Sunday, July 31, 2016

Francie's 50th!

When one's cousin turns fifty, what to do? Throw a big party! And that's exactly what the Barbie doll is doing in this Dolldom exclusive entry - celebrate her MOD*ern cousin!

Francie was introduced in a smooth black and white commercial back in 1966:

" This is Francie. Long hair. Real lashes. And bendable legs. She's MOD. Real kicky things. Granny gowns, groovy jumpers, and stockings. Like wild! Francie, Mattel's MODern new teenage doll. She's what's happening. You can tell she's Mattel, she's groovy"

And groovy she is as the following photos illustrate.

Happy 50th, Groovy Girl!

Hello, I'm Francie Fairchild
Portrait of a brunette standard Francie doll. This doll has been closely reproduced by Mattel's Bill Greening in her 50th Anniversary version.

Mod*ern Cousin, You Bet!
A standard brunette Francie doll arrives to shake things up in Barbie doll's world! Her hooded ensemble, "1264 "Swingin' Skimmy" from 1966-67, and #1250 "Gad-Abouts" from 1966-67 evoke the Youthquake period to perfection.

Malibu Style
A first issue Malibu Francie from 1971 is ready to impress her fellow sun-seekers in #1290 "Denims On!" from 1967

Francie in Japan 
The Francie doll was immensely popular in Japan, so much that she had her own Japanese face-up and fashions. Sold only with brunette hair, Japanese Francie models a reproduction of her lace kimono, made with loving expertise by Sylvia Campbell for Snowdance Fashions.

Most Beautiful Francie
A Black Twist-and-Turn Francie from 1967 represents a bold move to integrate African American dolls into Barbie doll's world. Miss Francie looks smashing in #1208 "The Silver Cage" from 1968-69.

Pink and Pure
A blonde Francie Twist-and-Turn- looks spring-perfect in  #1276 "Summer Frost" from 1967.

Brave New World
Francie came back in 2012 as part of the BFMC and made of Silkstone. Kitty Corner models a vintage Royal two-piece set made in British Hong Kong and her original stockings and shoes. Her hair was restyled by Bobby Taylor of Pink Bubbles Doll Spa.

The London Look
Green and blue combine in two different yet very iconic looks: #1250 "Gad-Abouts" from 1966-67 on a blonde standard Francie doll and #1251 "It's A Date!" from 1966 on a brunette bendable leg doll. Mid-Centrury Modern table by Darren Cole for Retros. Chair by Maryann Roy.

I'm with Francie!
Francie ushered a new era to the Barbie doll's world. In #1207 "Floating-In" from 1968-69, a blonde bendable leg doll leads her cousin in style and youth appeal.

At the Parade
The color palette of #1266 "Quick Shift" from 1966 matches Midge's "Poodle Parade" (#1643) from 1965.

Out of the Bag
A "baggie" Francie (Mattel sold left-over dolls in clear plastic bag packages in 1975) gives good face in #1291 "Check This!" from 1967.

Happy Birthday, Francie!
The gang comes together to wish Francie the very best. Francie chooses to model Poppy Parker's Joyful Celebration gown at her very joyful celebration.

Dolldom dedicates this feature to Mr. A. Glenn Mandeville whose research and photographic work in the area of vintage Barbie and other fashion dolls has and continues to inspire us.

Sylvia Campbell's Snowdance Fashions

Bobby Taylor's Pink Bubbles Doll Spa 

Welcome Home Furniture 

Darren Cole Furniture 

Morrison Furniture Studio

Saturday, July 30, 2016

In Her Eyes

Close-up photography for the Publicity Department demanded an early call. The sun had not arisen yet when Miss Gene Marshall, the Star of Monolithic Studios, arrived behind tinted glasses, a colorful Italian silk kerchief, and a slim tweed dress, ready for the camera, always the ultimate professional.

What occurred once the lights were directed towards her face is the stuff of legend. When she opened her eyes, we all had to catch our breaths. The magic of Gene Marshall's eyes was real. Eyes of blue, eyes of a beautiful soul.

The preceding photos feature a wonderful Gene Marshall doll. This example carries a fascinating story, best narrated by her creator, American artist Mel Odom:

"I had this doll privately made to show Ashton-Drake how beautiful Gene could be with glass eyes. The main reason we didn't do her that way was the lack of beautiful 'glass' eyes. The colors in these eyes were custom, featuring pale blue whites (sclera) and intense pigmentation giving them great depth and that feeling that they are following you. But at $20.00 or $30.00 a pair, the price made them impossible for production. The ones available for actual production weren't right for Gene. Later, we tried at Integrity Toys too, they just weren't as expressive as the painted ones."

Dolldom hopes that a future iteration of Gene, manufactured by JAMIEshow Dolls will feature the perfectly crafted glass or urethane eyes that translate Mr. Odom's stunningly stylized vision of iconic Hollywood magic. After all, third time's a charm!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Barbie and Bakh Tier

The recent revision of the Silkstone Barbie Fashion Model Collection dolls with it's new articulated body and slightly altered body dimensions inspired Dolldom to revisit an old friend: Russian artist and designer Bakh Tier, featured in 2011 in an issue of Haute Doll magazine.

Bakh Tier's vision presents an exciting and daring fashion future for today. Beguilingly minimal and masterfully cut and constructed, the Bakhtiër garment features architectural elements that echo man’s desire to challenge gravity. Yet, with a single turn, the Bakhtiër fashion transforms and surprises us with its organic softness in its evocation of nature.

