Meet Lulu Hashimoto, the “living doll” fashion model

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Hitomi Komaki, fashion designer and creator of "doll" model Lulu Hashimoto, brushes wig hair of Lulu Hashimoto during an interview with Reuters in Tokyo, Japan August 23, 2017. Picture taken August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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Hitomi Komaki, fashion designer and creator of "doll" model Lulu Hashimoto, poses with the mask of Lulu Hashimoto during an interview with Reuters in Tokyo, Japan August 23, 2017. Picture taken August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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Hitomi Komaki, fashion designer and creator of "doll" model Lulu Hashimoto, applies make-up on the mask of Lulu Hashimoto during an interview with Reuters in Tokyo, Japan August 23, 2017. Picture taken August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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Hitomi Komaki, fashion designer and creator of "doll" model Lulu Hashimoto, checks hair of Lulu Hashimoto during an interview with Reuters in Tokyo, Japan August 23, 2017. Picture taken August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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Hitomi Komaki, fashion designer and creator of "doll" model Lulu Hashimoto, checks dress of Lulu Hashimoto during an interview with Reuters in Tokyo, Japan August 23, 2017. Picture taken August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Updated 24 August 2017

Meet Lulu Hashimoto, the “living doll” fashion model

TOKYO: Meet Lulu Hashimoto, a “living doll” and the latest trend in Tokyo’s fashion modelling scene.
Lulu — a full-body doll suit consisting of a wig, a mask and stockings patterned with doll-like joints — was born from one woman’s desire to become cute.
“I have always really liked dolls and for me, the epitome of cuteness is dolls,” said the 23-year-old fashion designer Hitomi Komaki, who created Lulu.
Dressing up as a mascot, called “kigurumi” in Japanese, is a popular art form in Japan. Komaki has taken it to a new level by creating a body suit that looks like a doll and lets you move like a human.
“Many people call my project a fetish, but for me it’s not a fetish but fashion,” she said. “It’s like wearing nice clothes or putting on false eyelashes to become cuter.”
There is only one Lulu body suit, Komaki said, but dancers, designers and models are among those who have worn the costume.
The identity of exactly who is inside is secret, she added.
The stockings worn by Lulu were created by fellow fashion designer Koh Ueno, who airbrushes doll-like joints onto the material.
“I want to see women wear these stockings and transform,” said 29-year-old Ueno.
“I want them to experience the extraordinary — to become otherworldly, artificial, or like a doll,” he said.
While popular among fans of Japanese subculture, Lulu is now turning heads at the annual Miss iD beauty pageant where she is among the 134 semifinalists chosen from around 4,000 entrants.
The pageant, which includes “non-human” characters generated by artificial intelligence and three-dimensional computer graphics for the first time, will announce a winner in November.
Lulu’s ability to blur the line between reality and fiction has mesmerised fans on social media, where the Lulu Twitter and Instagram accounts have drawn tens of thousands of followers.
“I find it miraculous that dolls and humans — two things that exist in different planes — are standing in the same space,” said Erika Kato, 24, who met Lulu for the first time at a recent fan event.
The possibility of wearing a suit and becoming Lulu also appealed to fans like 22-year-old Miu Shimoda.
“I’d like to be a beautiful girl like Lulu at least once in my life,” she said.


Fast food fashion: Saudi designer Arwa Al-Banawi collaborates with KFC

The Saudi designer teamed up with fast food chain KFC. (Instagram/@holgamaniac)
Updated 27 February 2020

Fast food fashion: Saudi designer Arwa Al-Banawi collaborates with KFC

DUBAI: Fashion’s fixation with food is no secret. In recent years, we’ve seen a number of brands cook up edible-themed accessories, including McDonalds cups crafted into shoulder bags from Moschino and lait de coco clutches by Chanel. Meanwhile, other designers took it a step further by joining forces with popular eateries, such as Alber Elbaz for Ladurée.

Now the latest designer to team up with a restaurant is Saudi contemporary womenswear designer Arwa Al-Banawi, who recently collaborated with fast food fried chicken joint, KFC.

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 The Jeddah-born creative teamed up with the popular fast food chain on an exclusive streetwear capsule collection that will boast gender-neutral pieces for famous fans of the label— that includes the likes of Jayden Smith and Elisa Sednaoui— to eat up.

Although the designer has kept the collaboration under wraps for now, fans can probably expect signature tailored suits with KFC-inspired prints or hoodies emblazoned with the emblematic Colonel Sanders portrait to satiate wardrobes throughout the season.

While the capsule collection will most likely not have the drive-through price tag, it’s bound to sell like hot cakes when it hits shelves soon.

The unexpected partnership is the latest in a string of collaborations for the contemporary Dubai Design District-based label. In the past, the womenswear designer has teamed up with Pepsi, Adidas Originals and Levi’s.