#MyMirka Story: Audrey Doyle & Yvonne Forsyth, The Doll's Boutique

June 8, 2021

From 1976 until 1990, Audrey Doyle and Yvonne Forsyth owned and ran The Dolls Boutique, an enchanting shop in Melbourne’s Capitol Arcade that traded in antique dolls. Mirka Mora became a regular at the store and firm friends with Audrey and Yvonne – here, they share some of their favourite memories.

We have so many memories of Mirka. We were the owners of The Dolls Boutique in Capitol Arcade in Melbourne CBD from 1976 to 1990 and during that time we met many interesting and memorable people. But the greatest of them was Mirka.

We don’t know how she came to visit us…maybe it was because of her acquaintance with Celina, a fellow Parisian, who had a sandwich/milk bar in Capitol Arcade at the time. Mirka arrived with a flash of colour and eccentricity. We were mesmerised by her.

Over the following years she continued to entrance us with her unique style. She arrived at our shop one day with both lapels on her jacket decorated with myriad tin butterfly brooches. Georges (up Collins Street) had received a shipment of the butterflies and Mirka had purchased a selection. She decorated herself: her antique jacket, little lace skullcap, paint-spattered shoes and butterflies… I hope other people were as entranced as we were at the joyous sight of her.

Another memory is of her accompanying us to a very carefully curated exhibition of reproduction ceramics held at the Hilton Hotel in East Melbourne. Being the artist that she was, she couldn’t help seriously checking the exhibits. A prissy usher reprimanded Mirka (clearly not knowing who she was) and Mirka apologised profusely: “I am sorry – I am sorry – I weel not do it again.” When the mollified usher had turned away, Mirka turned to Yvonne and myself and said, sotto voice, “But I weel do it again.”

We were delighted.

Do you have a memory or personal story about Mirka? Tell us about it here.

Image: Serge Thomann, Mirka Mora with antique doll (St Kilda Living Legends series), Melbourne, 2010