Meet the Steampunk Siblies
The inspiration behind our brand new dolls
The Pittsburgh Skyline
Heinz Lofts, An Iconic Victorian Building in Pittsburgh
Victor, Ruby Red Siblies, Limited Edition, 2022
Nellie, Ruby Red Siblies, Limited Edition, 2022
Ruby’s richest source of design inspiration is travel. From dolls inspired by traditional Japanese culture to those influenced by British Royalty, Ruby is always picking up ideas wherever she may be. Our latest dolls are inspired by Ruby’s travels and by the unique perspective of our design team.
One of Ruby’s favorite places to travel is the United States. When visiting her son, Fred, who at the time was studying at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Ruby was often struck by the bold nature of the Pittsburgh cityscape. It had all the trappings of the modern city, with glittering glass skyscrapers and manicured parks, but there were still many reminders of its past in buildings, façades and artwork. Although it is clear much progress has taken place since its origins in the time of the industrial revolution, the spirit of industry is still what shapes the rugged beauty of the place. In fact, the Carnegie Mellon University’s namesake, Andrew Carnegie, was an American industrialist partly responsible for the Pittsburgh special aesthetic, as he pioneered the steel trade and threaded the metal through the city’s infrastructure. The unique imagery and cultural history of the city gave Ruby lots of ideas for future designs.
Ruby, in collaboration with one of the Ruby Red team’s lead designers, Hime, was inspired to create dolls with this industrial style. Hime suggested also injecting steampunk aesthetics that pay homage to this era. The aim was not just to have purely historical fashions, but to add fresh and innovative features to the dolls and outfits. These dolls provide an alternative style for the Ruby Red Fashion Friend dolls, which Ruby hopes will be an exciting surprise for Ruby Red fans and new-comers alike.
Steampunk is a subculture that centres around a speculative fiction where steam power still has mainstream use. It incorporates retro-futuristic technology (technology that surpasses current technological ability but still has a vintage look) and 19th century fashions. Steampunk can be understood as the imaginative continuation of the Victorian and industrial styles that still furnish Pittsburgh today. The steampunk subculture modernises historical silhouettes with strong lines and unusual textures and adds hardware embellishments influenced by whimsical steam-powered machinery.
The muted brown and cream color palette of our steampunk doll’s outfits echo colors popular in Victorian America, colors that are inexpensive to dye and that seamlessly compliment the red brick towers and shiny brass pistons of a burgeoning industrial project. These colors adorn romantic puffed sleeves and gothic lace trims to bring extravagant steampunk texture to these classic fashions. Furthermore, hardware accents such as brass cogs and eyelets on the dolls delicate accessories reference fantastical machinery right out of the pages of science fiction. All these elements are united by strong, masculine tailoring, especially apparent in flared hems and starched collars. We hope you love these steampunk dolls as much as we do!
What do you think of these new doll’s style? Do you have any suggestions for other styles or fashions that should appear in the Ruby Red Fashion Friends? We would love to receive your feedback! Let us know your thoughts in the comments or email us at [email protected]