Mimi Wade’s Polly Pocket Collection Is a ’90s Nostalgic Gem
Major throwback alert.
If you thought we had stretched the nineties-inspired fashion trends to the limit, think again. London designer Mimi Wade has stepped up the nostalgia game by crafting a capsule collection inspired by the tiny itty-bitty playful universe of Polly Pocket. The 5-year-old me – probably still recovering from the frenzy of being gifted a Cinderella-themed Polly Pocket set at Christmas – would have gone bananas over this launch.
In case you’re not familiar, Polly was an inch-tall doll living in pocket-sized worlds with her friends (other plastic dolls) who spawned a real toy phenomenon since her debut in 1989. Opening a heart or flower-shaped plastic compact to discover the colourful shrunken universe of Polly was basically the definition of bliss if you were a child in the ‘90s. Sadly, Mattel discontinued the toy in 1998, robbing Gen Z’s chance of plunging into imaginary worlds via Polly’s teeny compacts. Earlier this year, Mattel announced the relaunch of the original Polly Pocket toys, which will be available in September, and teamed up with the 2015 Central Saint Martins graduate, Mimi Wade, to celebrate Polly’s triumphant return.
Wade, who is known for her quirky designs, adapted our favourite childhood toy into clothes and accessories…and we can’t decide whether we love it, or hate it. The pastel lace-trimmed t-shirts adorned with abstract illustrations, including one of Polly riding what looks like a melting pink snail, reminds us of the pyjamas nineties girls would slip on at night. Plus the silk-satin babydoll dresses embellished with oversized velvet bows hint at a ‘90s version of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. The Laura Colada-directed footage below captures exactly the collection’s ambiguous essence between the playful cute girl and the seductive woman.
In addition to the melancholic garments in soft hues, the collection also comprises a full line of playful jewelry, created in collaboration with the luxury costume jeweller Vicki Sarge. Whilst the pieces are topped off with plastic dolls, they’re also crafted with Swarovski crystals, fresh water and baroque pearls as well rhinestone beads. According to an interview published in i-D, the designer was inspired by Polly Pocket’s independent and strong character. “Polly Pocket may be small, but she’s not to be underestimated,” said Wade. “This collaboration is for all the little girls doing big things!”