Saturday, March 19, 2011

And Beauty for All

Mattel, oh-so-swell back in 1959, changed the world of dolls with Barbie's introduction. The concept of a basic doll in a swimsuit gave many a child the opportunity to play dress-up and live vicariously in a world of sophisticated glamour. The manufacture of Barbie's garments in Japan brought a reality of quality that to this day serves as the golden standard to which all doll companies aspire. Far from inexpensive, these miniature works of art, fascinated the children (and many an adult) of the burgeoning middle class of 1960’s America. The rest is history, as we well know.

Fast forward to the end of 2009. Mattel’s whiz-kid Bill Greening designs a new line of dolls aimed at the adult collector. The concept is genius: offer a rich variety of basic dolls in basic black dresses. Capitalizing on Barbie's ineffable connection to fashion, Barbie Basics™ fill a gap as deep and broad as the Grand Canyon. 

Inexpensive chic. Affordable quality. 
Democratically priced luxury. 
And all the fun that comes from feeling that one, as a collector, has a custom-made collection.  

These characteristics are evidenced in everything from the cut and fit of the little black dresses to the embroidered back pockets of the blue jeans of the 2.0 Collection. Rich face-up designs and detailed facial and body sculpts make the dolls desirable by themselves, and when paired with iconic fashion looks – LBD’s and jeans – the whole package is nothing short of irresistible. 

To add even more cachet and fashion verity, the official logo of The Council of Fashion Designers of America gives Barbie its formal blessing. 
Necklace by Joy Jarred

Dolldom appreciates the care and attention to detail that Mr. Greening and Team Mattel have given to all aspects of the line and the high standards applied to its production. Once out of their overly protective boxes (Dolldom dreams of a future where doll packaging is simplified), Barbie and her It’s-a-Small-World-like clan delight collectors with their stylish looks and supermodel attitudes evoked by the Model Muse body sculpt. 

The men fare equally well with a healthy dose of toned muscles, well-cut jeans, and excellent black shoes. Dolldom does expect to see a future offering of a suit or even a jacket to complete the sartorial exploration on what basic means in menswear.

Barbie Basics™ is about play. And play we like. As the accompanying portfolio proves, it is easy to give a doll a completely different look simply by switching models and dresses or by adding a bracelet or a necklace by one the many talented freelance designers. Be bold and dress your model in a handmade gold chain mini dress. Or finally open that NRFB Hong Kong clone fashion and let your MaleMuse live it up. 

When you look back at your re-styled doll, your satisfaction will come from knowing that your collection is all you and that it did not break the bank to get to there. 

 Model #15 wears a Fashion Royalty Homme sweater from the Criminally Chic set. This little knit wonder is hidden underneath a jacket and seldom discovered by collectors who keep the doll in the box.
Tables by Ron Shivvers.
Sunglasses by Dragon in Dreams

Model #14 wears a necklace by Joy Jarred
Model #14 wears the pseudo-controversial dress originally worn by Model #10 and Christian Louboutin's red mules.
Tables by Ron Shivvers.

Model #11 wears a gemstone necklace
by Mark G. Harris for Mode de M.
 In Model #8's dress, Model #11 shows that she smoothly glides from jeanfest to cocktail party.
Tables by Ron Shivvers.

 Model #13 wears the cream cotton shirt from Fashion Royalty's Thrill Seeker fashion and his original jeans.

Model #14 wears a vintage mod tux made in the British Colony of Hong Kong for the mysterious Ricky doll and "all 12-inch action figures".

To accompany him, Model #15 wears a gold chain mini dress by Italian designer Francesca Pigliapoco.

Model #17 wears Mod Ken's V.I.P. Scene's suit and shirt. Skipping the tie expresses freedom in fashion. 

Model #4 wears Versus by Versace and a necklace by Joy Jarred

 Model #13 adds excitement to her LBD with Joy Jarred's red sensation.

Model #15 wears his original jeans, Thrill Seeker's jacket by Fashion Royalty, and real leather engineer boots by Dragon in Dreams. Vintage Takara sunglasses complete the look.

Viva Barbie Basics™!

Necklace by Joy Jarred