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Pretty Doll Costumes Inspired by Bhutan


If you scroll through instagram page @freyalise.navigatio, you’ll find the most adorable photos of a little animator doll, Dolkar, dressed in the most beautifully embellished kira ensemble (complete with rachu, koma and bjiru) as if posing for the camera. These pretty costumes were created by Yu Jianing, a chinese woman from Beijing who visited Bhutan for a holiday and fell in love with the traditional attire for women, the kira.

“I work as a travel guidebook editor and I love drawing and travelling. When I came to Bhutan, I just fell in love with the kingdom and thus created Dolkar, as a reminiscence of my trip to Bhutan.” From fitting of the kira, wonju and tego to the detailing on the komas and keras, Dolkar and her kira collection are any doll collector’s dream, but if you’re looking to buy the ensembles, you’re in for some disappointing news.

“Dolkar’s not for sale,” says an amused Yu Jianing. “Maybe I might sell her clothes as a collection one day but Dolkar has a soul. She is another me.” Originally a Disney Princess doll, Yu Jianing redrew her face and gave her a new identity. “Doll owners around the world “rebuild” their dolls and it’s very popular on instagram used as #animatordoll. I chose kira because I think the detail and the patterns are perfect. Kiras look good with shirts and jackets too, usually no traditional clothes work with modern wear. So I think it’s amazing.”

Yu Jianing isn’t certain when she can return to Bhutan but for now she says she has Dolkar as a piece of the kingdom she loves so much. “I created Dolkar so she can be the Bhutanese version of me, as I truly hope to be born as a Bhutanese in my next life.”

Yu Jianing with her doll Dolkar

Yu Jianing in traditional kira during her visit to Bhutan

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