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Models dressed as dolls at Lower East Side exhibit

Artist Laurie Simmons, the real-life mom of Girls’ creator Lena Dunham, has made a career photographing latex dolls in various ways. Now, in Kigurumi, Dollers and How We See, her new show at the Salon 94 Gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, she has moved on to real people dressed as dolls.

"Yellow Hair/Brunette/Mermaids" (2014)
Laurie Simmons/Salon 94 Bowery
"Yellow Hair/Red Coat/Umbrella/Snow" (2014)
Laurie Simmons/Salon94 Bowery

“Some of my (models) are men and some are women, but they all portray female characters,” Simmons says. “At first I dressed them only in fetish latex, which seemed both doll-like and right for their identities, but it soon became clear that they needed to expand their repertoire and play dress up.”

The practice is based on Kigurumi, a Japanese sub-culture of people known as “Dollers” or “Kiggers” who wear masks and latex body suits to take on the identities of their “dolls” and wear their costumes in public.

The exhibit consists of photographs of these “Dollers” whom Simmons photographed in a tiny house in Connecticut. She dressed them up, dyed their hair, had them pose in a doll-like manner, and let them develop their “doll” personality.

At Salon 94, 243 Bowery, through April 28. The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sundays, 1 p.m.-6 p.m.

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