Susie Says styled and photographed by Gina Garan with text by Justin Vivian Bond is a darkly delicious compilation of witty and very pithy epithets that perfectly sums up what it means to be a girl in the sometimes rather confusing world we live in.

Susie’s wide-open eyes have clearly seen a lot already; alcohol is a crutch she leans on heavily, there’s an piquant undercurrent of girl-on-girl action and she protects a tender and poetic soul with a smokescreen of exquisite world-weariness.

My favourite? “Every morning I wake up and say to myself ‘Don’t kill people’. So far, so good.”

Gina Garan is a dedicated doll collector and the successful author of This Is Blythe. Susie has a past – as the doe-eyed Susie Sad Eyes, a long forgotten, somewhat woebegone fashion doll from the 1970’s. Susie Says features more than 60 photographs of Susie on a tour of intriguing settings in a fabulous range of styles and looks that spans a more casual pinned together and handmade look to kooky little vintage get-ups. The Susies too have had some make-overs, Gina Garan has evidently had some fun creating this delightful book.

Justin Vivian Bond (of Kiki and Herb, an American drag cabaret duo. Bond portrays Kiki DuRane, an aging, alcoholic, female lounge singer) is Susie’s voice, enabling Susie communicate her observations to the reader in her inimitable way.

Photographer David LaChapelle is a fan. ‘Gina Garan is a new master in a world where dolls rule. Her hypnotic photography, exotic locations, and styling seduce the eyes to orgasmic highs.’

Wow!

Susie Says is available from powerHouse Books

All images by kind permission from Susie Says by Gina Garan, published by powerHouse Books

Words by Anna Bang

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anna bang, Gina Garan, Susie Says, Vivian Justin Bond,