Not everyone knows this about me, but I love video games. I grew up playing them and never stopped, having always been a proud Nintendo girl obsessed with The Legend of Zelda and other classic first-party Nintendo franchises. Despite having gamed my whole life, there sometimes comes a point in a game where I hit a wall and encounter a level or boss I just. Can’t. Beat. I fail again, and again, and again, and eventually set (or, uh, throw) my controller down with frustration, vowing to return to the level tomorrow.
I don’t know if this happens to you, but I find that when “tomorrow” comes, I always beat that same obstacle – which seemed impossible while I was frustrated – in one try.
I’ve started to view identifying Alice clothing the same way. Because if gaming has taught me anything, sometimes what you really need is to step away from a task so you can approach it later with a fresh perspective, not brute force.
Many of us in the Alice community have been trying to spot certain items – like the white blouse Alice wears beneath her Knitted & Knotted cardigan in Twilight – since 2008. That’s 13 years of fruitless searching. I don’t know about you, but at some point, I set my metaphorical controller down – completely beaten down and frustrated, convinced I’d never see this boss conquered – and stopped looking. Luckily for all of us, someone else took that challenge and ran with it.
Enter @TheTwilightCloset, who identified Alice’s blouse 13 years after the release of Twilight.
As we now know, this white pin tucked blouse is by Joie. It features three-quarter length sleeves – only slightly shorter than the sleeves on the Knitted & Knotted cardigan! – a ruffled hemline, pin tuck detailing on the chest and shoulders, and a bow string at the collar, which was likely tucked inside the shirt when worn by Alice.
And yes – I do literally mean worn by Alice. Because this particular shirt, ladies and gentlemen, has a special surprise on its tag…
It has TW written in Sharpie – which means it may very well have been the blouse worn by Ashley Greene in Twilight, sold second-hand over a decade later to an ecstatic collector: @TheTwilightCloset!
Remember that fresh perspective I mentioned earlier? As someone who is brand new to the Twilight collecting world, @TheTwilightCloset offers plenty of that through her multi-character approach to cataloguing Twilight clothing on her Instagram account. In my opinion, being new to the community is likely what helped her in her pursuit of the Joie top; being untainted by the same level of frustration that has plagued many of us for years might have allowed her to re-explore brands and search terms we’d long given up on as a community.
Wanting to learn more about this perspective, I spoke to @TheTwilightCloset – who prefers to be known solely by her Instagram handle – to learn more about her big find, her Alice collection, and any advice she might have for up-and-coming collectors.
Exclusive Interview: @TheTwilightCloset
Tell us your Twilight story! What got you into the saga?
My friend introduced me to the Twilight Saga years ago, just as the first film came out and we actually watched a bootleg version on our DVD player! I had the book on my shelf for a while before I actually decided to read it, but once I did, I was totally hooked!
When did your Twilight collecting journey begin? What made you decide to start collecting Twilight clothing?
Funny enough, when I started collecting things it was not with the intention to build up any sort of collection! Most people around me knew I loved the series so I often got presents relating to the films or when I saw items in a bookstore, like Borders or something, I would buy it. However, at the time they were all very common items as they seemed to be sold everywhere, so it was not until years later – and even now – that I came to realize the value of some of the items. I believe this is due to the next generation of fans who are just entering the fandom and are in search of all the clothing and merchandise that is no longer sold, as well as the Twilight Renaissance that happened once Midnight Sun was published last year.
Who is your favorite Twilight character to collect and why?
I would have to say Bella’s clothes are my favorite to collect; however, they are the hardest and therefore I do not have that many of the items, especially since I got into collecting the clothing so late in the game (I had only been collecting merchandise for the most part until 2020).
With that said, I hold the character Alice close to my heart as my personality has always been closer to hers. Growing up I thought I was going to go into Fashion Design, so I felt like I could relate to her love of style and the frillier things in life. In general, I really love anything from the first movie as I feel like it was most authentic to the book and there is a lot of mystery to the clothing from that film as well, since there are so many items that have never been found and were not sold in the Prop Store Auctions.
What drew you to collecting Alice’s clothing?
I used to have an outfit that was very similar to Alice’s first appearance in the cafeteria scene in Twilight and I would occasionally wear the items all together to school. No one actually knew that it resembled something closer to a costume when I wore it except for myself, but a lot of her clothes can easily fly under the radar, so I loved when I was able to do that. Funny enough, that is the exact shirt that ended up finding years and years later!
