I have never been scared of dolls, in fact, I collect them. I understand the horror and uncanny element a doll brings: the feeling of being watched, like she can come alive at anytime.
If Dolls Could Talk
Why are people so afraid of dolls? Closet Children and creator Rachael Cheong posit that it’s because they hold all of our secrets…
The 23-year-old fashion designer, artist, and writer from Singapore graduated from the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague in 2017. Cheong’s graduation collection: “We Know What You’re Hiding” is seen through the eyes of a porcelain doll. She explains that the doll is an extension of who we are: all of our thoughts, feelings, emotions, insecurities, and secrets.
Hide and Seek
Exploring the body as a medium of hiding, the idea behind the collection was solidified after Cheong found out that dolls were used to smuggle drugs to soldiers during the Civil War. Cue the frills, lace, gathers, shirring, bright colors, and gingham ‘clashed’ with black leather boots, slenderman-esque gloves, and doll masks. In her progressive nod to fetish culture and aesthetics, Rachael also references interior decorating via plastic, tablecloth, shower curtains, PVC, and upholstery prints.
Cheong’s “dark side of life” inspiration is conveyed through textile manipulation that envelops the body while manga anime and antique dolls owe themselves to the perverse innocence that is Closet Children.
Previous collections: “Smile! To Commence Positive Destruction” (2016), and “Wolf Alice” (2015), are just as frighteningly beautiful. The former is what the designer’s own religious cult would look like and the latter proclaims “Red Riding Hood is the Wolf.”
They are the perfect partners in crime with their romantic outfit, false innocent smile, and cold glass eyes; witnesses to horrible things who yet will never pass judgment.