The Mad Hatter

by Sofya Gladysheva
Johnny Depp's costume in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland was designed by Colleen Atwood, a prominent costume designer who was won several Academy Awards, one of which was for her work on this film. The costume elaborates on the Victorian fashion code by using bright accessories and outlandish makeup. One can imagine that a hatter of those time could wear something of the sort, but it is the unruliness as well as the hair and makeup that speak to the craziness associated with the character. His contacts are bright yellow with pupils pointing in different direction. His hair is bright orange and sticking out everywhere. He has a pink handkerchief and a silly bow tie. Clearly, his appearance does not scream sanity. It is these details that point to the absurdity of his character. He has a cast on his thumb, there are various pins and needles in his hat, his hands are splotchy, and his fingernails a grimy yellow. Whereas the Disney version simply looks goofy or a little off, Johnny Depp looks stark mad, if not inhuman, which fits with the fantastical genre of the film. Atwood elucidates that this is a fantasy world where anything goes.