Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Doll Fashions

So, I have stumbled across these desirable platform Mary Janes, and someday wish to add them to my own collection of shoes. I love the color and the styling, and I'm sure they're more comfortable than some stilettos due to the platform and the thick heel. I wanted to have them for me, and for my bjd, Kurumi.

I started thinking about similar shoes that would substitute for hers, but none came to mind. She already has BTSSB rockinghorse shoes, but their bottoms are a yellowy, plastic substance not at all comparable to wood. I began to wonder about doll fashions in general, and how they compare to human fashions. Due to the fact that I am much more interested in female fashion than men's fashions, I will choose to focus on those aspects of the fashions whose representatives are stereotypically female.

Lolita - BJD and lolita seem to have been made for each other. All feministic 'infantalization' controversies aside, both ball jointed dolls and frilly dresses gained popularity first amongst Japanese enthusiasts, and then spread to the rest of the world's subcultural awareness. Lolita fashion looks great on the dolls, who are often proportioned like shojo manga characters (although Iplehouse's EID line and Fairyland's Chicline/Feeple 65 break the mold, no pun intended).

(An early Dollheart Alice outfit)

A very large portion of bjd fashion seems to have been influenced by the frill; Dollheart, Cheerydoll, and a myrid of other bjd clothing companies sport endless quantities of the fluffy lolita look. I suspect that this is largely due to Volks' early and ongoing relationship with both anime fans and famous Japanese clothing brands, like Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Atelier Boz, and H.Naoto Frill and Jelly, among others.

(Here, Hazuki from the anime Moon Phase shows off her lolitaness. I admit, I watched the show. In dubs.)

(Volks' first collab with BTSSB. There's a human size of this exact outfit, too :3... I wants.)

The healthy amount of cross-pollination occurring between anime/manga, street fashion, and doll culture also immediately produced another common doll look...

Punk - The black-chain-tartan wearing crowd also seems to have adopted ball jointed dolls (or is it the other way around?). Given lolita's relationship with visual kei and punk, I can see why this would be the next natural step. And in any given shoujo manga, the beribboned lolita character may well have a pierced boyfriend (Parakiss for please?).
Relative to lolita, examples of punk in anime are few (to my knowledge). It may be owing to the fact that clothing chains and tartan are harder to draw consistently than frills in a solid color, but that's just my theory. More often the punk 'personality' shines through in character interactions.

(H.Naoto creations...*drool*)

H.Naoto, the designer known for his punk/goth/gothic lolita creations of wonderment, has also collaborated with Volks to produce doll clothing.

(It's my beloved Kurumi!)

SDG Kurumi was the first to be produced from this collaboration, followed by similarly H.Naoto-clad SDG 'Ran', MSDG 'Yui', and MSDB 'Hewitt' (3rd Edition). Individual outfits were also produced, spanning a range of sizes. Most of the girls' outfits focus on a gothic or gothic lolita look. The boys' tend towards a gothic or punk appeal.

Mori Girl - Okay, no smooth transitioning into this one. But mori girl, the up-and-coming subcultural darling, is also seen mixing into doll fashions. It could have been the ease of cross-pollination between country lolita and mori that started it, but whatever the case, it is definitely present in the bjd world.

(Arcadia Dolls produced this country-lolita-mori-natural-kei hybrid line called Twilight Garden. Unfortunately, their site is currently closed to orders...hope they come back! *tears*)

Aprons and long overcoats over long floral frocks have long been a part of natural kei fashion, and they are an obvious choice for the owner who wants their dolls to have a cute, girl-or-boy-of-the-forest look. Mohair wigs with flower accessories, resin flower jewelry, and scrunched down lace or floral socks are among the accessories of choice for owners of mori-oriented dolls. Volks recently made an outfit set for SD16 and another for SD10, obviously referencing the mori style.

I believe that these are the major fashions that influence doll clothing in the current market. I would like to see more varieties of casual doll clothing, which are mostly produced by Sadol, Ajumapama and Nine 9. I wish for pleated cropped trousers in a khaki silk or linen, silk shift dresses, more varieties of patterned tights, etc... maybe some styles like J.Crew/Madewell carry, and which are found in higher-end boutiques. Of course, I'm going to get to sewing those things for myself (someday! I'll be good at sewing someday!) but I would love to see a company like Dollmore start to move clothing in that direction.

(As you can see, though, Dollmore has already made some headway on that whole 'contemporary fashion' thing with their recent line of Model Doll shoes.... :3 )

I did skip over fantasy, but I am not very interested in fantasy dolls or anything related to them, and so I had nothing to say about armor and period clothing (like Marie Antionette or Medieval inspired clothing). What do you think? Which fashions or fashion trends would you love to see for your dolls? Post some clothes and shoes you'd like to have for them! Pictures and comments always welcome.

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