There are two groups of people in the world; those that find the kind of mini-me aesthetic disseminated by American Girl dolls totally adorable, those to whom the concept of dressing your child and their doll in the same outfits to be slightly, well, creepy.
Anyone in the former camp should be thrilled by the news that Oscar de la Renta launched a collection of diminutive dresses last week based on his ready-to-wear designs. This will provide ladies who lunch the opportunity to have doppelganger daughters who dine, giving naysayersthe chance to ponder on the question of how many parents are willing, or able, to spend three hundred dollars on a child’s dress.
Not that designer clothing for children is a new concept. Both Marc Jacobs and Phillip Lim have been giving parents the opportunity to dress the same as their children, or vice versa, for a few years now.
But, more than being visually disturbing, it raises ethical questions. Does this infantilize the adults, or cause the kids to age prematurely? Are we creating a generation with unrealistic expectations for a life of cashmere and suede? Or are we simply taking away a part of childhood – the ability to simply be a child and not worry about ruining pricy clothes?
After all, even Jacobs himself has been quoted as saying that “There’s something really gross about dressing a kid in very expensive clothes”.