Costume Designer Spotlite: Tara (or Kawaii Experience)

Your legal full name: Inés Sánchez-Camacho Sánchez
Your “artist name”: Tara or Kawaii Experience
Your Website: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kawaiiexperience/ https://www.etsy.com/shop/KawaiiExperience


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How did you get involved in Asian Ball Jointed Doll clothing Designs?
I always loved making outfits, my grandmother in all her life made a beautifull dresses for my family and I have inherited from her the desire to sew. I started being a cosplayer, in Spain I won a few contest in manga conventions of my city, and when I got my first BJD I started to make the clothes by myself. In the beginning they were really awful! But I did my best and here I am! Some people told me to open a little store in a spanish forum, and four years have passed since that ^^


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Describe your line and what styles (items) you create?
I work 90% in orders, people tell me what they want and I sew it for them, I only need to know the measurements of their doll. I love making outfits by order, they are a challenge for me! People order outfits really varied: cosplay, fantasy outfits and dresses designed by them too!
In stock I usually do steampunk outfits, I love to seam this clothes, this is my chance to be creative. I do some jewelry too, customers request a lot rings for BJD. They are made with lovely jewelry stones and as the rings are adjustable, they can fit all sizes, that’s why they are the perfect accesory!

What do you think people know you best for (like a certain style or size or certain look)?
By customer request, I have specialised in Minifee girl size. Also I sew too much for EID girl and boy and Yo-SD of Soom and Fairyland.

I think people knows that I’m good at steampunk style, cosplay and outfits with many ornaments or to be luxurious. Also I think they like my working method: I always make pictures of the fabrics before buy and I show the whole process, so if they want to change something I give them the chance before it’s finished..

What Inspires You?
Everything! I love searching on flickr because I specially love to see what others BJD artist are doing! That always inspires me because I think “God, I want to be like her, I want to be as good as she is!”
Also usually look historical dresses, I’m in several groups of steampunk design for people and I like to see where they get their ideas from, refine them and adapt that ideas to my designs.
Videogames also inspire me so much, I am a great fan of Final Fantasy, Devil May Cry, Bioshock, Dishonored and also music like Rammstein!


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What do you want people to think when they look at your Designs?
I love to think customers choose my work to complete their dreamed doll. When finally they see the outfit on their doll, I want them to feel like: “Yes, my doll now really is as I wished.” I would like to help them to have the doll as they really want, with the clothing they always imagined for their character. In one word: perfect.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?
Hmmm I really lwould like to keep doing this, my sewing store is my life. I am starting to go to some manga conventions with Aikoneko, our Leeke dealer ^^ And I would like that this experience takes me to have my own stand at the conventions of manga or BJD in Spain or in L-Doll too and start to sell face to face with my customers.

What sorts of things do you enjoy the most about your designs?
I love make corsets! If I can, I really like to include one in all my outfits. I also love working with jewelry like crowns, rings, chain belts or necklaces, I think that this little details make the difference ^^

What are your other favorite clothing brands/designers for dolls?
I have a lot of them! Dollheart, Souldoll and Soom are my favourite brands, and designers… Amy Lilley, HarajukuDoll, Lelahel and Animemadness. Here in Spain we have a lot of good tailors, I really like the work of Munsault, Rosalen or Kikabilart for example.

What’s the Best thing about designing and selling doll fashions?
Best thing about being a seamstress and sell my own designs will always be the illusion of their owners. That moment in which they write to me to say that the dress has arrived and when they show me their dolls … Really fills my soul and I feel really honored and proud. The few times I’ve been able to sell face to face in a convention, was even more rewarding because they fell in love with your work without thinking about anything else.
For custom made orders, I like to think the illusion of my customers to see their dream come true, that perfect outfit designed exclusively for their doll, there is nothing better.

What’s the most difficult thing about designing and selling fashions?
Sometimes the hardest thing is to enter the mind of your customer, know what he wants, but he does not know how to express what he want. Try to speak and explain to the other person without using technical vocabulary is also very difficult. Personally one of the more difficult things for me is have a good table of measures. Many people don’t know how to measure their doll and refers me to the website of the brand, but sometimes the dresses need much more specific and accurate measurements.
In the case of stock, it is difficult to know where the market is going to move. Not long ago kimonos were very appreciated, but not now, and who knows if after all this time the steampunk style is also going to stop being popular.


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What type of dolls do you enjoy designing for the most (male/female/brands)?
I really love sew to Minifee girl and Fairyland girls or large bust girls.

What is your favorite style to create?
Steampunk, I love the fabric that allows freedom to create, to use old and new, combining patterns, different cuts of clothing, pieces …. I really like the blue peacock and peacock feathers, thanks to steampunk I´m creating lots of things with this type of style and I really love it!

Is there a color palate or patterns that you tend to stick with? Stay away from?
When I do custom things, I stick to what the client asks me, always trying to get elected patterns and the fabrics the closest to the final idea. But when I sew stock I have all the freedom I want, always choose a specific pattern that looks good and that I love to sew, here in Spain we call “patron de costadillos”.
As for colors I always like to sew in blue, black or white. I hate red, green and yellow.

Who would you love to collaborate with? Is there a mold, doll, or company that you prefer to work on?

I made a collaboration with StKawaii, a couple of manga drawers from Spain. I made a limited outfit to celebrate the beginning of their manga “The Soul Chaser” in Spain. But in a few years it could be great to sew for a famous brand! I would love to sew for Fairyland, it’s definitely my favorite brand and I will love to sew for Soom for any of their The Gem Dolls or one of their Rosette Doll. Also I would love to sew for Doll Chateau, I think their dolls are rare and amazing and inspire me too, that’s why my mind is planning too many outfits to make for them !

What is your background? Have you had any special schooling (art school, fashion design, sculpture, painting, fashion, etc)?
I’ve had artistic training but always in the field of drawing, I wanted to work drawing manga, but I don´t have the talent, so I learned engraving and design. And later I also did a course about styling of clothing, but did not teach me anything really useful. All I know was learnt from my grandmother and lots of practice.

Who are some of your favorite human designers?
I’m not aware of design to people, I never really interested in fashion, but I like the style of Vivienne Westwood.

Are there types of fabric that you hate or try to avoid? If so which ones?
Oh yes, I hate really some types of fabric like velvet and chiffon! It’s very funny, because my best friend love these fabrics.


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What fabrics do you love to use? Accessories?
I love sew leatherette, I like how fits on the style of my designs, I also use satin, cotton fabrics and brocaded fabrics. A great part of my designs usually wear some jewelry, I made that jewelry with svarovski tupis, I love make crowns and necklaces with them.

What outfit do you think was your best and worst? Why?
I do not think there are outfits better or worse than others, some of them just had more practice than others, we all have an evolution. My first jobs were horrible in my opinion! And now I’m very happy with my recent work, but I have a long way to go! In a few years I will see the job done now and I will not like it, sure.

Second part of this interview, coming soon!

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