Monday, June 30, 2014

A New Life

Cissette! Cissette? Cissette. 

The ten-inch Madame Alexander Doll Company tiny star has been working steadily since 1957. Vintage models aside, there is a slew of hard plastic babes floating around the world of closets and garages dressed in fashions that range from ballooning lace flower girl creations to exacting recreations of a famous literary or movie characters. Easy to find and to acquire 1980's Cissette and Portrette dolls (with their twinkling sleep eyes that sometimes freeze and require the gentle nudge of a finger to open or close) deserve to be saved from their unfortunate state of limbo and be given a proper glamorous and beautiful life.

But where to find the fashions that will allow Cissette to lead the aforementioned existence? Who in the world of freelance doll artists understands the needs and the potential of this tiny glam puss? Liz Cole of Retros, of course. For this Dolldom exclusive, Liz created a vintage-inspired yet revolutionary wardrobe that combines quality of fabric and construction and the sense of humor that a doll like Cissette needs in order to shine brightly in the real of fashion dolls.

Flower Girl. When properly done, there is nothing wrong with wearing the color of flowers or a tulle over magenta silk cocktail dress. When the proportions are correct, Cissette is no longer a lace and tulle balloon. She's a sophisticate. 

Starlet Power. This is not the way this doll was meant to look. She was a sedate "Little Woman" who is now ready to rule the 1950s Hollywood scene in her slinky and sparkly Lurex gown and recycled mink (from a vintage human coat) stole. Bold gold chain by Joy Jarred. Sunglasses are vintage original. Her sandals are from the Tiny Kitty Collier line of dolls.

Satinée. In emerald silk satin brocade, Cissette cuts a very luxurious yet traditional figure. The pillbox is pure 1960s...

But behold what occurs when she takes of her enveloping coat! A figure hugging silk dress with waist corsage gives Cissette a different outlook on life. Bring out the canapés!


There are times when Cissette's professional life (the preceding photos depict Cissette enjoying her hours of leisure) call for a more sober take on the same design. In a beautiful wool tweed, the A-line coat is perfect for meetings to plan the next issue of a magazine or to defend unjustly accused dolls in court.

A green-grey silk dress cut with a longer hem spells elegance and fashion know-how.

Lace, You Say? Yes, lace. There is a way to do lace that will not offend the senses. And here you have it. Based on a vintage design, this new version features a lace over silk jacket and black shantung slacks.

Flapper? In her own way. This 1920's Flapper model turns into a major fashion maven in her red and black separates. The skirt exemplifies Retros' philosophy that nothing made today beats a witty vintage print. A black Lurex top and red silk turban are absolute necessities if the goal of the doll is to be fabulous.

Boy Magnet! Cissette can and will (if you give her the opportunity) turn heads at your next doll party! Visit Retros' sensational boutique and give your less-than-twenty-dollar-e-Bay-find a new life of fun.  White tuxedos also by Retros.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Dial "M" for Madra

When Mabel Lorkovic left Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she knew she would never return. And she was right for once in Hollywood that name disappeared. And Madra Lord was born. And the world of movies was never the same. Artist Mel Odom's hot-tempered character first appeared in the doll world in 2000 and has since been an overflowing source of drama in the world of Gene Marshall.

And most dollectors, regardless of their generation, enjoy good drama. And nothing beats good drama like the return (never comeback, please!) of beloved characters. Mel Odom's Gene Marshall who, after a brief hiatus, came back better than ever in her JAMIEshow iteration, could not remain alone in her reign as the ultimate iteration of Monolithic Studios' greatest star. For what fun is a solo game of chess? For veritable dramatic tension, the plot needed a proven Queen B, and no one fit the bill better than fierce beauty Madra Lord. For La Lord is back in translucent resin as a ball-jointed doll and in her iconic fiery red tresses in her "Spotted in Manhattan" fashion!

JAMIEshow's production doll (a limited edition of only 150 dolls) is as beautifully handcrafted as the other dolls in the line and offers the same versatility: change the wig and fashion and the doll transforms. Miss Lord's face-up, created by JAMIEshow with the direction of Mr. Odom, is specific to the character but still neutral enough to permit the actress to wear any color.

In this exclusive feature, Dolldom presents Madra Lord in a wide selection of styles: from the well-accessorized Ashton-Drake produced ensembles to the sassy magic of Retros, La Lord reigns supreme once again.

In the film Hesitations of the Heart, Madra plays an introverted heiress who fears the her fortune will never allow her to find true love. 

