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In the eighties, it was popular for bridal cars to have a pair of dolls with a bouquet at the head of the car. Both dolls donned miniature versions of suits and wedding gowns, representing the bride and groom.

While it is no longer popular for bridal cars to do so now, there is no stopping dolls from wearing lavish gowns that are as intricate and beautiful as the live sized ones. “Doll Me Up” sees hundreds of Barbie dolls dressed up in opulent bridal gowns designed by both professional designers as well as members of the public.

Barbie needs a new couture and a design competition was held to dress her up. Ranging from well-known local gown designers to the wild imagination of students. Beads, lace, feathers and leather were layered and styled onto the figure of Barbie dolls.

With her signature smile and blond hair, she is transformed and given a different look as minute details ranging from headgear, hair styling till accessories created that glamorous look. Inspiration came from all aspects of life. From music, the Beyonce inspired gown that displays the flare, character and soul. From film, where retro is infused with modern lines inspired by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. From the demure to the grand Broadway style, each doll holds the vision of each designer for that perfect bride.

It is strange to see so many dolls smiling and staring back at you. All two hundred of them. Dressed in miniature gowns, one could almost imagine all of the gowns as real life sized ones. In fact, the efforts and thoughts gone into dressing each doll is equivalent to designing a real gown. Barbie fans would be thrilled for choice as it would be their dream to dress her up.

Doll Me Up! Bridal Fashion In Miniature
Date: March 24th – May 8th, 2005
Place: The Singapore History Museum
Address: 30 Merchant Road, Singapore 058282
Tel: +65 6332 5642

Text: Fann ZJ
Photos: Fann ZJ

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Stephen Cheetham