I would not say that I have a large collection of her clothes just yet; I only have about 10 items so far, and most of them are from Twilight as those are some of my favorite looks from the entire series. I find these items easier to find as well, since the budget was small for the first film and therefore the clothes were not from expensive brands at that point. I also really love her test shot outfits, as they are something that fans who are really into the series would be able to spot if they have done their research.
Tell us about THE spot! What made you start looking at Joie as a brand?
With the The Twilight Closet, I really wanted to find as many items as I possibly could and have them in one spot. Even for the smaller characters, like the friends or teachers, I still wanted to try to have all that information out there for people to know. As most Twilight collectors already know, many of the brands overlap with characters, so looking at the ones we already know can lead to finding new items, which is sort of how I found the Joie top.
What was the process of looking for, finding, and purchasing the blouse?
I was on the hunt to find one of Bella’s tops from the cafeteria scene for my own collection and I stumbled upon a listing for the shirt. I had already looked ALL OVER for anything that looked close to Alice’s top from that first cafeteria outfit and pretty much had decided to give up and move on to the rest of her clothes. Because of this, I had already studied all the details of the shirt for a while and knew right away when I saw the shirt what I had found.
I would have to say that even with all the time put into finding the shirt beforehand, it was really pure luck considering how much time people had looked for it in the past. The only reason I was able to find it was because it was for sale at that very moment. And in regards to purchasing the blouse, let’s just say there were some complications, and waiting for it to arrive was very stressful!
There’s something interesting marked on the tag: TW, written in Sharpie. Do you believe your blouse was used in the production of Twilight? Why or why not?
Yes, so the tag has TW written on it in Sharpie, with the same handwriting as all the other items from Twilight [as seen in the auction]. Of course when I saw the shirt, I was second guessing right away if I had found the actual shirt because it seemed too good to be true, but the label was the deciding factor as it had the movie initials already marked on the inside.
However, as we know from the auctions, there was always more than one of every clothing article purchased for filming, so there is no way of telling if the shirt is actually the one she wore. I would love to think that it is, in fact, the one that we see her wearing in that first shot, but I think I will have to wait to see if I am ever lucky enough to talk to the costume designer, Wendy Chuck, to prove it!
Which Alice items do you have so far? Do you have a favorite piece?
One of the first Alice items I ever found was the Periwinkle Sparrow Cardigan from
Anthropologie that she wears in one of the cafeteria scenes for just a fleeting moment. It is a very distinctive design so it was easy to spot, and when I purchased it, I did not even realize that they usually are sold for much more and can be hard to find in larger sizes for some reason.
As these items are long out of stores, all of my items are from second hand places whether it be online, in thrift stores, or from other collectors. One of my favorites, which I recently bought from another collector who is also a really good friend, is the blue Leifsdottir Anthropologie dress that Alice wears when she has the vision of the Volturi coming in Breaking Dawn Part 2. The fit of the dress is just amazing, and I love how it can be dressed up or down, depending on what you wear with it!
Tell us your most-wanted Alice items!
I think it is safe to say that if you love Alice, you want her pre-wedding La Perla robe and purple dress that she wears to Bella and Edward’s wedding. Both pieces are just exquisite, but as one is very expensive and rare and the other is custom, I do not think I will be able to add these to my collection.
You’ve amassed an impressive wardrobe in a relatively short amount of time. Do you have any tips for up-and-coming Twilight collectors that might help them grow their collections?
I think the first thing I would say is that it is important to remember that I started this Instagram and collection in a pandemic. Normally I would not have as much time to look for items, and many people are cleaning out their closets right now and listing items that have been in storage for years, so this is currently the best time to be putting together any sort of collection.
It is also important to keep track of what your favorite outfits are and hunt for those rather than just buying anything and everything you see for sale. You will want to have saved money in advance when you find that piece that you have wanted for months or even years. I guess I would say my advice is just keep looking for an item, even if it seems like it’s an impossible task – because when it comes to collecting, slow and steady wins the race.
The best collections are not those that someone spends thousands of dollars on overnight; it’s the ones where the collector put their heart and soul into creating and collecting. Usually these collections come with stories attached to the items whether a good friend gave them the piece, they found one at a thrift store at the bottom of a bin… or even when an item from the set manages to appear out of thin air.
Want to stay up-to-date on Twilight costuming news as it happens? Follow @TheTwilightCloset to see costume pieces worn by Alice, Bella, Rosalie and more. All photos featured in this piece were supplied by @TheTwilightCloset.