SOURCE: Arab News
April 15, 2018
RIYADH: “It actually began as a joke,” said Ludovica Virga, founder and designer of the Italian brand House of Mua Mua, explaining the origin of Mua Mua Dolls. Although the designer is extremely familiar with Saudi customers, this is her first visit to the country, to display her signature, playful collection at the last day of Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh on Saturday.
The dolls originated in Bali, with Virga deciding to give back to the island’s inhabitants, who were left without work as tourism was dwindling after the 2004 tsunami. Handmade by a team of local women, the crochet dolls are iconic and fun. “The idea is to highlight their main features and imperfections, which are what makes them so special.”
When Virga presented Karl Lagerfeld with a doll that resembled him in 2009, it instantly became a fashion statement. She was soon commissioned to create 700 dolls that would be sold at Lagerfeld stores.
The concept caught on and Virga created more dolls based on style icons, including Lady Gaga, Coco Chanel and Anna Wintour. The brand went on to incorporate T-shirts and accessories and is currently in the process of what Virga calls “evolving from kids to college students.” Inspired by news or popular culture, House of Mua Mua creates apparel and accessories that are renowned for being “young-at-heart, witty and playful.”
Not one to take fashion seriously, Virga’s spring/summer 2018 collection displayed at Arab Fashion Week also dished out a social message. With the slogan “less plastic is fantastic,” sequinned jackets, hoodies and bags made a statement on the runway.
“Ladies in Saudi Arabia are incredibly fashionable and receptive,” she said. “Clearly they are well-traveled and sophisticated.” And in the spirit of holidaying, the collection also features kaftans and beach hats, sequinned denim jackets over colorful playsuits, waist bags with T-shirts and large ruffle skirts, oversized sweaters and eye-catching accessories.
“The collection is also all about summer, holidaying for example, in St. Tropez or Monte Carlo. And about not taking life too seriously,” Virga concluded, as she flashed her “I don’t give a chic” T-shirt.