Edna Wheeler: The face behind DCT Miniature Fashions.
The story of how Edna became a couturier for dolls.
I was so sorry to hear from Edna Wheeler’s daughter Kathy, that Edna died last week. She had been making 1:12 porcelain miniature dolls since 1992 & I met her when I took over the organisation of the Festival in 2005. I had not come across the beautiful dolls that she and Kathy made together before this & was delighted to have them as part of our show.
A few years later, I had decided that I needed to make a film about some of the exhibitors that took part in our Festival & Edna was kind enough to let us visit her at her home & talk to us about her dolls & how she came to be dolls dressmaker. Although she didn’t make it to our final film, I will never forget the afternoon we spent with her, hearing all about her interesting life.
Prior to her discovery of miniatures, Edna had been a couture dressmaker, working for top London fashion houses and theatrical costumiers (varying from Television to Operatic costumes). She had learnt 1st hand how to make clothes that fitted a body beautifully, so of course, when she became interested in miniatures, how better to combine this with her love & knowledge of historical costume? DCT Miniature Fashions was born & Edna didn’t looked back. Kathy, her talented daughter, poured the porcelain figures & finely painted their faces & soon they became known for their authentic costumes in beautiful fabrics (only pure silk, cotton & other natural fabrics were used)
They also sold undressed dolls, wigged and un-wigged doll kits & dress patterns which they wrote and designed themselves & were perfect for beginners or more experienced doll makers.
Edna & Kathy attended our show since 2004 & we were so pleased to have them back at Kensington last December for the Christmas Show. This was always going to be their last time exhibiting at Kensington, but we will always remember Edna’s wicked humour & good nature; she always had a smile on her face & time for a chat.