We got the keys to our new condo a little over a month ago, and one of the first things I did was co-opt the closet in our second bedroom for my Alice wardrobe. I’ve organized each outfit by film and scene – a perfect chronology and evolution of Alice’s look over the course of five films.
And it goes without saying that, if I’ve got an entire closet full of nothing but Alice Cullen’s clothing, I’m going to wear it in real life on occasion. In fact, one of my favourite things to do is take her wardrobe and see how I can make it work for the office, a special occasion, or a night out with friends.
I’m a firm believer in the idea that if you’re collecting screen accurate clothing, you should be investing in pieces that you would actually wear. Otherwise, you’re spending quite a bit of money on things that are just going to rot in your closet.
Which is why I wore my holy grail – Alice Cullen’s bridesmaid dress – to my office holiday party.
Here’s the thing about wearing screen accurate clothing in real life: it can be hard to stop viewing it as a costume and start treating it like a part of your wardrobe. When I was slipping the dress on, I could barely resist the urge to don my wig and contacts, too. When in Rome (or Volterra), you go full Alice Cullen, right?
You make it your own.
For this look, I went with beachy waves in my hair and dramatic makeup. Why? Because although I was wearing a screen-worn piece of Twilight history, I was still myself. It’s important to remember that we aren’t the fictional characters we love – yes, this does need to be said, sadly – and we need to put our own spin on things.
So what’s this dress like in real life?
First of all, it’s heavy. The gorgeous beading weighs it down considerably. Secondly, it’s delicate. That signature beading, combined with a fringe made of feathers, had me fearing for this dress’ life all night. For that reason alone, I doubt I’ll wear it again outside of Twilight events and photo shoots, and I’d be hard-pressed to trust anyone else with it, either.
And this is no longer Ashley’s dress: I had it altered in the bust and shoulders to fit my smaller frame, although my seamstress left the waist and hips flowing to preserve its flapper style. She also reinforced the aforementioned feathers by individually re-threading each one to the fabric – although a few still managed to come loose over the course of the night, much to my horror.
I received a lot of compliments from my colleagues on the design and beauty of this piece. Of course, everyone wanted to know where it came from – but it’s our secret.
The full auction lot included the dress, a pair of Capezio dancing shoes, a pair of tan tights, and a set of jewelry from Swarovski that featured a bracelet, ring and earrings. Despite being two and a half sizes too big, the shoes were quite comfortable – Ashley clearly spent time breaking them in during her dance scene with Jackson! Interestingly, the shoes were painted to match the dress – the paint is chipping in some spots, revealing the original beige of the shoe beneath.
Our holiday party venue was dramatically lit, featuring 1920s art deco-inspired design. This allowed our photographer to have a little fun, since apparently, there’s nothing I love more than taking the sweetness of Alice Cullen and juxtaposing it with slightly unsettling expressions and ethereal lighting.
For those who are wondering, I don’t edit my photos outside of applying filters on Instagram. With me, what you see is what you get. Vampires are meant to be perfect, but I also want people to be able to recognize me from my photos in person.
Needless to say, this is one of the most beautiful Alice pieces I’ve ever worn, and I can’t wait for everyone to see it in person next year at Forever Twilight in Forks!
For those who can’t make it to Forks, don’t worry – you won’t be missing out. My plan is to do a character photo shoot for Alice’s bridesmaid look in the new year, so stay tuned!