We’re naturally enthralled by haute couture and intricately designed garments that are donned by the brightest of stars on the red carpet—but a well-made miniature replica worn by dolls? Now that’s not something we get to see every day!
Meet Alvin Ocampo, a 23-year-old fashion designer whose fondness for both fashion and dolls led him to make mini versions of some of the stars’ most popular looks. Admittedly a fan of Filipino designers like Michael Cinco, Francis Libiran, and more, he channels that inspiration into creating unbelievably cool dresses tailored to fit the size of a doll. In an interview with Preview, get to know more about him and his awesome creations below.
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/its_me_alvin; INSTAGRAM/iamhearte
Heart Evangelista's Mark Bumgarner LBD
Hi Alvin! Please tell us about yourself and this hobby of yours.
“I started doing fashion illustrations when I was in college way back 2011. Surprisingly, my professors noticed my talent and I was chosen to design the Tourism Management uniform of Far Eastern University. That’s where it all started. I'm also a doll enthusiast; I love dressing them up with famous designs by Michael Cinco, Francis Libiran, Rajo Laurel, Albert Andrada, Mark Bumgarner, etc. At first, I used to do it just for fun and to add to my personal collection, but recently I’ve also started accepting orders.”
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/its_me_alvin; INSTAGRAM/niceprintphoto
Kathryn Bernardo's Michael Cinco dress at the Star Magic Ball 2015
Have you always been fond of dolls as a kid?
“I’ve always loved dolls! I remember back then when I was a kid, I didn't really have a doll because we're only two brothers in the family, so I settled for paper dolls instead. (Laughs)”
You seem to have favorite celebrities and designers. How do you usually decide on whose outfit is going to be your next project?
“I don’t really play favorites when it comes to designers or celebrities. I actually base it on the designs. I usually do beadwork dresses, and sometimes I want to challenge myself with various designs.”
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/its_me_alvin; Preview.ph
Pia Wurtzbach's national costume for Miss Universe 2015, made by Albert Andrada
How long does it normally take you to create one doll's outfit? Please walk us through the process.
“For a simple one like Heart Evangelista's black dress, it took one day to finish. It all starts with pattern making. I use cling wrap and masking tape and then wrap it around the doll's body. This serves as my guide on the measurements. After which, I trace it onto the fabric and then start sewing. I used to sew by hand, but now I use a sewing machine. For intricate designs, say Kathryn Bernardo's Michael Cinco dress at the Star Magic Ball 2015, it takes me three months to finish the beadwork. Doing this needs a lot of patience! Haha!”
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/its_me_alvin; INSTAGRAM/lizzzuy
Marian Rivera-Dantes' wedding gown by Michael Cinco
Just out of curiosity, how many dolls do you already own and how many different dresses have you made so far?
“About 15 dolls with various skin tones. I think by now I’ve already made a hundred dresses? I honestly don't know exactly how many! (Laughs)”
Any particular favorite?
“All of them are my favorites! Because when I do a certain project, I put in a hundred percent effort on it.”
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/its_me_alvin; Getty Images
Jennifer Lopez's embellished ombre dress at the 2016 American Music Awards, also by Michael Cinco
To see more, make sure to follow Alvin on Instagram @its_me_alvin.