Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dolly Girl

A doll wearing a floral gown inspired by Alexander McQueen's Spring 2007 collection. The dress took Andrew sixty hours to hand embroider with all the fabric flowers!

After two months of planning on meeting up, I finally stopped by my dear friend Andrew Yang's new Williamsburg studio, which is home to his quickly growing collection of couture dolls, The Koukalitas. You might remember them from their high-fashion debut in last month's issue of The Block Magazine, which stunned fashion-freaks and doll-lovers alike, in addition to sparking the interest of many high-profile stores and magazines. I'm going to have to keep mum on the upcoming projects, but let's just say that they're about as exciting as it can get. Remember when I wrote about my friend Joseph Altuzarra during his first season? I have a feeling that Andrew's dolls will be receiving a similarly warm reception from the fashion industry (I already heard that Michele Lamy posted a picture of the Rick Owen's doll in their home office).

I actually didn't just stop by to ogle what he's working on, but to talk about helping out with making jewelry and accessories for his upcoming massive orders, as well as hang out and help stuff some dollies. I got a first hand look at how each doll is meticulously, painstakingly constructed, and even brainstormed with Andrew and his lovely business partner Jen a little on transmogrifying all the crazy runway looks into miniature versions. While some looks are easy for Andrew to whip out on the sewing machine (an Alexander Wang Wallstreet inspired look, slinky black jersey pieces from the Row, a fishnet dress from Y-3), some looks will really challenge his creativity, like a fully bead-embroidered multi-colored look from Manish Arora, and a Mary Katrantzou dress featuring one of her wildly complicated digital prints. Another mystery: dolly-sized platform shoes and fashion heels---anyone got any brilliant ideas? It would be so much easier if he had one of those shrinking machines that Rick Moranis had in Honey I Shrunk The Kids.

Anyway, here are some behind-the-scene photos of the magnificent studio, which rival's Santa's workshop for general magicalness. I can't show too much though--you'll have to wait to see the fully realized dolls at The Koukalita's debut during the next Fashion's Night Out in September!

Andrew and his partner Jen in the studio

The office mascot, Andrew's cyclops doll, Ingrid St. Clare!

Jen stuffing the leg of a doll--not as easy as it looks, especially when you're making a couple hundred of them!

Embroidered swatches for future projects

The wig wall, along with plus-sized doll, Beth Gouddard

Mini dolls!!! These little ladies are about 1/3 of the size of their larger counterparts.

Name that look! These are the fifty looks from the Fall 2010 collections that Andrew will be recreating for a very large order!

Doll bodies and parts on their way to being hand stitched together


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InnyVinny said...

WOW. I've gained that much more respect for your friend's work (and believe me, I had TONS from your original post). The work on those dolls is impeccable and probably painstaking.

I wish them much success in the future. Those dolls are amazing.

Misanthropic Pulp said...

Those dolls are incredible, what a cool thing to do,love it!

loved the post and love your blog.

Denise said...

Andrew is simply amazing. Thank you for the update! If he could recreate one look from every McQueen collection that would be unbelievable.....

melina bee said...

stunning. the face on the first doll reminds me a bit of Natalia Vodianova.
melina bee

Rebecca, The Clothes Horse said...

I love this more intimate look at those dolls. They're so intriguing.
P.S. I think that is the dress that sparked my interest! Unfortunately, I lost the image/source and just had a memory to describe to Neneee on what I wanted. I also was thinking of Neneee's court jester collection (I have a cardigan from it) and requested a dress like the cardigan, but in brocade and requested details like pockets and a v-back. From there, it was mainly Neneee's dress; now that I see that image again I'm struck by how similar they are!