Thursday, March 26, 2015

Small World

Some like it small. 

It's a fact that ever since the Barbie doll's début, the standard for all fashion dolls was the 12-inch scale. Then came Mel Odom's Gene Marshall and the game changed. Yet, there are collectors who focus on the reduced size for many reasons - one them being space. Space limitations or not, it is always enthralling to enter a miniaturized world and JAMIEshow Dolls goes there with its new Demi Couture collection of twelve-inch dolls. Manufactured using the same fine resin as JAMIEshow 16" BJD fashion dolls, each Demi Basic is cast, sanded, blushed, assembled and painted by hand and also boasts seventeen points of articulation. As they are a similar in size to both Fashion Royalty and Barbie, the Demi Couture gals enjoy a wealth of fashion options.

For this Dolldom feature, Eshe, Ginny, and Grace - the three Demi Couture Basic beauties invite you to go around the world of fashion with them.

First stop: Holland! 

Flowers everywhere! 

Demi Couture Grace models a saturated fuchsia silk cocktail dress by James Bogue for Bogue's Vogues.

Grace wears Eshe's ash blonde wig cap restyled into soft waves. The beautiful translucence of her resin capativates our eyes.

Next stop: India!

Festivals everywhere!

Demi Couture Ginny celebrates Karthigai in Poppy Parker's saffron silk sari.

Ginny wears a raven "Hannah" wig cap, also available from JAMIEshow. Ginny is an exuberant beauty.

Next stop: Paris!
Innovation everywhere!

Demi Couture Eshe models "The Bar" suit, designed by Robert Best for the Barbie doll.

Her blonde chignon wig cap is the perfect style for hats and shows off Eshe's mesmerizing eyes. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Casual Day

What to wear? Chinos and a button-down shirt? A polo shirt? How about a little creativity?

To illustrate how to approach the long-honored tradition of Casual Day, Dolldom introduces a new male model to its roster: the sensational 45-cm ball jointed doll Tyl, created by Eva Wilson for Lume Doll. Tyl shares the same scale as Tonner Doll Company's male dolls and can wear many of its clothing. 

Let's follow Yuki (Dolldom's name for Tyl) as he gets his décontracté style going....

Yuki's "Da Shave" look needs a little protection from the early morning chill. Petit Tricotage to the rescue with a hand knit cap in memento mori design. Yuki models checked baggy pants by TDC and a black chain-link necklace by Joy Jarred. Monk-strap black boots are elegant yet relaxed.

Vintage glasses (DAE Originals) are hard to beat. Yuki's face-up by Eva Wilson.

Add a spritz of Habit Rouge by Guerlain (preferably the vintage juice, not the new formulation)...

before choosing a luxurious...

khaki mohair turtleneck, also by TDC for the Freedom for Fashion line.

With a leather motorcycle jacket...

Yuki is ready for the day's professional demands as wells as for the evening's adventures.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

In a Category All Her Own

Ever since 1994, when the Barbie Doll turned thirty-five years old, Mattel has been producing reproductions of vintage dolls and fashions. Fast forward to 2015, twenty-one years later, there is a doll that successfully captures the essence of the original 1959 Barbie concept. Black and White Swimsuit Barbie Doll, designed by Bill Greening, comes in a slender shoe box-style box in a swimsuit and sunglasses, ready to come out and model. But some may ask: "Hasn't Mattel done that many times?"  Yes, the toy giant has indeed released many dolls in swimsuits including the most recent Let's Play Barbie, but not at all like this one. We'll explain...

Black and White Swimsuit Barbie has it - that elusive quality abundant in vintage dolls. It's presence and attitude. A face, big, broad, enhanced with a Technicolor make-up palette. The head sculpt is generous, the curly bangs tiny and tidy, brows are placed just right on her forehead, a red shiny pout, and much to our surprise, the perfectly scaled ponytail boasts a tidy hard curl.  Although never to be confused with a Barbie doll from the 60s - Black and White Swimsuit Barbie has a different rooting pattern with lower placed hairline and bangs and a different formulation of vinyl - she possesses an integrity of construction and execution that places her in a category all her own.

Dolldom feels that this time the focus has been placed on the actual quality of the doll as a mannequin rather than to the design and graphics of the packaging and the inclusion of multiple accessories. Black and White Swimsuit Barbie is a well-made doll the result of attention paid to details that echo back to the exquisite production standards of the early 1960s dolls  in Japan. She even comes in a beautiful pink and black cardboard box (no plastic windows through which to look but not touch) clearly saying that here is a mannequin to wear the surplus of fashions in your collection. Or perhaps the perfect one with which to being a collection!

