Cabbage Patch Kids, but make it beauty
A few years ago, stylist Valeria Chrampani was on set with a make-up artist from the US when they started talking about Chrampani’s collection of Cabbage Patch Kids. “The make-up artist told me that she was buying CPK dolls and objects for her kids and that she had also passed her own collection on to them,” says Chrampani. “A few months later, she asked for my address and I received a massive box with CPK clothes and design patterns. I was really touched by that.”
Chrampani has been collecting Cabbage Patch Kids and their memorabilia since she was a child. The first doll she got, her favourite, is called “Lachanou” meaning little cabbage in Greek. Chrampani was three when she got Lachanou as a gift from her grandmother, the year Cabbage Patch Kids came out in Greece. Two more eventually followed alongside miniatures, a vinyl, clothes, design patterns, magazines, tableware, sliders and a puzzle. Her friends, knowing her obsession, make paintings of Cabbage Patch Kids for her and buy her birthday cakes with them on it.
A running thread throughout her life, Chrampani’s passion for CPK has inspired her practice as a creative in subtle ways, and some less subtle ways. Her latest shoot is an example of the more overt: a Cabbage Patch Kids-inspired beauty shoot that documents Chrampani’s personal collection of memorabilia opposite make-up and nail looks by Janina Zais and Kat Kattana. “As it’s a characteristic element of my work, I wanted to share with the world the inspiration that Cabbage Patch Kids gave me,” she says. “I want people to feel nostalgic and bring out their inner child.”
Here, Chrampani shares more about how she translated her obsession into a rollicking, joyful beauty shoot.
Tell me about your love of cabbage patch kids! What do you like about them?
Valeria Chrampani: They differ from any other toys, there is something special about them. They are super cute and funny. Personally, I have many memories with them in different time periods combined with pieces I collected. I like their knitted hair and chubby faces, also the fact that you get an adoption certificate when you purchase a baby, it makes it truly personal. Also, people can visit their Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland and adopt a doll there – which is something I’d love to do in the future.
How did the idea for a beauty shoot with the cabbage patch kids start?
Valeria Chrampani: I wanted to create a very organic shoot, with a small team, not to involve a photographer as I wanted it to be very personal so I can show my personal perception of this project. When I saw Janina Zais’s work I immediately thought that she would communicate it really well as she’s super talented – her work has a lot of anime inspiration and I knew that she will make my CPK dream come true. Then I found Kat Kattana who is an incredible sculptural nail artist, she does extravagant 3D nails and pretty much anything you can imagine. I sent them both images from my archive and they both created these incredible pieces.
How did the team translate the CPK theme into make-up and nails?
Valeria Chrampani: I sent my personal images and research to both of the artists and they picked some of their favourite elements. Janina picked a characteristic Cabbage Patch Doll, a vintage one with blonde braided hair and we chose to add pink on her clothes as we both love it. Kat Kattana loved the green Cabbage so she used cabbage as a base for the nails and she created these pointy green cabbage nails and she added two CPK faces, one female and one male with threads as their hair.
Is there anything else you want to share about the shoot?
Valeria Chrampani: No, but I want to ask – would you adopt a Cabbage Patch Kid?