There's something creepy about dolls. They hit that weird point of the uncanny valley, where they look just human enough to be eerie and their unblinking eyes can get under the skin. So for fans of the macabre, a doll is the perfect gift! There are many collectibles out there that take advantage of a doll's inherent creepiness and my personal favorite is the Little Apple Dolls.
The dolls were created by Ufuoma Urie, who partnered with her sister Chanel as the series became successful. She began the series in university as a way to explore her love of the macabre and old horror movies. The dolls are a way to deconstruct fear and explore what makes something monstrous.
The Little Apple Dolls are created under Urie's strict guidelines. The colors red, white, grey, and black are heavily used, and natural fabrics are favored. A lot of the fashion is inspired by old horror movies, Victoriana, and styles from Eastern cultures, like kimonos and hanboks.
In discussing the doll's style, Urie said;
“Imitations of traditional Eastern clothing for the early dolls, Solus, Sine, Umbrae and Lethe were homages to the mesmerizing costumes I’d seen in old films about ghosts in rural Japan and empresses in Chinese opera growing up. Although I appreciate the clothing, I could never truly replicate the clothing from those parts of the world because that is not my heritage and is not really mine to discuss or celebrate - most of what is created is a complete mish-mash of my influences: Asian horror, movie monsters and vintage fashion. I would urge everyone to go learn more about the rich history and customs of these traditional fashions from the true cultural source (not me!)"
Speaking about the characters Chanel and Ufuoma say:
“We wanted to create a universe where young girls are the focus. They find themselves in situations that are fantastical but difficult and what defines each of them is their action/reaction to their circumstances. Some sacrifice themselves, some are vulnerable, some are fighters, some are determined and some become corrupted. The stories are teeming with themes of family, death, survival, betrayal, fate, tradition, self-discovery, love and friendship.
If you're interested in starting your own collection, there are a lot of deals available at eBay, my favorite place for impulse purchases.