Drip drip drop little April showers my arse. Today, we have experienced a furious hailstorm that battered the garden and knocked blossom off the cherry trees. This turned out to be a good thing in one way, because I didn’t like the idea of picking cherry blossom to take photos for my hanami posts, and I can’t take any more pictures of dolls in trees. For one thing, the tree this blossom comes from is in a neighbouring garden and overhangs our fence, so I would have to use a ladder and really, there are limits to my eccentricity (honestly, there are).
My doll offering today is my only Silkstone, Chinoiserie Red Moon. As you might know, I have minimal dealings with dolls who use the original Barbie sculpt, although I do own a couple of repros. Part of this is to do with the price of vintage Barbies and the more recently released Silkstones who have the same face, but not all of it – I’m sure I would find a way, if I liked them enough.
I have mixed feelings about Silkstones, and I suppose Red Moon is a good illustration of why. On the plus side, with her long black hair and her heavy eye makeup she has an obvious gothic appeal, and this is what swung it for me. Her sulky expression goes well with these dark looks, although I sometimes find it a bit irritating on other Silkstones (for God’s sake, you look great – now cheer up a bit). Another thing – the outfits are elegant, beautifully made and classic, but there can be a fine line between classic and cliched. Much as I love her, Red Moon looks like a white girl going to a fancy dress party as a Dragon Lady, although to be fair, the use of the word Chinoiserie suggests that she is a homage to Chinese style, not that she is intended to be a Chinese doll. And I did enjoy the blurb on the back of the box, which suggests that this is the perfect outfit for a Silkstone to wear while eating Chinese takeaway (I prefer some old sweatpants, personally). I read this wrong at first and thought they were suggesting that this was the perfect doll to enjoy whilst eating a Chinese takeaway, leading me to make some doubtful speculations about the unhappy combination of doll collecting and sweet and sour sauce.
Before I started writing this post, I did some reading about the significance of cherry blossom in China. In the West we are often guilty of lumping all sort of cultures under the label of “Asian”, and I didn`t want to make any presumptions. As far as I can tell, there is a history of cherry blossom viewing and hanami in China as there is in Japan, and cherry blossom viewing parks are popular with Chinese people and tourists alike. I have read that some Chinese people have mixed feelings about this because Cherry blossom is the national flower of Japan and Japan has invaded and occupied China on several occasions. However, cherry blossom has symbolic meaning in China that is different to Japanese symbolism – in China, cherry blossom symbolises female beauty, sexuality and power, so for my beautiful, full-of-attitude Red Moon, cherry blossom seems to be an appropriate choice.