Once released from her pink silhouette box, Black and White Swimsuit Barbie is ready to do what a teen-age fashion model does best: model! But first Barbie hangs out by the pool with Ken.

What shall I wear?

Country roads await! Barbie models a Retros sweater and slack set under the "Peachy Fleecy" (#915) coat and hat before driving away in her Austin-Healey.

Summertime outings call for cool cotton separates from the PAK line.  Accessories? "Open Road's" hat, sandals, sunglasses, and a cheery attitude.

A professional woman faces the day in the Chanel-esque "Commuter Set (#916) navy suit and Busy Gal's (#981) body blouse. White gloves, a Silkstone BFMC bracelet, and red petal hat are luxe touches.

A quiet evening with Ken is spent in a PAK sweater and cotton slacks and the halter top and pearl choker from "Mood for Music" (#940).

 Who is that girl in the portrait?

Black and White Swimsuit Barbie is elegant in "Junior Prom's" (#1614) gown and fur.

How to close the fashion show?

With a classic that in spite of having been reproduced and re-issued many (many) times never falls into the depths of triteness. "Solo in the Spotlight" (#982) remains the most sensationally sophisticated fashion that Barbie has ever worn. Some say she whipped it up in Home Economics class.

Dolldom congratulates Mattel and Mr. Greening for a job well done. This is the direction in which to take future issues and to pay respect to vintage Barbie's heritage  - focus on details, integrity of quality of the mannequin, and a popular price point. Could we have (please?) Black and White Swimsuit Barbie dolls with brunette and Titian red hair now? Thank you!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Into the Woods of Time

In many classic fairy tales, children go into a forest. The metaphor for exploration of the unknown that lies inside our psyches may also be seen more literally  - entering a realm previously unexplored and that may have awaiting dangers or surprising discoveries...

Recently, Patsy, the new doll by Tonner Doll Company's Effanbee, followed the example of many children before her and in her Retros cotton dress and vintage Panama hat went exploring the nearby woods filled with centenary evergreens....

But in that forest lives a wolf! 

"I hear the rustling of the leaves! Who dares walk in to my green home?"

And that wolf has a sister, a younger sister. "Do we have a visitor, dear brother?"

"It's been a long time since we have had anyone! Please, let us meet you, do come out!" - says the little bear. "We will not eat you."

And so they meet! Brother Wolf is still reluctant. But Sister Bear takes the lead.

"Hello, my name is Patsy!" - Patsy says. "Patsy? We knew a Patsy long, long ago. For you see, we are very old animal dolls made of composition. We came to be in the midst of The Great Depression when Patsy reigned supreme in the world of children and dolls."

Brother adds, "Yes! We were part of a set. I, in the Little Red Riding Hood set. Sister Bear must have been the little bear in the Goldilocks' set. We sold for a dollar back then, the equivalent of eighteen today. But with time, the others got lost and we have been living here, forgotten and in peace."

"That is right. The little girl was not Patsy but Trixie. She was a clone of Patsy but children did not mind. How could they? Our creator, Freundlich Toy Company made sure that by having a storyline Trixie would be fun for play. She was much loved too."

"Do you know Trixie, Patsy?" - asks Sister Bear.

But Patsy falls silent. She has much to think about and consider on her way back home. Her journey into the forest yields realization. Will Patsy ever meet her predecessors?  We shall see! It may take another journey into the woods.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

I Am Séverine

Many have inquired about the mysterious appearance of Julian Kalinowski's (of Lilli Lalka fame along with Liz Lee) new doll, Séverine. Dolldom has been much honored to work with one of the early prototypes of this new and exciting character.

Mr. Kalinowski's new creation will be featured in the upcoming issue of Fashion Doll Quarterly with lush vignettes by Dolldom's photographers and fabulous couture by Liz Cole, Sylvia Campbell, Rosina Haskell, and Marirose. And of course, the whole story behind her creation!

And to whet the appetite of collectors the world over, our editors have decided to share an exclusive portfolio of photos.

To keep up with Séverine, make sure to join her website - Je suis Séverine - and enjoy learning everything about her: her back story, her idols, her looks, her fantasies.

Is the doll world ready for Séverine? Absolutely!

Black cocktail dress by Marirose
Black suit by Juliette Wharton