African Alice in Wonderland at International Spy Museum
Have you ever wanted to relive one of your favorite childhood fairytales? One of my favorite stories is Alice in Wonderland. In particular the story behind The Mad Hatter really sparked my attention.
Often times when it comes to event planning everything has to be organized. It has to be neat and tidy to give off a great presentation. However, when you look at Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter table it’s everything, but neat.
When I decided to create my version of the Mad Hatter’s table I didn’t want to replicate everything. Since it’s the month of February, when we celebrate Black History, I wanted to incorporate some of the African heritage into this concept.
Being a DC Event Planner requires us to do some disruption to concepts. This was my chance by adding an African spin..
If you look at a lot of African print, you can see that it’s never basic. It’s never a solid color or even a subtle tone. That’s what I really love about it and how it goes with the Mad Hatter concept. I wanted a vibrant, messy, yet a tailored overall look. My Mad Hatter had to be dapper. My Alice had to be this young princess that had some sass and elegance to her.
Creating this DC event started in June 2018. When dealing with themed concepts you have to take the time to do it big or you’ll miss the mark. I was happy to enlist some incredible vendors to help pull this concept off at The International Spy Museum.
My focus was creating various ideas that made this concept more customized to the client. For instance, I asked Blue Lace Cakes to create 3 unique cakes that would work well with the concept. I didn’t want to see the traditional multi-layered cakes designed as tea cups or hats. I wanted the cakes to reflect the concept, yet unique to Blue Lace Cakes. They nailed it!
Props was also a big deal for me. After working with Vintage Affairs, LLC on previous projects, I knew they had the inventory that I needed. All except the linen came from their warehouse which was amazing.
The African Fashion
Fashion was of course a top priority. With this being a tribute to Black History Month, I had to have African attire. For Alice, Keys+Kredo sourced fabrics from local and women owned Ghanaian Businesses in Makola Market, Accra. The Mad Hatter’s outfits are both Ghanaian Male Tailors as well as the Fashion illustrator.
The Mad Hatter’s Suit combines 3 Different African Wax Prints in the same color palette.
Alice’s first look has 10 different layered African Wax Print and a Peekaboo lace fabric, the middle had a patchwork of 8 different fabrics and a cascading zebra print silk fabric on the side; the ruffled off shoulder top had 6 different fabrics.
For Alice’s second look we added a jacket made with American Denim Fabric embellished with a Bonwire Kente Collar and a guinea fowl feather trim; her apron was a purple and white Angelica Print.
The devil is in the details would you agree?
I’m happy to say that this event was published by Bella Niaja Weddings to more than 4 million followers.
Here are some of my favorite images from the party and our wonderful vendors.
Photographer: Rhea Whitney
Venue: The International Spy Museum
Cakes: Blue Lace Cakes
Rentals: Vintage Affairs, LLC
African Wardrobe: Keys+Kredo
DC Hair Stylist: Go By Geohaghan
DC Makeup Artist: BTH Artistry
The Mad Hatter: Daryl