Saturday, January 29, 2011

Capturing Joy: Photographing Children

Children. Tiny tots. Little darlings. As with any other doll, children have unique attitudes and energy that ought to be captured in a good portrait. And as with any other doll, our love for our children should not impede us from discovering and showing their best side or angle.  It is important too to engage them in the process of portrait making. Children will have fun selecting a special outfit or costume and scouting for the perfect location in which to compose the portrait. Most importantly, once in front of the camera, most children (except Agnes and Viktor Dreary, below) will smile and be playful.

Capturing them in a reflective moment when they are lost in their thoughts or absorbed by play will garner a revealing glimpse into their essence, the one that will remain consistent all throughout life.

 29" American Character Betsy McCall chose this tranquil spot in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

Eliseo by Paola Zakimi wanted to have his photo taken in his room with his toys where he feels most at ease. He is a timid lad. 

Japanese Skipper wanted to show her studious side for her application to private school. She wore her glasses and her most precocious gaze. 

Ricky smiles in his 5th grade portrait. He just learned that he made the Honor Roll. 

A first issue Tiny Betsy McCall by Tonner Doll Company selected a dress by Great North Woods Designs. She lives to model. 

 Viktor Dreary does not smile, ever. And that is not a character flaw!

A vintage Skooter smiles in anticipation to a trip to Caneel Bay Plantation. Sunny days ahead is what we hear her eyes say! 

Perk Pioneer "Keep" proved to be an ideal model with his pensive look and handsome features.

 If you have been blessed with many children, getting them all to stand still may prove more challenging. Problem solved! Take several photos of them and use Photoshop "layers" to compose the ideal image. 

Creative back lightning can impart a glowing mood to your little angel's portrait. Marx Toys' Twinkie reminds us of vintage illustrations of child saints. 

 Blythe, customized by Diem Chau and dressed by Sara Lanzillotta, poses in a silent corner of a fantastic fossil garden.

Above all, enjoy taking the photo. The most perfect image will come from the enjoyment of the moment in which both photographer and subject aimed to create an instant of eternity.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fabulous Faces: Wonderbilly Receives Dolldom's Award of Excellence

Nowadays, there seems to be an emphasis on reality and real life. Reality shows are the most obvious manifestation in today's mass entertainment. Real people in T-shirts and jeans are interested in real people in T-shirts and jeans letting it all hang out. This current fascination with the quotidien has even impacted the realm of fashion dolls. As fragmented as the most dysfunctional of families, the doll collecting world has sectors that prefer their dolls to look like and wear "the real thing": from anatomical detailing on breasts to up-to-the-minute fashions such as those spotted in shopping mall boutiques. Then there are others who collect fashion dolls to revel in the drop-dead glamour and sophistication best illustrated by Erwin Blumenfeld's iconic photo for Vogue (below).

 For there is nothing more inspiring than a woman (or man, for that matter) who is aiming for an ideal of elegance and style. Yes, jeans and T-shirts can be sexy and glamorous - when worn by the fabulous Barbie Basics 2.0. But there is a more rarefied type of glamour, one that in spite of existing frozen in time, is to this day, referenced by style mavens of the likes of Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker.  In this universe of pure glam, lounge lizards abound in smoky piano bars while exuberant dames unabashedly bask in the glow of chunky jewelry. For no one can deny that shapely, full lips do make a woman look good.

 Barbie's make-up by Billy Lope. Fashion by Liz Cole.

Think about it... It's morning and there's no coffee (or vodka) left in the flat. What to do? Go out to the corner market to fetch some. But not before putting on big dark glasses and applying a true-blue red lipstick – it's as basic and essential as breathing and walking in stiletto heels. It could be said that Vintage Barbie left its indelible mark (blood red, we should add) in our collective mind and our idea of glamour is not about insipid reality. It is about an impossible chic that sounds very much like Spanish sexpot Sarita Montiel singing Quizás, smells like Shocking perfume by Schiaparelli, and tastes like whiskey-infused Maraschino cherries.

 The ultra fabulous Sarita Montiel

It's about face that no one ever forgets, as Tyler Wentworth (below) proves with her come-hither new look designed by make-up artist extraordinaire Billy Lope.

 A Signature Style first issue Tyler Wentworth found her inner sexpot with the help of Billy Lope.

The very democratic Mr. Billy Lope, who prefers to remain (unsuccessfully) under the radar, always starts his Wonderbilly e-Bay auctions at 99 cents. Finding inspiration in the classic vintage looks of Tex Avery cartoons, Dale Messick's Brenda Starr comic strips, and the intoxicating glamour of Hollywood's Technicolor dreamland, Billy not only salvages the factory-produced set, he gives each one of them a life – torrid at times – as he only paints when the mood is right. As the girls in this portfolio can attest to, he must be in the right mood all of the time. One more thing is evident: Billy leaves a big chunk of his happy heart in each one of his vivacious dames. Reason why Dolldom gives Billy Lope its first Award of Excellence of 2011.

 Sunday Best Barbie Fashion Model lost all traces of lilac and lavender chez Billy. She wears a James Bogue ensemble.
Green eyes complement her tomato red lips.

Joe Tai's En in Liz Cole's superb couture got total glamorization from Billy. Necklace by Joy Jarred.

And to celebrate Billy's Award of Excellence, Dolldom introduces it's first official model. The Face of Dolldom is Princess Patti Fantasia Candelabra, a former Silkstone Spa Barbie, who with her new Wonderbilly face is our exclusive representative.

In a Yatabazah Luxury Wig, Princess Patti transforms into Natasha. Necklace by Joy Jarred.

Dolldoms' Princess Patti transforms yet again in a Yatabazah Luxury Wig.

Dolldom thanks Wonderbilly for sharing his gift of joyful and playful style. Life is short, live it glamorously.

To contact Wonderbilly, leave us a message in comment area below. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Stupendous Stones

"Topaz doesn’t reflect light like a diamond, it gathers light as if it were a secret to be kept.”  
Mark G. Harris

How to start the new and shiny year? With a celebration of the neck. Ever since Mattel gave the Barbie doll her legendary wardrobe chock full of accessories such as graduated pearl and pearl drop necklaces, and even sparkling bead chokers, the world of fashion dolls has not been the same. Mark G. Harris, head designer at Mode de M (M as in Mark) has taken Dolldom by storm with his exuberant designs using real gemstones as well as gold beads and findings. This is real jewelry, ladies and gentlemen, and Mr. Harris has created it for real dolls. The innate beauty of the natural stones is highlighted by Mark's expert play with color and scale. Our model, a Number Three Barbie doll in her stark Solo in the Spotlight gown, is the ideal backdrop for this celebration of color and texture.

A classic presentation  of emeralds and gold, this expressive design will go with everything, even under a white cotton button down shirt. 

Amorous Amethyst
Turquoise, baroque pearls, gold and grand amethyst create a garland of love and a most regal statement. 

Tourmaline Treasure
Grand marriage of colors. Apatite, Australian jasper, tiny faux pearls, gold beads, and pink tourmaline compose a melodious salute to nature.

Vintage Orbs 
Vintage cloisonné beads add depth to this arrangement of gold beads and faux petite pearls.

Red, white and blue! Rubies, rock crystal, and lapis lazuli will ignite the evening with sparks of color and light. 

Timeless Topaz
 Fit for a princess, this exquisite palette of turquoise, gold and white topaz briolettes is soft and eternal, like blue skies after a spring rain.