Monthly Archives: August 2021

Berlin artist Maïmouna Coulibaly poses at Adenauerplatz.

Maïmouna Coulibaly posing at Adenauerplatz August 29 2021 by Suzanne ForbesWhat bonne chance this was!

Just as I’ve become re-obsessed with Neo-Victorian fashion and the bustle silhouette, Berlin artist Maïmouna Coulibaly posted a video of herself in a beautiful bustle outfit!

I asked if we could have a drawing meetup and she said yes, but it had to be this weekend, since she only had the costume rented for a few days!

So we met up on Adenauerplatz on the sunny Saturday, and wow, Maïmouna looked INCREDIBLE.

Maïmouna Coulibay by Suzanne Forbes Aug 29 2021Maïmouna is an author, director, choreographer and more.

She has a book coming out this Fall, and teaches Booty Therapy, a joyful form of dance therapy for femmes.

She has acted in films and also occasionally makes time to perform onstage at a burlesque or drag show. Extravagant Shambles was where I first met and drew her, and we have stayed in touch.

I very much want to attend one of Maïmouna’s big crowd events at some point!

Another upcoming project: 

Wayward Life: a performance on the trail of Black Activists, inside Berlin in the early 20th century.

The decolonial performance walk at Treptower Park happens Sept. 3 and 5. Learn more here!

Above and below you can see the drawing as it was when we finished our session and I brought the drawing inside to finish it.

Maïmouna Coulibaly posing at Adenauerplatz August 29 2021 by Suzanne Forbes work in processMaïmouna Coulibaly’s new book is Je me relève, from Éditions Carrière publisher. It will be out on November 19th 2021.

Booty Therapy classes happen in Paris and Berlin, and sometimes other places!

You can watch Maïmouna and her students, Les Bootykilleuses, perform Booty Therapy in the Berlin subway. You’ll be glad you watched!

Booty Therapy in Berlin Subway from Maïmouna on Vimeo.

I am so grateful to my Patreon Patrons, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to continue making art as a vaccinated but Covid-vulnerable disabled person.

With your support, I can work from home or safely outside and keep telling the stories of Berlin.

A dollhouse maid upgrade for the Beetlejuice fashion revival!

Six inch scale dollhouse maid Beetlejuice custom by Suzanne ForbesTim Burton stripes are back, big time, and I’m also in love with bustles again!

Not that I ever stopped loving the bustle silhouette, but wow I am suddenly so excited to wear it and draw it and see it again. The goth and burner fashions of San Francisco in the Oughts were absolutely marvelous, and I am personally ready to bring these looks back in Berlin. It’s gonna be cold drawing at outside events this Fall and I am happy to wear some layers 🙂

six inch scale bustle dress dollhouse maid custom by Suzanne Forbes August 2021 three shotLike this little commercial maid doll who I radically upgraded into the goth maid my dollhouses need!

I used fourteen different trims, ribbons and micro-picots plus three fabrics to do this customizing! Of course all the original articulation of the doll is preserved, and a cool bonus to narrowing her skirt silhouette and loading it with ruffles is that she now stands on her own!

I hadn’t touched my black-and-white trims bin in years and it was marvelous to see how many cool things I had saved every scrap of.

Below, the doll (I have named her Myrtle the Maid) with my biggest Little Shop of Horrors Audrey Two, made last year. The last image is the original doll before mods.six inch scale bustle dress dollhouse maid custom by Suzanne Forbes August 2021 outside

If you’d like to see more of my doll customizing, check out the Dollhouse and Dollmaking category on here, or these specific stripey-doll projects:

Gothic Lolita Nico Minoru custom

Gothic Burlesque Bride of Frankenstein

Other bricolage dolls and fairies I have made:

Fancy Wasp Dolly

Reserved Parking for Eliza

Valentine’s Monster Doll Armada

Snow Queen/Jadis

Fearless Pink Gay Santa

Gothic Rococo Horribella


Mummified Fairy King

Evil Mermaid

Opal Fimo Mantis Doll

Earliest dolls! with bad photos!