At the raffle held at IDC 2014 I really, really wanted to win the beautiful Kaori OOAK Barbie created by Victoria Designs on behalf of ACBE (Asociación de coleccionistas de Barbie en España). Her amazing dress and beautiful headpiece just blew me away. Unfortunatelly I didn’t win her, but I got a chance to talk to the designer and find out more about her work.
1. I first found about your designs when I saw your amazing Kaoki OOAK Barbie doll designed for the IDC 2014 raffle. Tell me a bit about this doll.
The ACBE wanted to work in the charity auction of the IDC as last year and it has been a pleasure and an honor for me to do this design for them. I thought in a design in keeping with the theme of the convention, but I dont wanted a very classic dress, so I was inspired by the new trend of young Japanese designers, so I did not want colorful prints. I decided a monochromatic design.
2. How did you start designing and customizing dolls and doll fashions?
I work as a wardrobe assistant in an international company and I go on tour with them, each week a different city or country and in my free time I work to make my designs. In my bag I always carry some barbies and this makes me feel closer to my house and time pass faster.
3. Some people are inspired by their favorite celebrities, others by fashion designers and other even dream their creations. What inspires you when you start creating?
I am inspired by the doll. When I have in my hands a new Barbie I look at his face and think about the style that can be best for her. I imagine her with new clothes and then I begin the hard work. Choosing tissues. Pattern…
4. What do you prefer: creating for Barbie or for FR?
I enjoy doing designs for various types of dolls, elegant and classic for FR and silkstone and casual and romantic for Poppy. Now I’m doing things for FR 16. For me it is a challenge to change measures, but I really like it.
5. Show us some of your creations and tell us more about them.
The same design on different dolls:
My first collection “Black and White” at the Barbie Convention, Barcelona 2012:
Some random designs on various dolls:
6. If you had to choose a period in the history of fashion design which would it be? And why?
My favorite period in fashion and designers are as 50s and 60s, Balenciaga, Chanel, Valentino, Pertegaz. They all contributed to give splendor to high fashion . I really love this years because the accessories were very important …hats, gloves, earrings and necklaces of pearls, heels..
7. If Mattel came to you and asked you to design a doll for them how would that doll look?
Definitely a doll dressed in casual clothes, jackets, pants, shirts. All combined together to form a good wardrobe . Something that any woman liked and of course with quality accessories, shoes and never forget bags and simple and elegant party dresses. Never glitter and using higher quality fabrics.
8. What if Integrity Toys asked you?
They have nice designs and good quality, but maybe they should think more in the collectors to launch new series.
But both Mattel and Integrity have a strong team of designers and I do not consider myself a designer. I am a seamstress who makes her own designs with perfect finish for dolls hahaha
9. This might be the most asked question in an interview, but I have to ask. What designs are you working on or planning to create?
Personal commissions have been delayed. I can not spend all the time that i wanted to this. My more immediate project is to present a Collection at the next convention of Barbie collectors in Spain, next October in Madrid. I hope to be a success as the others I have presented in previous editions of the convention.
10. A final quick shout to my readers.
I am a doll collector for over 25 years. But this is just plastic. Whats makes me feel proud is the “collection” of friends that I have found in this pink world.
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to get closer to your readers and know my work.
Love, Carmen Ortí.
Some of the photos used were taken by Sandra.