Fairyland BJDs

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I mostly focus on original one-of-a-kind dolls on this blog, but lately I’ve developed a love for Asian Ball-Jointed Dolls, so I want to share with you one of my favorite sites.

Fairyland dolls are beautiful and fantastically posable, but lately they’ve come out with some absolutely gorgeous fullsets (fullset dolls come with costumes, special paint jobs and wigs, unlike most ball-jointed dolls, which arrive naked and without eyes or wigs, ready to be customized by the owner).

I just adore the costumes on these dolls. The color scheme is perfect for winter and for their celestial/fantasy theme and the minute details are just amazing.

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Look, normally I’m not a pastel girl. But whoever designed these costumes is an expert in color theory, making their limited pink-purple-blue-white palette suggest fairy tales, magical fantasy, and the cosmos. I don’t know how you pile that much lace on a Fauntleroy suit and still make it clearly a little boy, but I think this costume pulls it off (though I might be inured to that sort of thing since I’ve been looking at lots of BJDs lately). The girl’s costume borrows a little from the Gothic Lolita tradition, but with a bit more 18th-century fairy tale style than usual. All those layers of lace and trim make her skirt look like a birthday cake. And the ruffles at her wrists are the perfect proportions. I can tell you from experience, that isn’t easy to do.

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Minifee Chloe, pictured above, is a 16-inch doll and has my favorite costume of this series. The layers of lace and ruffles combined with fantasy historical elements and delicate gold braid manage to be sexy without giving up any of the romantic charm of historical costumes. I also like the way the purple details punch up the white and mauve color scheme.

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Roke and Chloe Elf, above, are larger dolls, and hence have sexier costumes. I just love the floaty ruffles of Chloe Elf’s  skirt (though I think I’d like more coverage on the bodice!) and the lacy metal braid on her belt and bodice. Roke’s costume is what I call “Fashion armor;” his helm and leather corset might look sexy but wouldn’t do much else. I’m not sure if he’s wearing a skirt or a hakama, but I love the details of this costume, like the fur lining on his pauldrons and the iridescent paint on his helm.

Maybe I’ll do a bjd primer at some point. The hobby has enough jargon and unique traditions to be its own industry, or possibly a small country. However, the bjd industry seems to be thriving while other kinds of doll art are dying out, so I think it’s instructive to examine the best they have to offer.


The marionettes of Prague

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And now for something completely different — To make up for the irregularity of my posting lately, I’m going to post a different marionette maker every day this week (can you tell I’ve just figured out how to schedule my posts?).

Tradition seems like a good place to start, so check out Czech Marionettes, a company that represents several of Prague’s traditional puppet makers. Their handmade puppets are beautiful and feature professional-style controls. Some of them have amazing articulation — the wizard in the black robes above has poseable eyes.