Doubleparlour’s Sylvie Dunny & Custom Version

I want to focus on the artist duo known as Doubleparlour today, specifically their Sylvie Dunny (2015). The husband-and-wife team behind Doubleparlour, Ernie and Cassandra Velasco, formed the identity in late 2007. They spent years refining their sculptural character aesthetic, an enticing blend of cartoonish humor, surreal peculiarities, and vintage-inspired details, all encapsulated in an aura of melancholy.

When they won the Breakthrough Artist title at the 3rd annual Designer Toy Awards in 2013, they received more than a trophy. They were also invited by Kidrobot to create their very own production Dunny design.

My Impressions of the production Sylvie Dunny

In accepting this honor, they turned to their catalog of original characters and opted to re-interpret their Sylvie concept, which depicts an anthropomorphic cat adorned in a floral pattern dress with knit-style hat. Having originally debuted as a handmade and painted sculpture in October of 2011 alongside her male counterpart, Brice, I think choosing this popular design was a smart choice.

But when converted into the Sylvie Dunny, it loses the feline feel, the form’s rabbit-like ears altering the profile completely. Though the line work reconstruction of Sylvie perfectly expresses all the major elements of the character, it falls a bit flat as the duo are known for their sculptural work and the only originally sculpted element is the brilliant miniature dog in a waffle cone accessory.
While I love this piece, which would’ve been far more appropriate on the Trikky form, the lack of Doubleparlour’s sculptural magic was something I wanted to rectify. So I commissioned the duo to modify the figure in any way they saw fit. And the resulting unique work is far more strange and true to their aesthetic than I could’ve ever imagined.
Doubleparlour - Sylvie Dunny Custom

My Impressions of the hand-modified Sylvie Dunny

By chopping the front of the Dunny’s face off, Doubleparlour used the hollow interior of the vinyl form to house a tiny, sullen woman’s head topped with flowing white hair. At the time they created this in late 2015, similar looking human characters had begun to proliferate the duo’s work, granting a hint of their current direction to this piece.

Recalling the Sylvie design more thoroughly in attire, this version added a beautiful floral pattern to her dress and modified the Dunny’s stumpy legs, shifting them to a longer, more slender proportion that ends with woolen socks and Mary Janes. And the head attire was given the textured, fur-like feel of the original Sylvie sculptures. “But,” you might ask, “what happened to cat person aspect?”
Doubleparlour maintained even this element, sculpting the face from their third anthropomorphic feline — the child-like Catrinette — on the reverse of the Dunny’s head. With beady eyes, protruding nose, and slightly recessed mouth, these are exactly the kind of elements I wish the production version included.

For more information on Doubleparlour:
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