Little girls dressing up their dolls is supreme training for a lifetime of dressing up themselves; some things never change and little girls will always be made of sugar and spice. Working in a nursery a few summers ago, I may not have had an inherent talent for childcare but, boy, could I style those dolls. The real little girls didn’t stand a chance.
Between this ingrained relationship and all the doll-like fashion, beauty and models that have reigned over the catwalk of late, I have been waiting for someone to create something innovative in this realm. Well, of course, I should have known to rely on avant-garde fantasists supreme Viktor and Rolf to contribute said creations.
For their upcoming retrospective at the Barbican (June 18th-September 14th), they have chosen to display their work on fifty-five 60cm tall miniature porcelain dolls. Slightly creepy? Yes, but in the best possible way – like stories by Edgar Allan Poe or Angela Carter.
For such conceptual designers, it always seemed a shame to limit their creativity to the catwalk. By placing their designs into an entirely different context, reacting to videos of the real designs on the catwalk, the exhibition will create an interesting dialogue between fashion and art, between reality and fantasy. Now if I can just get over my fear of porcelain dolls I might actually be able to go……