I rarely cover doll makers, not because I don’t think it’s an art, but because dolls usually just don’t do much for me. Today, however, we’re looking at something really special. These are the 16-inch fashion dolls by Malaysian artist/fashion designer Nigel Chia known as DéMuse Dolls. Definitely not intended to be played with, these dolls are more like high-fashion art sculptures. Though Chia is a full-time fashion designer, he designs only a few (doll) outfits per year. The artist is involved in every aspect of the doll’s design, from sculpting and painting the faces and giving them manicures and pedicures, down to crafting the minutest details on the luxurious gowns. Watching his process in his making-of videos (which he calls “Behind the Seams”) is positively mind-blowing.
“I know exactly what I want for a high fashion doll, and I am creating a muse of my own.”– Nigel Chia
Okay, so maybe he works primarily with dolls because actual women don’t inspire him, but I don’t care. His work is exquisite, his attention to detail is epic, and his taste is impeccable. The dolls and the gowns are produced in very limited quantities, and they (understandably) fetch a high price. Since the DéMuse Dolls website is down, I was unable to find out just how much the dolls cost, but I did find a second-hand DéMuse gown on Ebay for $200, so I imagine the doll price is fairly hair-raising.
You can see all of Nigel Chia’s magnificent high-fashion creations on the DéMuse Dolls Doll website (which is, as of this writing, not working), and on Instagram, Facebook, and Chia’s YouTube channel.