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Forever 21 Presents “Twisted Wonderland” — A Rock ‘N’ Roll Take On Alice

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Everyone seems to have an acute case of Alice in Wonderland fever (just check out our round-up of Wonderland-inspired styles for a more thorough understanding of how this classic tale is inspiring fashion and beauty mavens). It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that contemporary fashion retailer Forever 21 has journeyed into the land of playing cards, tea parties, rose gardens, Cheshire cats, and mad hatters with its Twisted Wonderland collection. The playful collection consists of everything from tunics to blouses, skirts, tees, sweaters, cardigans, cropped jackets, costume jewelry and hair accessories, all bearing Wonderland motifs — from rabbit clocks to playing card suits, rose garden prints, and bow details.

Now, I’ll admit: I’m not completely sold on some of the pieces. The ruffles along the neckline of the Silk Clock Top pictured below, for example, as well as the tulle detailing along the hemline, make it feel both overworked and a bit unsophisticated, even though I do appreciate the idea of the clock print (more so the concept than the execution). And while I was curious about the rosette headband pictured below (which has an edgy twist thanks to the zipper detailing), I was wary when I saw the rosette’s colossal size, which takes the piece straight into Halloween costume territory. Similarly, the black satin bow on the headband pictured below measures 14″ in length, which makes it a fun accessory, but about as practical for everyday use as Mickey Mouse ears.

But, that being said, there are some pieces that I do find fun and which could spice up any look. The Painted Rose Sweater (pictured at top) with its scoop neck, elastic waistband, cropped sleeves, and watercolor-esque gray and mauve rose print, has a slightly goth, rocker edge that I find really playful and adorable. I also like the Lace Footman Jacket (pictured second from top), which speaks to the military jacket trend that’s in full swing right now but which adds a fairy tale twist with the black floral lace trim along the placket, neckline and sleeve seams. The Timepiece Striped Sweater Top (pictured third from top), with its hot pink clock motif atop the black-and-white striped print, has the feel of an ’80s-era, Blondie-inspired look (it actually makes me think of the hot pink Chuck Taylors I rocked as a kid). Another standout for me is the Solitaire Tights Tee (pictured fifth below) which features an illustration of a girl’s legs, which are covered in tights adorned with playing card suits, and her dainty Maryjane shoes. I love the tulle bow embellishments placed at the ankle point in the illustration and how they match the puffed sleeves — this is the type of piece you can wear with jeans or a tiered, bouncy skirt, and which you can style in a romantic or coquettish manner or in a more goth, punk way. And of course, the fingerless lace gloves will add a rock ‘n’ roll edge to any ensemble since, after all, it’s the way in which you style the pieces that will give them that desired “twist.”

Pictured above: Painted Rose Sweater, $22.80; Lace Footman Jacket, $34.80; Timepiece Striped Sweater Top, $19.80; 3/4 Sleeve Courtier Jacket, $34.80; Cheshire Cardigan, $22.80;  Lacquered Blossom Ring, $5.80; Cheshire Kitty Top, $12.80. All available at Forever 21 stores and at Forever21.com

Pictured below: Silk Clock Top, $27.80; Rosette Headband With Veil, $10.80; Queen of Hearts Tunic, $19.80; Baubled Metal Bracelet, $7.80; Solitaire Tights Tee, $17.80; Mesh Corset Dress, $24.80; Colossal Bow Headband, $6.80; Mad Tea Party Knit Top, $14.80; Fingerless Lace Gloves, $4.80; and Satin Grosgrain Striped Skirt, $22.80. All available at Forever 21 stores and Forever21.com

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