A part of the Designow x Collective program, Veronica Lee (otherwise known as voni from VONI STUDIO) debuted her wonderfully twee “Dollhouse Collection” earlier this year in April. Shot here by Nicholas Needham, the collection is sometimes silly, but is always adorable and certainly left-of-center. Studied at Parsons, the multi-disciplinary creative simultaneously conceptualized an art installation titled, “IGAMEW FRINKATWO!” that mirrors the playful themes shown in her collection. The installation, which includes drawings, paintings and film, will show later this month at Sister Gallery in Adelaide, Australia.
Taking cues from psychological academia, Lee looked specifically to Donald Winnicott’s collection of essays, Playing and Reality (1971). Over the course of child development, the idea of play is grounded by tangible objects and toys to reality, but at the same time, the element of pretend extends the experience to fantasy. In Lee’s “Dollhouse Collection,” we’re witness to smocks and gowns made of pastel gingham and plush toys literally sewn to the garments. Though the references are too on-the-nose, concessions must be made: most debut collections are admittedly theme heavy. That minor point aside, it’s a fantastical collection that knows how to entertain. The “Mother’s Picnic Dress” delights in sheer volume, while the “Pom Tunnel Dress” ignites the imagination visually and sensorily against the skin.