Her wardrobe was designed by Edith Head protegé James Bogue for Bogue's Vogues. Phoenix platinum wig cap restyled by Kathy Johnson.

The Lady and The Spider. The film Black Widow was a huge success for Madra in 1942. In a dramatic silver and black gown designed by Joan Greene and Lynne Day, Miss Lord gives her all as the villain of the film.  Both wigs are rooted wig caps by JAMIEshow.

Careful! Her beauty may very well destroy you!

Plaid Plan. Madra is seductress supreme in her Highland Fling gown.

This phenomenal look, designed by Tim Kennedy, was much copied during 1952's Christmas season.

Drama! The film Love's Hell received much publicity when a boudoir scene ordered cut by The Hayes Office appeared during a showing in a Whichita, Kansas theater that mistakenly received the only unedited reels of the film. Much has been said about Madra's déshabillée, designed by Lynne Day.


Halloween Time! Madra attends Monolithic Studios' party disguised as - she says-  Tallulah Bankhead. For it was said actress who inspired the character of Margot Channing, played by Bette Davis in the film All About Eve. Recycled mink coat by Liz Cole for Retros. Wig by Ilaria Mazzoni.

Happy Talk? Not really. When the girls get together for cocktails at Madra's Bel Air hide-away, one can be sure that dirt will be dished. Madra wears Anything But Nice, designed by Lynne Day, while Marlene (Dietrich, of course) wears separates from Fit for a Queen, also by Miss Day. Miss Crawford wears a recreation of her practice outfit in Torch Song by Liz Cole for Retros. And Gay Carrington in the back keeping silent, also wears Retros.Wig by Ilaria Mazzoni.

Off to meet Gloria Swanson on Fifth Avenue! In Retros, of course. Liz fashioned an enveloping A-line coat in animal print velvet and a mint green silk sheath belted with the same fabric as the coat.

The important necklace of fresh water pearls and ruby is by Joy Jarred. Wig by Ilaria Mazzoni.

I'm so pretty! In Tonner Doll Company's pleated chiffon gown from the Joan Crawford line, Madra makes quite an entrance at The Red and White Ball benefiting war relief efforts by The Red Cross. Wig by Ilaria Mazzoni.

The movie was to be named The Dawn of She . And Madra was to play the first cave woman sex-pot. But the project ended up being nixed at the last minute. One Million Years B.C. with Rachel Welch upped the ante in a big way.

Nonetheless, Madra got to keep the wardrobe by Joshard. She knew that such figure-hugging marvels were not a dime-a-dozen. Bracelets by Stray Cat Studios. Wig by Ilaria Mazzoni.

At the end of the day, after long hours of shooting,  Madra just wishes to relax at home with her special someone. In Black Calla, produced by Integrity Toys, the actress-turned-bartender prepares a stiff one with the very best gin. Havana Nights Lee by JAMIEshow, in Effanbee's Basil St. James' Shall We Dance tux seems to be feeling the delicious libation.

For more on Madra, visit her at JAMIEshow Dolls.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Glitter Girl

Glitter Girls. They dance and parade in exquisite anonymity. Perfect depictions of an ideal created in a space of time that continues changing every day. But it does not hurt to revisit the fantasy and in so doing, acknowledge the hard work of the many ladies of stage and screen who danced and sang with a smile hoping perhaps that one day they would be the star of the show.

In 1997, Ashton-Drake produced artist Mel Odom's "Bird of Paradise" Gene Marshall doll in a costume based on a William Ivey Long design of a circa-1949-showgirl bathed in diamonds and perfectly accessorized with the grandest of millinery plumes. The final production substituted the dramatic feathers with pink tulle for reasons- we assume- of cost and difficulty in packaging. Nonetheless, the costume captures the essence of a rich tradition of show business and spellbinding spectacle.

Dolldom revisits the original this time modeled by the exquisite resin ball-jointed "Phoenix" Gene Marshall produced by JAMIEshow Dolls. Dolldom's stylists edited the turban out and substituted it with a JAMIEshow Dolls' rooted wigcap styled with the iconic Undulation Marcel (Marcel Wave) so popular worldwide in the 1920s-30s. She wears earrings designed by Joy Jarred.

Story from the story card packaged with the doll:

"Beautiful showgirls are a dime a dozen in Hollywood. Dressed in fantastical costumes of spangles and glitter, together they are a dizzying dazzle of lookalikes. And each and every one of them cherishes a dream of discovery and stardom.

