There’s a (relatively) new Barbie® designer making jaws drop with his creations. His name is Carlyle Nuera. Okay, he’s not exactly a newbie. He had been envisioning and creating Barbie® dolls for the “play line” before joining the Barbie Collector team last year. He debuted with his first collector doll by bringing back the hardly-ever-used Kira face mold with Mutya™ Barbie® doll of the Global Glamor™ Collection. This is one of the most well-thought-out and authentic representations of a Filipina in national dress (or a dress inspired by traditional designs) since the Patis Tesoro dolls of the ‘90s, which were made for the Philippine market and sold in high end department stores there.
Having Philippine roots must have helped, but beyond that, Carlyle seems attuned to what many collectors look for in dolls: unique details. Take, for instance, the Spanish abanico or folding hand fan that Mutya™ is clutching. He also has a fresh interpretation of the butterfly sleeves popularized by Imelda Marcos, the Philippines' own Evita clone. Whatever your politics may be, I suppose, the cuteness of the butterfly sleeve cannot be denied as it's still used in Philippine formal dress today.