Unlike many collectors who prefer to own BJDs with more common body sizes, I adore odd dolls! From Nefer Kane’s Humpty Dumpty to Kaye Wiggs’ Tobi, I like dolls sculpted to whatever size and shape the artist was inspired to create. One of my latest acquisitions is French artist Ludivine’s first resin BJD, Espoir. She is definitely unique.
My Woodoll Espoir was sent to me from Jpop Dolls encased in a cushion-y pale green bag. She is cast in fair skin resin with a factory face-up that includes freckles. Espoir does not fit any one standard size. She is tall and thin, and has a small chest, smaller waist and broad hips. The doll is 52cm high or in between a 1/3 and 1/4 size doll in scale. I lined up the doll with a fairly standard scale 1/4 girl (Little Monica Irin) and a doll with a similarly stretched physique, my light tan Kaye Wiggs Tobi.
Espoir has a small head for her size, smaller than both Irin ‘s and Tobi’s. Stretchy size 6/7 wigs fit her best. A 7/8 wig may fit, but it will tend to slip off of her pate. My fair Espoir looks lovely in a variety of wig colors and styles. With her freckles, red wigs suit her especially well. The doll has movable ears attached by elastic, but they either stand out horizontally or droop down gracefully towards the shoulders. The ears won’t point upward. While the doll can wear either 14mm or 16mm eyes, I liked the smaller size best for her. Espoir can wear 1/4 size clothing, depending on the cut. I did not have anything here that both fit her and looked “right”to me. She was too curvy for play clothes and the dresses looked wrong, often with the waist in the wrong place. My current clothing collection was both too short in the skirt and too youthful in style. This doesn’t mean that the doll cannot fit into any pre-made fashions, but not all outfits will suit her. I plan to have something custom-made for Espoir.
The doll has delicate hands with long spindly fingers. The left hand has fingers cupped towards the palm and the right hand’s fingers cup away from the palm. Her long fingernails are practically begging for a manicure. Her feet have a space between the big toe and the second toe, so sandals may be worn.
Other than her size and her ears, the most noticeable sculpted feature Espoir possesses is her unusual long bowed calves. She can either stand with her legs apart or with her feet primly crossed at the ankles. On uneven ground in my garden, she succeeded on standing unassisted in both poses. The doll’s body has double joints at the elbows and knees. There is also a pull-out joint at her upper thigh allowing her to sit with her leg pulled closer to her torso. While Espoir has two torso joints, the top joint does not move around much. The lower joint moves better, but the abdominal joint will need to sit on top of the hip joint for extreme angles. The slits on the abdominal joint are not functional. I was told they were designed to thread ribbon through.
While I tend to prefer paler face-ups, Espoir’s painting suits her. She appears to be made up with eyeliner, blush and reddish lipstick emphasizing her pouty mouth. the face-up includes black lashes. The freckles are tiny dark red dots that stand out on her skin. Her lips are separated by a black line. Espoir can pull off both a sweet and a sophisticated look depending on her wig, outfit and pose.
For a first resin doll designed by a new artist, Espoir is impressive. Her unusual body poses very well and the lines of her figure in space are quite sculptural. While she is not a doll that can wear just anything “off the rack” , something should be available that would suit her. Most of all, she has “personality” . Her odd charms have grown on me since she has arrived. I look forward to my quest to outfit her in a way that suits her uniqueness. A special doll deserves a special outfit!
Photos above: Espoir with Little Monica Irin and Kaye Wiggs’ Tobi, Espoir showing her hand poses.
WooDolls Espoir is sold exclusively by Jpop Dolls
Previous article on Ludivine and WooDolls may be found HERE.