Marisole Monday: Tokyo Meets Georgia

Where to start about this paper doll set… Well, it all started with the blue dress which is the strange love child of a kimono, a peacoat and a 1850’s hoop skirt and then sort of evolved from there. Secretly I kinda love it, but publicly I’m a little more unsure. The underwear in yellow and cream came out of the desire to draw absurd underwear (and practice my ruching as I mentioned last week) and then I felt like I needed a second dress to fill in the set, so I drew her odd formal costume with the pleats and underbust corset with the flower. My favorite is the blue dress, though I know I shouldn’t have favorites among my paper dolls.

marisole-tokyo-georgia-150 {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

I think fantasy is all about combining different sources in ways that they were never combined in the real world. So, to take the blue dress as my example, the skirt is based on Japanese stencil dyed fabrics, the coat/jacket is quilted much like 18th century women’s petticoat and has a large portrait collar much like my own winter coat. It is tied with an obi style sash/belt (displayed on that website on a beautiful example of Japanese doll making).

The poll is, of course, on going. I am not at all surprised that fantasy is in the lead. I always rather suspected it would win out in the end, but I wasn’t sure where everything else would fall in between, so it has been education in its own way.


  1. I think the cream coloured underwear works fine as a dress. I thought it was a ballroom gown before I read your post. There is something fairylike about the petal shapes of the skirt. What does ruching mean? Is it the way the fabric folds?

  2. Ruching is were you take fabric and scrunch it up into flouncey shapes. It’s a pain in the patooty to do, but the effect is awesome.

    And I love this set. The combination of styles and cultures is absolutely brilliant!

  3. I’m glad everyone likes the set. It’s one I’m quite proud of.

    Sara pretty much summed up ruching, Marie Louise, it’s a technique where you gather both sides of a piece of fabric so it squishes and puffs up. It was used on some petticoats in the 1860’s, but is currently quite popular on tops made of knit. It is also a word my computer seems to think does not exist, so I always worry I am spelling it wrong. I think the term is French, but am not positive.

  4. I’m urgently trying to get in touch with the artist to get permission to use her images on an invitation for a benefit dinner for our organziaiton that teaches art to blind kids — and dressing skills and self esteem through art/fashion.

    Can anyone help? I can be reached through My name is Elisabeth. 212 334 8720.

    Her work is just fabulous!

  5. I just love this set! It’s probably unsurprising that that wonderful blue quilted gown is my favorite, but I keep looking at the shoes with the little ankle cutout and feeling charmed 😀

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