Products, fashion and style


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50s fever: a retro feel and simplistic femininity are Paperdoll Designs’ trademark stamp

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How Paperdoll Designs aims to add a little eye candy to the streets of Glasgow.

t's widely accepted that gay tnen tnake great fashion

designers. They’re not afraid to give women what they

want in over-the-top femininity that accentuates the form yet heightens the fun. Some would even go as far to suggest that they‘re playing with dolls: acting out a latent childhood fantasy. even. 01‘ maybe that's all a bit Freudian.

Nevertheless. it was playing with dolls which provided the inspiration for the name of Hannah Sibbett's (ilasgow- based company. The moniker. Paperdoll Designs. catne from her childhood memories of playing with cardboard cut-out models and attaching clothes with their paper tabs ~ onto the dolls. ‘I used to have them when l was a kid.‘ says Sibbett. ‘and you would mix and match the skirts and the tops and the hats and the bags. so I got the name from that.‘

Of course. Sibbett isn‘t a gay man. but she does rely heavily on femininity and form in her designs. ller clothes are almost exclusively for women and the most recent collection is heavily inspired by the 50s. liull. self-coloured skins with applique detail and off-the-shoulder tops laced with contrasting tabs stand ottt in particular. Vest tops with hip-positioned ties are decorated with simple. fabric cut-out shapes (which include butterflies. horses and even guns). while her neck-ties and bags also follow the plain. yet delicately feminine. trademark style. There's even a range of adorable notebooks and cushions for those who want to extend their wardrobe throughout their home.

What makes Paperdoll Designs so distinctive is the understated simplicity of what are. essentially. exaggerated designs. You can pair the vests with the skins and the bags with the notebooks without appearing over the top.

‘I tried to make it so that each piece looks good


individually. For example you can wear the tops with a pair of black trousers or jeans and it would look special.‘ explains Sihhett. ‘But also you can mix and match them with everything else in the collection and make it your own style.’

Inspired by her work as a buyer for Byres Road kitsch emporium Pink Poodle. the 23-year-old fashion and marketing graduate set out to produce something very different to what she'd found in shops. 'My ethic is to offer something different to the mass-produced high street market. I try to bring my personality into it quite a lot. I‘m the only person in the business so I‘m able to design things exactly the way I want them dotth

Set up in March. Paperdoll Designs are now on sale in nine stores around the l'K. including (ilasgow‘s Darling and Pink Poodle. In the future. Sibbett hopes to branch out into men’s fashion (and in particular the gay market) and children‘s clothing and accessories. One other avenue she hopes to explore is a ‘design-your-own' cttstomisation service. The concept. which should be launched in the new year. involves giving customers a pack containing fabric samples. designs and pattern templates. From there the client assembles their self-styled wardrobe additions. An innovative venture. which reflects the company’s ethic. ‘I think I've got something that's quite creative. I'm still at the very beginning and it‘s only recently that I've pttt my collection together but it’s been really good so far.’


Maureen Ellis

‘My ethic is to offer something different to the mass-produced high street market’