Posted by: dollpaparazzi | August 8, 2011

Fashion Designer Spotlite: Houri

Your legal full name: Houri
Your “artist name”: Houri ホウリ
Your Website: http://kuroi-carousel.deviantart.com/

How did you get involved in Asian Ball Jointed Doll clothing Designs?
I thought it would be really fun to try! I love fashion and sewing and I wanted to bring my style to the ABJD world, and also learn to sew doll clothes for myself and friends without having to rely on pricey companies who often don’t carry my particular style.

Describe your line and what styles you create?
My line consists mostly of punk and trendy-casual styles. I like to experiment, so eventually I will be adding designs from many different styles. Hopefully it will invite a wide genre of different customers! Maybe a style for everybody? Almost! (^ – ^; )

What do you think people know you best for (like a certain style or size or certain look)?
From what I have heard, people tend to recognize me for my jackets/coats that look like some of the Asian and UK name-brand punk designers. I don’t know if this counts, but the people I have personally worked with also seem to know me best for the quality of my sewing and materials.

What Inspires You?
For my clothing, definitely Rock/Punk music mostly and popular Asian styles, trends/magazines.

What do you want people to think when they look at your Designs?
“They don’t look like doll clothes!” That they aren’t “cheap” looking or remade from old, worn-out materials. Also, that they are reasonably priced and accurately depicted for the genre. That they will add real flare to their doll! :laugh:

What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?
I hope to accomplish many more styles and techniques. I want to design “gothic/aristocratic” style clothes, since I get so many requests for that lately! I hope to design more casual items, work on accessories, and always striving to improve my overall craftsmanship!

What sorts of things do you enjoy the most about your designs?
The freedom of customizing my own styles, of course! That it’s exactly what I want it to be. Simple as that!

What are your other favorite clothing brands/designers for dolls?
Dollheart, Crobidoll, TATA’s Paradise, and Luts, definitely. I also love how Volks has collaborated with Japanese designers like h.Naoto, and Baby The Stars Shine Bright!

What’s the Best thing about designing and selling doll fashions?
The experience itself is wonderful, but also just being able to offer something that many people enjoy and have a hard time finding is such a nice feeling!

What’s the most difficult thing about designing and selling fashions?
Probably deciding on what will sell and what will flop! I spend hours debating on faberics and designs that I think will really appeal and be popular. :laugh: Also, probably the impatient customers. I have had a few set really awful deadlines for me, and that can always be stressful.

What type of dolls do you enjoy designing for the most (male/female/brands)?
Most of my clothes are unisex, but I do enjoy making more feminine quality items — whether it’s for boys or girls is up to you!

What is your favorite style to create?
Probably anything rock, punk or distressed!

Is there a color palate or patterns that you tend to stick with? Stay away from?
Anything that appeals to me, I’ll make and sell. I love dark shades and colors alike!

Who would you love to collaborate with? Is there a mold, doll, or company that you prefer to work on?
I haven’t seen many companies do really punk clothes, so it might end up boiling down to Volks? :laugh: Is that pushing it a bit? Other than that, probably just the companies I mentioned above that I really like for my other styles.

What is your background? Have you had any special schooling (art school, fashion design, sculpture, painting, fashion, etc)?
No special schooling at all when it comes to sewing or fashion. It’s just always been a passion of mine put to work.

Who are some of your favorite human designers?
Algonquins, SexPot Revenge, Deorart, Vivienne Westwood, and millions more~

Are there types of fabric that you hate or try to avoid? If so which ones?
Yes…I don’t like Jersey Knit…It rips easily and is difficult to sew! But lately, I’m working with it and have a Jersey Knit item in my shop.

What fabrics do you love to use? Accessories?
I like to use high quality fabrics, I’m not really partial to one kind of fabric.

What outfit do you think was your best and worst? Why?
Best, was definitely my fur-trimmed coats and a graphic design hoodie I still have in my shop (it’s been there since day one, and is still a top seller!) and worst, was sadly, a foral print jacket that absolutely did not sell at all. :laugh:

Any tips for the beginner doll fashin maker?
Don’t use less expensive materials. There’s a reason it’s cheap! :laugh: Also I think a really important aspect of doll clothes making is finding scaled down materials and prints to use.

When you were a child did you ever work on dolls or create with similar things? If so, what were they?
I don’t think so. I can’t remember ever having an interest to make clothing for dolls or toys.

Do you have any other interests that might have helped you in your development of customizing ABJD (like customizing other dolls, action figures, etc)? Please tell us about them.
I really don’t have any doll-related interests other than ABJD’s at this time, so nothing really inspired me beforehand to make doll sized clothing.

Do you have any other interests? Collections?
Fashion, of course! I love to have items from my favorite designers. I love hair styling and make-up, too! Music is the most important thing in my life. It inspires everything I do. I play guitar, bass, and piano. As for collections, over the years I have collected a few Yuko Ogura items. And recently I’m getting into collecting guitar picks from my favorite bands!

Tell us about your own dolls. Do you have any? If so how many and which ones? Has your collection impacted your fashion business and if so in what way?
Yes, of course I have dolls! I currently own six 1/3 sized dolls.
Haya – Volks F-01
Kuroda – Esthy Rad/hybrid
Shou – Crobidoll Lance/hybrid
Soo-hee – modded Luts “sleeping” Delf Soony
Yi-che – modded Luts “sleeping” Delf Soo
Reiya – Crobidoll Tei/hybrid
I think Haya and Shou have impacted my fashion designing the most. Haya is a lot like me (without me realizing it!) I design most of my punk clothes around Haya and my own personal style. And Shou, is more soft and trendy/casual. I look to him for that inspiration!

Why choose clothing design as a form of Self Expression?
Putting my ideas and concepts out there through designing is a very positive, creative and social outlet for me. It’s fun, calming and so exciting to see my finished products and ideas!

How long does it take from start to finish on a typical outfit to create and complete?

It depends on the size of the doll it’s being commissioned for, how much detail is involved, and of course how much time I can put into it. I never like to take longer than about a week though.

How do you like to work best with a custom order for a client? With total freedom to create your vision, or do you like some feedback/interchange with a client who might have an idea or theme they would like to see realized?
If a person is commissioning me for one of their own specific designs, then I would like feedback. But if it’s one of my own concepts, than feedback on the design isn’t needed.

Are there fashions or styles you would like to make, but haven’t? Why haven’t you?
Gothic, Lolita and Aristicratic, mostly. I haven’t started working on them yet because the designs are very difficult and time consuming.

How important are fashion trends to you (i.e. what is going on in real life/human wear) and to your doll clothing? Do other doll seamstresses or fashion trends on the board (or even on other boards, etc) influence you at all?
Fashion trends to me are semi-important. I like to see what other people are interested in because I want to meet their likes as well. Most of the time, I look to the rock/punk scene to see what’s going on with fashion. Fashion in Asia is my big influence for most of my styles!

Do you take on commissions? If so have you ever turned down any? Are there certain commissions you like or dislike?
I do take commissions. There was one commission that I didn’t necessarily turn down because of the idea, but because I noticed that the potential buyer was actually very dexterous (she could sew, draw, etc) and I explained that she could probably save money in the long run by not being afraid to try her hand at it. I haven’t had too many commission requests outside of my own styles (other than making various sizes) so there hasn’t been anything that I dislike.

Tell us about your family. What do they think about your dolls and your business?
They probably could care less. :laugh:

Closing Comments (anything you’d like to tell us about you or about your business in general)?
It was a great pleasure to be able to do this interview and I’m very excited to expand my shop and share my ideas with everyone! Thanks!

Thanks for the interview as well! 🙂


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