In this exclusive entry, Portuguese and French convention souvenir Classic Black Dress Barbie dolls model once again the sensational designs of Bakh Tier.

Friday, July 15, 2016

I Will Never Meet You

I will never meet you.

Because I will never be.

I'm one of five prototype dolls.

My creator, Julian Kalinowski, made me but, alas...

I am an aborted project. I'm I Will Never Meet You doll. I will forever remain in my maker's custody.

Nonetheless, Dolldom, thanks to Mr. Kalinowski's graciousness, is lucky to present its readers an exclusive portfolio of two of the five prototypes in colorful fashions.  Mr. Kalinowski has assured us too that this strong character sculpt will reappear - redux - in an upcoming line of hand painted dolls. Dolldom celebrates already in anticipation.

Liz Retros sparkly knit sheath and Maryann Roy cap capture the sporty spirit of I Will Never Meet You doll.

Tomato red bead necklace by Joy Jarred! 

Red, more red! A Liz Retros suit in one of her vintage signature Lurex treasures and a Dior hat. And that face. And those lips.

Big and beautiful lips.

Princess I Will Never Meet You. A vintage mystery dress and Barbie's crown. Gloves from BFMC and human ear cuff bracelets from H&M.


Coquette! Chanteuse royale! In Liz Retros' sexy strapless wonder.

Bandeau hat by Joshard. Necklace by Joy Jarred.

Remember my lips for they'll be back soon.

She Came by Time Machine

Doll collectors worth their salt have always dreamed of jumping on a time machine to travel in time. For that type of travel would facilitate the enjoyment of a much coveted doll. For those who wish for dolls of days gone by, especially the very hard to find ones, the proposition of time travel becomes even more seductive.

But thanks to Navdeep Sikand (AKA Virgin-Archer) there is no need to leave to present to acquire a doll from the past, because his doll Anouk is not only vintage-inspired but also created using vintage methods of doll manufacture. From her illustrations, marketing, packaging and clothes, Mr. Sikand has made sure that Anouk is authentically vintage in feel. She is intentionally naive, with basic posing ability, make-up and rooting patterns.

Mr. Sikand spoke to dozens of factories and found one in Spain that still had the machinery of the period, used the same mold making process, and most importantly, would sculpt the prototype by hand. The end result could not be more aligned with the ideal as Anouk captures the allure and style of the 60s with her clothes, hairstyles and make up.

Produced with a uniform make up and 2 hairstyles, a long wavy style with partial ponytail and a short stylish bob with bangs, Anouk is offered in three different variations. Cote D' Azur Anouk is primarily a tribute to Palitoy Britt, Marie and Gail dolls who were friends of the successful Pippa doll. Marie was French and from Provence and Britt was Scandinavian. But they were both sporting very deep suntans, Britt with starkly contrasting pale blonde hair, a striking image that fascinated Mr. Sikand as a child, even more so when Malibu Francie debuted.

Being of Indian heritage himself, and considering how popular black dolls are, the artist knew that an Ethnic Anouk would be de rigueur. For the white dolls it was important to offer variety, which is why they come in four lovely hair shades (ash Blonde, Champagne blonde, brunette and Titian) with long and short hairstyles.

Mr. Sikand hopes that Anouk will draw out the excitement and fond memories that vintage dolls evoke. As the exclusive photos illustrate, it's not possible not to think that Anouk has been transported from the 1960s. Or could it be that a Mr. Sikand came across a warehouse with all the unsold stock of a never released doll called Anouk?

For more information on Anouk, be sure to follow her blog, join her Facebook group and visit her boutique. To acquire your very own Anouk, Mr. Sikand will sell the remaining dolls on eBay under his seller name navsikand2bvj. You may also contact him directly at

May Anouk's fashion show begin!

Hot Afternoon! A champagne blonde Anouk wears her sparkly maillot de bain  under Liz Retros' fabulous terry cloth robe and a vintage straw hat.

Mod in the Morning. Titian Anouk goes for an early morning walk in Poppy Parker She's Not There coat and a cap borrowed from Poppy's boyfriend Chip!

Instant Classic. Ethnic Anouk wears Capri, one of her debut fashions, and a glittery cap by Maryann Roy.

En voyage! A brunette Anouk travels in style in a Rosina Haskell dress, cape, and kerchief set. 

Erudite. Professor Anouk (Titian ponytail version) delivers an important scientific conference in her Trotteur suit.

Disco! An ash blonde Anouk dances the Watusi in Mod Barbie's Silver Sparkle.

Gayest Parisienne! In Marirose's delicate beaded bubble dress, Ethnic Anouk with ponytail is an enchanting presence at the cocktail party.

Grand Gala. Cote D' Azur Anouk (restyled by Mr. Sikand) hosts a fundraising ball in a Doris Day-inspired suit designed by Juliet Whorton for Dangerousdames Lounge. Bracelet by Joy Jarred.

First Dance. Ethnic Anouk models Marirose's take on Barbie's Junior Prom.

Opera! Opening night calls for all-out glamour. Ethnic Anouk (restyled by Mr. Sikand) wears her golden column dress and a jeweled pin - a family heirloom, of course.

Robe de marriage! The show finalizes with a romantic look (Poppy Parker's Wedding Belle) modeled by an ash-blonde Anouk.

For more information on Anouk, be sure to follow her blog, join her Facebook group and visit her boutique. To acquire your very own Anouk, Mr. Sikand will sell the remaining dolls on eBay under his seller name navsikand2bvj. You may also contact him directly at