Curious Trends


Dolls and toys in decorative art and design

The current and growing fascination with vintage toys and dolls in particular is linked to a number of trends - the celebration of childlike curiosity, the desire to collect, and the present fashion for all things retro. Designers are also incorporating their own contemporary ‘toys’ and doll-like creations into works of art, furniture and clothing. Perhaps this also has something to do with a mood of introspection and the contemplation and/or expression of our sense of identity?

Alison Lewis, a recent graduate in surface design from London, has established a label called Playtime, selling dolls as home accessories and even as wall coverings.

Toys and dolls are appearing everywhere from coat rails and coathangers to lamps and candles.

And the dolls come from all over the world, like these decorative Japanese dolls spotted at an interiors trade fair.

Louis Vuitton doll wardrobes are as popular for today’s Barbies as they were for dolls of the 1930s, as seen at the Voyage en Capitale exhibition at the Musee Carnavalet in Paris.

Craig Deane has produced a series of 12 photographic portraits of dolls from the London Museum of Childhood's 8000 strong collection, exploring the changing representations we as people make of ourselves.

Dolls have been seen at craft fairs:

Presented as curiosities:

Alongside other retro toys as works of art at the London Art Fair (Zak Ove at FAS Contemporary):

Toys have also been presented as unlikely embellishment on clothing:

And as decorative pieces never intended for use as children’s toys.

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