As a young girl I loved playing with my Barbies and Sindy Dolls – my father made suitcases for a living and had made me a vanity case which I filled with dolls clothes. I was never interested in the bigger baby dolls. Maybe it was the fashions that attracted me, I don’t know. My love of dolls hasn’t faded – and it was with great excitement that I was able to interview the delightful Dasha who, in my eyes has a dream job, as a fashion designer designing luxury doll clothing. Hi Dasha!
Hi, I am Dasha. And I think I have a dream job – I am a fashion designer and a founder of luxury doll clothing brand gtGdollwear – so effectively I spend all my time living my childhood dream – playing with the dolls 😊
What inspired the setting up of your luxury brand “gtGdollwear”?
I have been working in the City for a number of years, but I always felt I was missing something. At some point I started to feel that I needed to find my true calling. It was a long journey….
Through hours of Bible reading, repentance and spending time with God, I knew I would be able to discover my true calling, my talents – my “wells” in the desert of life, which would give me freedom, wealth and independence.
I was particularly touched by the story of Abraham in Genesis: the wells he dug in the desert were a real blessing for him, but they were filled with earth by Philistines and his son Isaac had to work hard to clear them. This is a perfect analogy with our human life: we are born with talents, but sin made us bury our talents. We are afraid to acknowledge that there is a perfect plan for our life in Jesus. Instead we are giving the devil the ground that belongs to us.
One day I took my seven-year-old son to a birthday party for one of my friend’s daughters. There were Barbie dolls everywhere! The minute I saw a big box of barbies, I realised my prayers were answered as I remembered how much I enjoyed making dresses for dolls.
I’m interested in the origins of brand names – so what does GTG stand for?
Can you guess now? It means Glory to God. I am ever so grateful to Him for saving me!
As a young girl I had many Barbie/Sindy dolls and cases full of dolls clothes and accessories – my love of dolls hasn’t wained , I realised that fact whilst looking at the range of doll clothing on your website. I love every set in your collection and the miniature bags are just adorable. What sets are most popular amongst your customers?
Thank you! You might be surprised to know that my customers are adult doll collectors. And they love everything! They love to see new things coming in my online store. I recently launched a sleepwear – tiny cute satin and lace pyjamas and nighties, with eye masks and gowns and those were sold out so quickly. I have none left in pink! I guess in lockdown loads of doll collectors are living their life through dolls and pyjamas are a big hit!
Out of all your collection, do you have any favourites?
My favourite is Chanel inspired suit made of boucle fabric which is very challenging to work with as it frays into ribbons when cut. But the finished outfit was fabulous. As a general rule of thumb – the harder it is – the more satisfaction I get from the final result. The details that go into creating my outfits are insane, everything is so miniature!
As you are based in London, are your products available to purchase overseas?
Yes, I am based in South London, but gtGdollwear is an online destination that serves clients worldwide. I love to look at the map to track the geography of my clients – Hawaii, Australia, Japan, Europe. It’s mind blowing to realise that there are so many places I have never visited but my designs made their way to those destinations.
When designing dolls wear to add to your collections, do you take into account your own tastes, your customer base, requests, traditional styles, current trends, runway items or bits of all those?
It’s a bit of all those but most of all is what I would wear myself. So, I am not surprise when 90% of my clients keep saying to me: “I’d wear that!”. And of course I am very tuned into my customers feedback, I just want to solve their doll wardrobe dilemmas!
How long on average does it take to make a set from scratch?
It depends on a number of items in the set, but on average about a week as I do like to take my time. In my previous job in the City I used to work to very tight deadlines, so I just feel so blessed being able to set my pace now. My moto is “luxury in every stitch” and I take time to deliver that to my customers.
Do you take on bespoke requests? If so, what was the most unusual or extravagant request?
No, you see I am not a seamstress, so I would be unable to work on a request basis. When I design I rarely know what would be the final result, I make decisions along the way – my friends call me “a raw talent” 😀 So my customers are only those who love my creations!
If you could go anywhere in the world for inspiration to create a new collection, where would you go and why?
I’d go back to Paris to see my family but this time I would just sit in the café in the street and watch Parisians walking by (preferably without their face masks).
Growing up, did you always want to be a fashion designer or did your career aspirations lie elsewhere?
When I was a little girl, my friends played with their dolls – but I much preferred making clothes for my dolls. However, for some reason I thought that you need to be an artist to be able to draw your designs on paper – a huge misconception! My parents encouraged me to find a career that was more practical. I have two degrees, one Master of Arts but I somehow managed to work in finance for the majority of my career, which was a great experience that helps me with my business now.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Ha ha – now when we are restricted by lockdown it is mostly UGG slippers 😊I am a jeans and trainers girl – a comfy pair of skinny GAP jeans and my favourite Armani trainers is all I need to get me out of the house!
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites? (Apart from your own!)
Yeah, I wish someone could make a human size of gtGdollwear
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
Oh, I have accumulated so much that my next thing on the to do list is actually to get rid of some stuff!
Boots or Shoes?
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about gtGdollwear
Instagram and facebook @gtGdollwear
Are not the mini fashions simply gorgeous? Thank you Dasha for letting me see a glimpse of your dream job !
All photographs have been published with kind permission of gtGdollwear.
© 2021, Linda. All rights reserved.