When it comes to preserving the memory of a wedding day, several ideas come to mind: a state-of-the-art photographer, a gilded guest book, and of course, a 20-inch tall replica of the bride, complete with moveable parts. Sound crazy? Not for the founder of Clone Factory, a Japanese company that creates detailed Jibun-san (me) dolls, each with a $1,770 price tag.
Located in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, Clone Factory uses several digital SLR cameras positioned at multiple angles to capture the likeness of a seated human subject. The images are transferred to a computer where they are assimilated and sent to a 3D printer. With ink that hardens into plaster, the printer spits out a miniature replica of the subject’s head, ready to be painted and affixed to a plastic body. If requested by a bride, the hair, make up and dress of the doll can be matched to the bride’s look on her big day.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a strange wedding trend and it certainly won’t be the last. If anything, Clone Factory reaffirms the sad truth: we are bride-obsessed. The idolized image of a bride — perfect, manicured and glowing — is represented in almost every culture. We’ve all heard of the discomforts brides endure to achieve that picture-perfect look — crash diets, spray tans and armor-like undergarments are just par for the course. Yet as these dolls approach the uncanny valley, a theory that shows how our negative reaction increases as objects become more human-like, maybe the immortalization of the bride has gone too far.
Chappell Ellison is a designer, writer and design writer. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York where she serves as a contributor for The Etsy Blog and design columnist for GOOD.