Typically our feelings about dolls range between fond childhood nostalgia and general indifference (with a quick stop at the absurd thanks to Kristin Wiig's SNL character Dooneese). But, we're still treated to press releases about any given fashion moment being immortalized in doll form every couple of months. (Just yesterday we found out that Barbie has joined Instagram. About time, right?) The latest news on the play-thing scene is a subculture of doll fanatics who collect and love these dress-up figurines. And, as Dazed Digital investigated, many have Jason Wu to thank for the objects of their obsession.
Before Wu — a well-known fan of dolls himself — was creating handbags named after models and dressing Michelle Obama, the designer debuted Fashion Royalty, a line of dolls that writer Bursa Erkara describes as having "Kardashian manes, Miami club-ready makeup and easy-to-position ball-joints." As the article reveals, Fashion Royalty has gained a cult-like following in Southeast Asia of mostly men, who stage and style full-fledged photo shoots with the dolls.
But, while Fashion Royalty's popularity isn't quite as mainstream as the Jason Wu label we're a bit more familiar with, the collectors and photographers behind these "wait is that a real person?" pictures want the world to know that this hobby is not just a fetish, nor is it child's play. "I try to picture the doll as art," says photographer Christian. Of the labor of love, Erkara adds that "Christian says it takes him up to two hours to do [the dolls'] hair, and anywhere between one and three hours to perfect the mise-en-scène before he even starts shooting."
Click over to read the complete investigative report, as well as preview many more dolled up glamour shots. (Dazed Digital)