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Designer’s profile: SOUOL by LOUOS

January 11, 2011

Hi Can you introduce yourself ?

My name is Louisham Osman, I go by the nick Louos.  I’m 31 years old, live in sunny Singapore with my partner and 5 cats.  I work full time on my doll label “SouoL by LouoS” after stopping work in the corporate world (was a merchandiser with Gap and Ralph Lauren for 7 years).  I’m of mix heritage (Malay dad and Chinese mom) and because of that and living in cosmopolitan city like Singapore, I speak and understand different languages and dialects, have a wide range in food and music, love the complexities as well as the simplicities in everything I do, wear and eat.

How did you discover FR Dolls?

I was surfing on Ebay for a bathtub for my Blythe dolls (I was in the furniture phase of my Blythe obsession) and there was this listing with a gorgeous male doll (Pierre) in a bathtub, I was so intrigued that I wrote to the seller to ask not about the bath tub she was selling but about the male doll she used to model for scale with the bath tub.  She replied that it was from a line called Fashion Royalty by Integrity Toys and Jason Wu.  From there, I did my research and spent the next couple of days getting to know this line better and eventually bought my first FR doll.

When  did you buy your first FR?

My first FR doll was a FR Nippon Misaki – Metallic Moment Misaki.  Some of the Blythe collectors I know also collect FR and FR Nippon and Misaki always caught my eye but I didn’t want to get into it because of the price range of these dolls.  But after researching about the FR line and discovering that Misaki is the Japanese counterpart line of FR, I took notice and fate had it that a Blythe collector was selling her Metallic Moment for a great price.  So I took the plunge and bought her. Another thing was that during my research, there was also the obstacle of where and how to buy a FR doll?  So from getting my first FR doll, I learned of the doll forums like Doll Divas, Pink Palor, Prego, etc.

How many FR do you own?

I presently own 23 FR dolls.

Who is your Favorite FR Character?

My current favourite character would be Misaki.  Her face is so serene yet so pouty and cute at the same time.  There’s just something about her face that makes you not take a bad picture.

What do you like the most about collecting FR?

I like the fact that the Fashion Royalty line of dolls has a wide range of characters and a diversity that no other doll range provides.  The fact that each collection is always in trend with what’s going on in the fashion world and also the fact that these dolls are poseable and unique that they are like mini fashion super models  that buyers can indulge in their own fantasy of living in a fashion world.

Where  do  you store them?

I store my dolls in an Ikea glass door cabinet.  At the moment it is big enough to store all the dolls inside and hopefully it will be a good gauge for me to watch how many dolls I’m buying.  Most of my dolls are stored there naked for easy dressing and also to prevent any staining from long term display in clothes.

What does your photography space space look like?

My photography space usually comprises a table top, a foldable white light box, sheets of paper for background, a new block for background or as a stand for the lights and a few Ikea spotlights.  I wanted my photography space to be portable since I move around quite a bit for the past years and I find that by making my stuff portable, it’s easier to clean up a space after the job is done

When  did you start designing?

I started designing clothes for dolls when I started collecting Blythe dolls and saw just how many people were out there making clothes from really basic dresses to some really fancy ones with great workmanship and I challenged myself to start sewing for little people.  That was in 2007.  Before that, I was mostly just making little handsewn basic dresses for my Barbies.

How did you learn to do it?

I studied fashion design in school for 3 years and learned sewing, pattern making and illustrating.  I just applied that to the dolls and along the way, picked up some tips on certain techniques of sewing and making patterns for dolls.  I would say a lot of patience and hard work went into studying how others make their gorgeous clothes.  Sometimes I study the stock clothes too and figure out how they were done.

What Inspires your work?

Every day things inspired my work – something someone wore on the street, something I saw on television, a collection I saw from a designer.  There’s inspiration in everything in our everyday lives, it’s how you extract these inspirations to make it relevant to your work, so I will extract what I am looking for for a particular collection I am working on.

What is your work rhythm? How do you like to work?

I usually like to work in the morning and then have a break to go gym or have lunch and then come back to work again until the evening where I stop for the day or if I’m having a crunch time with a self imposed deadline, then I work till bedtime.  Usually if I have a clear idea of what I want for a collection, I will be very enthusiastic to finish that collection.  However if I have only a vague idea then I take it slow until eureka strikes.   Usually during break time, or when I’m going out, my thoughts drift to the current collection I’m working on to see how I can improve or how I can vary a certain design and ideas just get thrown about in my head.

 

When you work on custom commissions, do your clients usually have specific requests or do they give you free hand?

I usually try to accommodate my clients when they want a certain design of mine with a minor variation.  And so far, most of my clients are so generous to let me have a free hand in what I design.  of course I give them due respect to inform them and seek their approval if I am changing something of the design.

However I have had a client who wanted a design of mine with so many changes to it that it turned out to be something different altogether and instead of a designer, I became her tailor.  Her list of changes went from point to point, my eyes were flurried from reading them.  From that experience, I reminded myself that I should never sell my soul for the sake of money.  That there are people out there who will always want to use you and take advantage of you just because they can.

Any advice to those who would like to start their own designs ?

My advice is to have patience and do the hard work because unless you’ve got a gifted seamstress at your disposal, there is no shortcut to starting your own label.  Don’t be afraid to ask when in doubt and always be humble, nobody likes a diva designer.  Be clear to what you want to achieve in terms of style and look.  This will set you apart from the rest of the designers out there.Most importantly, always have fun with what you do, otherwise it is not worth it at the end of the day.

What are you working on these days and what are your future projects doll wise?

I’m working on a new collection now and hopefully I will be able to start making some clothes for my Tonner doll I named Nina Darkwood.  She was my birthday gift in 2010 and till now she has been naked in my doll cabinet yearning to have some thread of her own so I will fulfill her wish soon.

Do you collect other dolls?

Aside from Fashion Royalty, I also collect Monster High, Blythe, Momoko, Dynamite Girls, Sekiguchi Coco, Tonner, My little Pony and Toysfield Kuma.

Have you got a Flickr Blog ,website ?

My flickr is http://www.flickr.com/louos

My SouoL by LouoS facebook group is http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/SouoL-by-LouoS/110729085625963

My SouoL by LouoS artfire store is http://www.souol.artfire.com

Photo credits: Louos

A Huge thank you to  you Louos, looking forward to your new collection!

K.

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