Never Too Old to Play With Dolls

Picture of Julia Karns

Julia Karns

After a brief childhood of being taught to scorn the concept of girlishness, we as a generation are finally ready to embrace and love the color pink. This theme of the childlike innocence of the doll has been highly present in this spring’s couture shows- predominantly with Maison Margiela’s Parisian nod to porcelain dolls and Marc Jacob’s 1960’s paper doll inspiration. The concept of the “doll” not only celebrates all things in cotton candy shades and frilly silhouettes, but speaks to the idea of self autonomy, consciousness, and reclamation of innocence.

“With the Barbie movie there’s been a narrative flip where women are coming together to embrace their femininity in their own ways and not caring what society has to say. That’s mainly what I was inspired by when I was concepting this photoshoot in the winter and seeing that [luxury] designers had the same inspiration is very telling of how impactful this almost “movement” was,” said our Creative Director Carolina Gomez.

Posing the models at stiff angles with gleaming white smiles, we hoped to convey both the fakeness and the joy of the doll. This shoot illustrated the journey towards the healing of the inner child; learning again to have fun and to remember that, as said by Gomez, “fashion is art.”

In lavender silk, knee socks, and Mary Janes, we incidentally pay homage to the couturiers who speak to a larger crowd- reverberating their imaginings of what a human doll may look like. Odd proportions? Chic stilettos? Perfect glass-like skin? Inhuman. Just like the expectation of the little girls who play with dolls and suddenly grow into women. While progress in this front is undeniable, America Ferrara echoes this notion in “Barbie” by saying, “it is literally impossible to be a woman.” But with small things like dressing up how our 8-year-old self would and experimenting with color and pattern, we can reteach ourselves that when it comes to fashion, it can be joyous.