Pullip Celebrates 10 Years With Cute and Rock


by Kate Havas, Mio Nagasaki, posted February 26, 2013

Pullip dolls are known for their big heads, big eyes, and endless variations as new collaborations and original dolls are released every month. On February 22, Pullip opened their 10th year anniversary exhibition, entitled We ♥ Pullip- 10th Anniversary Party. The first thing to greet visitors was a visual history of Pullip, showing the evolution of the dolls as they were lined up and labeled by year. Included were rare copies of the very first dolls: a bunny girl, a gothic lolita, and a Christmas model. The cases were littered with doll magazines from various countries that have featured Pullip, showcasing the dolls’ worldwide appeal. Like Barbie or Licca, Pullip is her own character and signs gave the uninformed viewer Pullip’s profile and story, letting them get to know the Italian-Korean teenager and her family.

Popular subculture fashion brands were well-represented. Baby, the Stars Shine Bright showed a model entitled “White Angel,” which had Pullip dressed in a white lolita ensemble and clutching a miniature usakuma (bunny-bear) bag. Alice and the Pirates showed “Pirates Treasure Hunting,” a boy doll in full pirate gear with a romantic rose eye patch and he was appropriately positioned near Kikirara Shoten’s “Deep Ocean Mermaid.” Angelic Pretty displayed a miniature version of their spring print “Daydream Carnival” and Juliette and Justine showed an elegant green “Victorian Dress.” One of the more surprising collaborations was Pullip x Mori Chack, creator of Gloomy Bear. The bloody Pullip was a nod to Harajuku’s guro-kawa (gross-but-cute) style and stood out in the sea of cute and cool.

One of the highlights of the show was the artist collaborations, with models displayed for GACKT, NIGHTMARE, and Sound Horizon. The three GACKT models showed looks from Mars, Mizerable and Redemption, painstakingly recreated. The NIGHTMARE collaboration showed a similar attention to detail, the dolls fantastically accurate down to their heights and piercings. Though pricey and limited, the dolls are sure to delight fans.

A large part of the display was dedicated to dolls donated by world-wide famous customizers, fashion brands, YURU-CHARA (Japanese relaxing mascot characters), local idols, college fashion departments and players in the Tokyo creative scene. These dolls had a purpose beyond being decoration, as each doll displayed during the event will be sold by charity auction in honor of the victims of 311 via Red Cross Japan. Kenny Creation, mastermind behind Tokyo’s foremost steampunk event, SteamGarden, displayed a pair of steampunk heroes and members of the popular fashion group, Waseda Gothic, Lolita, and Punk no Kai were well represented with dolls that showed their favorite fashions. The newest Pullips were also available to see, including an Alice in Wonderland set, Nurse Natalie and even a nod to classical art with a doll rendition of “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”

The anniversary event will run at Shibuya Parco, Part 1, through March 11. Admission is 300 yen (with a 100 yen discount for students). On March 3, there will be a special event for Japan’s “Hina Matsuri,” the girls festival. Since the celebration traditionally revolves around girls and dolls, it is a natural fit for Pullip and her cast of fashionable friends.

More information can be found at the Parco Museum website and Groove.

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There are 46 photos in this visual kei exclusive.

Kate Havas first became interested in Japanese fashion and culture in college when manga, anime, and visual kei were just beginning to make their way to America. An art and English major with a love of clothes, Kate signed onto ROKKYUU in order cover fashion and report on Tokyo trends, but was quickly also recruited to the music side of things and has been having an adventure expanding her knowledge of all things VK since. Follow her on twitter at keito_kate!

Mio Nagasaki is a freelance photographer lending her time, skills, and love for the genre to ROKKYUU Magazine.

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