By Martha Hewett @martha_hewett
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Videographer / director: Marcus Hessenberg
Producer: Martha Hewett, Ruby Coote
Editor: Sonia Estal
Fifi, who goes by the name ‘Fifi Doll’, has been dressing like a doll for three years – and she’s almost always in pink.
Fifi, from London, told Barcroft TV: “I was using dolls for my art, and I was surrounded by about 200 of them and I just felt an affinity with them.”
Although Fifi calls herself a living doll, she wants people to understand it’s more about identity and not performance.
“Living as a doll is not about acting like a doll, it’s just in how I dress.
“This is how I’m deciding to present myself to society – to become the most perfect idea of myself,” Fifi explained.
As part of her persona, the artist also will not reveal her age.
"Age is not a concern of hers as dolls are timeless pieces of art,” she said.
When it comes to her look, Fifi draws inspiration from ball-jointed dolls, as anyone of any shape can enjoy the look.
“Ball-jointed dolls come in so many sculpts, so I can imagine myself as one very easily, even if am not in proportion. I feel that being a doll is for everyone.”
Fifi always tries to incorporate her doll-style into her outfits, drawing inspiration from the antique look of lace, chiffon and soft fabrics.
“I would say 99.99 percent of my wardrobe is pink and it is definitely my favourite colour – my happiest colour.
“I always believe it’s best to surround yourself by things that make you happy and pink has always made me happy, so if I get something, I will get it in pink,” she added.
Fifi credits the doll community for giving her confidence, and believes that people from all backgrounds should embrace their style.
“It’s really exciting to see other dolls and how they interpret their style.
“The empowerment I feel from dressing this way comes from a real understanding of how my soul possesses my body.” Fifi said.
Fifi feels connected to the dolls in her artwork, and just one piece can take up to an entire day to finish.
“I get inspired by the dolls in my artwork, when I paint them it’s like a collaboration to discover their character — I like to give them dramatic expressions.
“I enjoy seeing how much life they are able to portray, even if they are sewn in half and stuck to a canvas.”
Despite gaining confidence from her art and her style, Fifi acknowledges that some people don’t agree with her look.
However, the only thing that really bothers her is when people take photos without permission.
“It is an invasion of my privacy and they then have something that doesn’t belong to them,” Fifi explained.
Fifi credits her group of friends that supports her doll look. They enjoy spending time dressing up together and going to fashion-based festivals.
“The Japanese fashion community in London is great. I have made so many friends through that, through dressing up in Japanese street fashion style.
“My friends have always been very accepting of my doll look – I have been inspired by incorporating my look into my friends, it’s so amazing to me how wonderful they have all been,” Fifi said.
Two of Fifi’s best friends, TonTon and Chi, credit Fifi for their own style.
“Fifi has definitely influenced me so much, I never used to do the girly side of fashion but I definitely wear more pink now because of her – I never used to own anything pink,” Chi said.
“We balance each other and we definitely inspire each other,” Fifi added.
Despite feeling content and confident in her look, Fifi doesn’t know what the future holds in terms of her style and self-expression:
“I won’t put a time limit on it, before I have gone for alien looks. This has been a journey of my creativity.
“I will never put a block on my style. I just want to keep exploring,” Fifi said.
However, for now at least, Fifi plans on continuing her living doll identity.
“I have never been as happy as I am now, so I feel like I will be in pink for a long time.”