But Bird of Paradise is a script about a showgirl who didn't want to be discovered. It was this uniquely whimsical twist that charmed Gene about this light romantic comedy.

In the script, a famous director treats showgirls with contempt--if he notices them at all. When he meets Gene at the commissary he believes her to be a respected scriptwriter and is enchanted by her pretty face, lively wit, and warm heart. But Gene is actually a showgirl in his own show and fears losing him if he learns the truth. Meanwhile, the leading man wants Gene to be the "spotlight girl", the one the camera focuses on at the start of the spectacle. A hilarious cat-and-mouse chase ensues on stage as Gene tries to avoid the pursuing spotlight so her love won't notice her.

Suddenly she's caught in the brilliant spotlight, the crystal beads flashing in a dazzling rainbow of light. Like the wings of a fairytale bird, triple-beaded swags of crystal and a misty cloud of pink tulle sweep from waist to wrist. Crystal drops glisten on the shimmering feathered turban. At the lavish finale, the director has learned a valuable lesson: that under all the fancy plumage, a bird of paradise can be the sweetest, most loving songbird of all."

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Summer Day

The warmer weather of summer calls for adjustments to most everything we do. Summertime's longer days are meant to be enjoyed outdoors even if that means taking a walk after dinner with your beloved pooch. In Dolldom, summer is a time for vintage glamour fantasies. For this entry, Dolldom was inspired by the classic bossa nova song "The Girl from Ipanema" for no other song allows the mind and the soul to wander as leisurely and as stylishly.
Tall and tan and young and lovely,
The girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes, each one she passes goes, “Aaah…”

And who better to portray la garota de Ipanema than Joey Versaw's enchanting and unique Mary Magpie, the world's first digitally printed and fully hand painted fashion doll?

Oh, but he sees her so sadly - How can he tell her he loves her?
Yes, he would give his heart gladly,

In Bulgarian fashion illustrator Brani Mladenov's superbly styled mini dress, Mary goes to the plein air markets. Flower Power jewelry by Joy Jarred. Hat by Liz Cole for Retros.

When she walks, she’s like a samba
That swings so cool and sways so gently
That when she passes, each one she passes goes, “Aaah…”
Oh, but he watches so sadly -
How can he tell her he loves her?
Yes, he would give his heart gladly,

Mr. Mladenov fashioned a dramatic corsage with the same lush taupe polka dotted fabric that he used for his dress.

But each day when she walks to the sea,
She looks straight ahead – not at he…

Tall and tan and young and lovely,
The girl from Ipanema goes walking

In Liz Cole's retro bathing suiot and terry cloth robe, Miss Mary Magpie is sure to turn heads.

"Frosted Ice" necklace by Joy Jarred.

Oh, but he sees her so sadly -
How can he tell her he loves her?
Yes, he would give his heart gladly...

In James Bogue's fuchsia silk dress, Mary Magpie is the dream of many.

But each day when she walks to the sea,
She looks straight ahead – not at he…
Tall and tan and young and lovely,
The girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes, he smiles, but she doesn’t see…
She just doesn’t see…
No, she doesn’t see…
But she doesn’t see…
She doesn’t see…
No, she doesn’t see…

Girl From Ipanema lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group
The song was written in 1962, with music by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Noir et Blanc

Noire et blanc. 

This classic combination of light and shadows shows that opposites indeed attract. Inspiration for our new entry: the black and white organdy blouses created by Lori Lyon for JAMIEshow's  Ready-to-Wear line, currently available from their boutique. Paired with skirts and a gown from other sources, the looks evoke a bit of Karl Lagerfeld's sensibility for Chanel.


Who better to model such dramatic couture than the top gals of Monolithic Studios? Mel Odom's dames, produced in BJD form in soft and silky resin by JAMIEshow.

Enjoy the show!

Violet Waters enchants in JAMIEshow Ready to Wear Demure Blouse. 
Black mermaid skirt by Tyler Wentworth. Necklace and bracelet by Joy Jarred. Wig by Ilaria Mazzoni.

Miss Madra Lord is a woman torn between two worlds: one evoked by the wild magnetism of the leopard print skirt by Byanca Evans, the other by JAMIEshow's  Ready to Wear Provocateur Body Suit. 
Short lace gloves also by Miss Evans. Pin from The Barbie Fashion Model Collection. Wig by Ilaria Mazzoni. 

A sensational look for a premiere: JAMIEshow Ready to Wear Provocateur Body Suit is worn under a sequin strapless dress by Liz Cole. Wig by Ilaria Mazzoni.