Traditional Doll Clothing Handmade For Charity

The traditional clothes for these dolls were hand-sewn by a retired and award-winning local fashion designer.

These are Adrian’s collectibles, which feature traditional clothing of the multicultural races and wedding designs from our country. Each doll showcases the talent of an expert.

Her favorite piece is a miniature of the Malacca Nyonya Baba wedding attire.

The miniatures of the Malacca Nyonya Baba wedding outfit are Adrian’s favorite piece so far / Image credit: Adrian Ong

The doll is dressed in heavy embroidered ceremonial dress with wide sleeves and a cape of small knit flaps.

The cape represents the feathers of the neck of a phoenix, symbolizing the union of yin and yang.

This is one of many creations by Adrian Ong, a designer with a history in the entertainment and fashion industry.

He designed clothes for notable local artists such as Siti Nurhaliza, Vanidah Imran, Dato ‘Malik Mydin and Mustafah Kamal during his early years of fashion design in the 1990s.

After leaving the fashion spotlight, he now uses his talent and skills in a different way to help single parents.

Make a mini

By day, Adrian is the full-time COO of Parents Without Partners (PWP).

When inspiration comes at night, he takes his needle and puts his skills to use.

Its miniature craft began 8 years ago, with the goal of establishing a unique branded product for Jumble Station.

Jumble Station is a community outreach initiative of PWP.

The initiative collects second-hand household items such as old books and clothes. These are then resold to raise funds for single parents living in poverty, usually at a lower price.

Adrian and his adopted daughters / Image credit: Adrian Ong

Adrian himself knows firsthand the difficulties of being a single parent.

“I myself am a single father of 4 beautiful daughters. I have welcomed them since they were babies, so I know more or less how difficult the life of single parents can be, ”he said.

“From the education of their children to the dual role of father and mother. It is not easy.”

Her eldest daughter is 20, while the youngest is 7.

Turning waste into cash

Much like making clothes for humans, he pays special attention to ensuring that the cuttings fit well on the dolls.

“Depending on the design, it takes me about 3 days to a week to complete,” Adrian said.

The attention to detail in Adrian’s collectibles is one that would surprise anyone who saw them on a shelf.

“I do a lot of homework to get my ideas off the Internet, visit museums, and browse reference books,” he explained.

Some of her designs include miniaturized versions of the wedding costumes of her family members.

In an interview with the New Straits Times, he said the idea for creating traditional doll clothes actually came from his eldest daughter, Farah Nisha.

Since no one was buying the second-hand dolls sold at Jumble Station, she suggested he put her design skills to dress the dolls before selling them.

All the fabric meticulously sewn together is cut from real clothes which were also donated to the store.

“People were sending clothes that were no longer usable. So I can reuse them for my dolls, turning the garbage into cash, ”he said.

The only items he buys are the accessories and shoes worn by the dolls, which can cost up to RM50.

What he earns goes directly to charity

Adrian’s collectibles sell for a minimum of RM 150 per doll, while pairs are sold for RM 300.

“I have clients all over Malaysia and Singapore. They are mostly government sector collectors and doll enthusiasts, ”he explained. “Some buy them for display, others for birthday and wedding gifts.”

All proceeds go towards PWP’s fundraising activities, which also include helping the children of these single parents get the education they need.

Adrian’s Nyonya Collection / Image Credit: Adrian Ong

Besides fundraising, the collection also functions as a renaissance of forgotten Malaysian art.

“My goal is also to educate the younger generations on our beautiful costumes in Malaysia, as most have forgotten about it these days,” Adrian said.

In keeping with this motive, he hopes to one day exhibit his art in a major Malaysian art exhibition.

  • You can read more about Jumble Station here and Parents Without Partners here.
  • You can read more about other Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Adrian Ong

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Jothi Venkat

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