We all remember playing with Barbie dolls while growing up. So, what do you with your old collection of these dolls?
Jemimah Vanchhawng, a 25-year-old from Aizawl, Mizoram, decided that instead of throwing away her childhood dolls she would rehash them by giving them a makeover.
Combining her love for Barbies + fashion + DIY projects, she says,
“I have always loved Barbies since I was kid. I loved dressing them up and making clothes for them. I also really love our traditional Mizo handlooms. I think they are really unique and beautiful and I wanted to create something extraordinary with them since I am a DIY addict. At first I was thinking of making sketches and pasting patches of these traditional fabrics and beads and framing them on my bedroom wall. But then I thought to myself, ‘You love fashion, you love traditional attires, so why not create something for your Barbies?’ That’s what inspired me to create these tiny outfits.”
It took her a day to stich seven outfits but it wasn’t as easy as she thought it would be.
“Well, the material for something so tiny is not easily available in the market since the traditional designs have strict patterns. So, with the help of my grandma, we found someone who could make these tiny pieces that have the exact patterns. I wanted to style them in a mixture of traditional and modern with an edgy twist to it. So I stitched them in different styles, added a bit of this and that, made them wear tiny jewelleries that I made, styled them up with some heels and bags, braided their hair and voilà!”
Jemimah really got into the details that even all her outfits have a name – Thangchhuah, Puanchei, Hmaram, Pondum, Kawrchei, Ngotekherh and Tolhlohpuan.
She didn’t think much about her project but after posting a photo of her dolls online, she started getting a lot of positive response from people – both men and women. They have asked her how she came up with the outfits, whether they are for sale and even got several reposts on Instagram, which really surprised her but also made her happy that her work was being appreciated.
Currently she is pursuing a master’s degree in Mass Communication from Mizoram University, but Jemimah is definitely planning to create more outfits.
“Like I have mentioned, I am interested in DIYs. My next project is to work on a denim jacket with a touch of Mizo handiwork. I am definitely planning to do more. Even though it’s a small thing, I am glad people appreciate them.”