The Red Queen)

In Alice in Wonderland, Iracebeth is wearing a dress suited for royalty. But, after being banished from the kingdom, her look in the sequel seems much more unconventional and rebellious. Though she remains loyal to her red palette, the colors are more muted and natural, which appear to be on top of some sort of armor. A large red heart is featured front and center on her corset. She’s become hardened after losing her kingdom, but that doesn’t mean she’s forgotten her title as the Queen of Hearts. 

Mirana (The White Queen)

In the first movie, Mirana’s light and ethereal gown was perfectly suited for her character, so it only makes sense that the same one would be featured in the sequel. ­­The dress has intricate detailing and a silhouette that reflects the fashion of the time period. As one of Underland’s royals, Mirana stands out through her elegance and restraint rather than with extreme shapes and colors.

Alice’s Imperial Tunic

Alice Kingsleigh’s look for most of the film is the most striking costume of any of the characters. As the movie’s namesake, Alice makes a big statement in clashing colors of orange, purple, turquoise, and green – not to mention the innovative silhouette. The costume, which according to Atwood was “loosely based on the imperial costumes in China,” is so ridiculous that it perfectly matches the spirit of Underland. Though she sticks out like a sore thumb in the real world, the characters of Underland don’t seem to find it as bizarre.

Alice’s Fantasy Ribbons Look

Atwood was most successful at creating looks for Alice that were not too masculine or feminine, as Alice doesn’t really fit either of those roles. She is her own person, and has her own unique costumes to fit that concept. In this look, Atwood balances an effeminate sheer top with a fitted vest that recalls that of a ship captain (which is appropriate, seeing that it is revealed in the first scene of the movie that Alice has taken over her father’s ship). Her pants are so large that they almost seem like a skirt, but they still allow for the mobility that Alice needs while running around Underland.

No matter what you think of the storyline in Alice Through the Looking Glass, there’s no denying that the costumes are fantastic. They stay true to the spirit of the film and you won’t find these kinds of looks in any other place. So, head to the movies and see them for yourself!

Her Campus Drexel contributor.