Nick Knight Gets All Dolled Up
“Dolls are everywhere in fashion. Even Galliano closed one of his shows with a three-foot doll of himself taking a bow in his place. How cool is that?” So says Nick Knight at last night’s private view of In Wolves’ Clothing: Re-Imagining the Doll at SHOWstudio’s Mayfair gallery and shop. “There is something fascinating, even slightly melancholy about dolls that has captivated the fashion world for ages—I think it comes from wanting to play dress up, but also from something deeper, like a pining away for our lost childhood.”
But betcha as a kid you never had any dolls like this. Knight’s selections are more likely to leave small children screaming in fear than cuddling up. Case in point, Nancy Fout’s disturbing canvases of vintage puppets crammed together, or Marina Bychkova’s dolls, faces straight out of Japanese anime, with huge, sorrowful eyes (left). Elaborately costumed and tattooed, they struck a gothic chord that, according to Knight, “takes art to a different level of emotion altogether.” Small surprise, then, that one of Bychkova’s dolls, Buela, graced the cover of the August issue of LOVE—wearing Louis Vuitton, no less.
Peter Jensen and Viktor & Rolf rounded out the offerings, with elaborately costumed dolls—couture, you might say, since they’re all custom pieces. They’re accordingly expensive, but Knight is in no rush to sell. “Everything that we have in the shop is something that I absolutely love,” he mused. “If they don’t sell right away, that’s all right. Means I can just look at them longer.”