I ran into the 9th Blythe Charity Exhibition at Tokyo Bittersweet and was surprised to see that many top lolita brands had contributed their own Blythe doll designs for the show! I think it’s fascinating to see what our favorite designers come up when presented with the blank canvas of a Blythe doll. Blythe, despite being originally designed in America in the 1970s, popped in the forefront of fashion and collectors everywhere when Japan rediscovered the mold in the 200s and fell in love with her boggling eyes and huge head.
first row: Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Angelic Pretty, Heart E
second row: Alice and the Pirates, Victorian Maiden, Liz Lisa
Angelic Pretty’s Blythe looks little like their other dolls from the Jun Planning line (Pullip, Byul, and Dal) – the hair is a natural color rather than pink or blue, with light makeup compared to the darker eyeliner and dramatic blush on their Jun Planning dolls. She is wearing a tiny replica of Happy Garden and matching ‘chick’ to bring to mind their chick stuffed animal. Victorian Maiden’s doll was also a surprise – she looks much more like a traditional fairytale princess in bright blush and a long trailing gown, though the fabric does seem to be from their own fabric stock. Alice and the Pirates chose to do an opulent prince outfit which reminds me very much of the 1967 shoujo anime, Princess Knight (known in Japan as Ribbon no Kishi).
Princess Doll, Metamorphose, Emily Temple Cute, H.Naoto
I was pleased to see Princess Doll, a pretty little indie brand, get a spot to showcase their own doll. Her soft blonde hair and delicate lacy grey dress definitely makes her my favorite! Emily Temple Cute chose to reference their unusual prints with a French-bread-and-tricolore theme in the waist ribbon. The tall hair definitely seems to be a homage to Marie Antoinette (though the tricolore was popular after her beheading, of course). Metamorphose’s doll, much like their brand, is entirely in left field somewhere with her tighter silhouette, pure white face and peachy buns.
While I don’t believe any of these dolls will be coming to the market any time soon, they’re definitely inspiration for fashion coordinates and doll DIY if you’re a fan of modifying your stock doll.
There’s a few other brands you might recognize, as well as just plain adorable dolls in pink curly fros, cage skirts and rhinestones. See the rest of the dolls at the show here!