Artist Rafinha Silva transforms ordinary dolls into fashion-forward women who are impeccably styled. From flawless makeup to beautiful wigs, the custom Barbie dolls are impressive works of art. Through his Instagram We Love the Royal Dolls, he shares the elaborate processes he uses to makeover these toys into realistic figurines—including styling tiny wigs for each of them.
Silva’s inspiration for a career in custom dolls comes from his youth. “I have always had a lot of affinity with art, and drawing women with long hair is one of my earliest childhood memories,” he said. Their coifs are easily their most striking feature; the women often have long hair that cascades across their shoulders and shimmers in the light.
Silva is like a glamorous Dr. Frankenstein when it comes to constructing his dolls; he will select different parts from a variety of Barbies to create one completely unique figurine. Working on an individual client-basis, he orders and selects features based on what the commission stipulates. Once he has all of his supplies, he will remove the doll’s makeup, hair, and outfit. Then, he fashions it all completely from scratch.
Since 2013, the Brazilian artist has produced over 500 custom dolls. Many are based on everyday people, but Silva is also inspired by celebrities and Disney princesses. When you take a look at his mesmerizing Instagram, you’ll instantly recognize some of your favorite singers and storybook royalties.