Alice Mary Lynch creates beautiful bespoke dolls that you could imagine stumbling upon sipping tea from golden bejeweled teacups in a flower laden forest. The type of dolls that will be in the family for years, treasured pieces that will tell stories and excite both young and old...
Growing up in an artistic family, Alice studied Fashion Design at Kingston University where she collaborated with a jewellery designer to create a range of embellished dolls. Once she graduated she moved to Paris where she worked as a designer for John Galliano, Christian Dior and Sonia Rykiel. But after a couple of years Alice started yearning for embellishment again and in 2008, after having her first child, she decided it was time to work on something more personal.
Combining vintage textiles, beads and trinkets, Alice began making things which felt instinctively right, creatures and creations that came straight from her imagination. Her bespoke dolls were haute couture pieces that embroidered together different layers of history brought to life with a needle and thread. Glimmering and glittering the dolls are stand alone treasures and it is certainly no surprise that they are now being coveted all over the world.
We asked Alice a few questions about what inspires her to create her beautiful dolls...
What lead you to start making bespoke dolls?
Whilst at university, I was asked to collaborate with a jewellery designer to make some dolls to accompany his collection, I always loved dolls as a child and I remember my mum making puppets and putting on shows, so it was just something that came naturally.
What inspires you?
The seasons, dance and drama, fashion, romance, dreams and nature, the imperfect, fragility of everyday life and a bit of melancholic love. There are these characters, they appear in my dreams, they float around there until I have time to bring them to life and when they emerge, they have a little personality all of their own. It's a bit magic.
You've worked with some pretty incredible people throughout your career, what is one moment that really stands out?
When I interned right at the beginning of my career at John Galliano it was incredible, everyday was different, the drama was all there, sometimes it felt like pantomime, it was all wonderful and exciting, living in Paris and being on this funny, fashionable adventure.
Since then, I have been lucky enough to have some great opportunities to collaborate with designers like Alice Temperley and Victoria Beckham, each project pushes my work in new directions, I like that challenge.
What is your fondest memory of being a child?
Playing imaginary games with my two brothers, in blustery gales, on the Isle of Mull, where we camped wild on the beach. We had horses (in our heads) and we galloped round the island the whole holiday.
How has becoming a mum changed the way you see the world?
Well, I appreciate time a lot more! I had children fairly early on in my career, it gave me a moment to stop and refocus on what was really important to me, to not get caught up on the conveyor belt. I love my children and I also love working. My girls are also very good critics, so we are a good team.
If you were to create a wonderful outfit for one of santas reindeer, what would it look like?