Monday, April 30, 2018

A Very Virtuous Girl

With one look at Nav Sikand's pretty Anouk in her "Series Three" iteration, one could easily conclude that she is an unequivocal representation of virtuous innocence. Yet, to enlighten our understanding and eliminate these superficial perceptions, Dolldom went right to the source - the doll maker himself.

Dolldom: Is Anouk a metaphor for purity and goodness?

Mr. Sikand: Anouk is full of optimism for the future with her life and many adventures ahead of her. I feel that in these turbulent and dark times we live in, there is something very important and appealing about things that remind us of a simpler and relatively easier time of life. I try to project this positivity through Anouk and the context in which I present her. I wish Anouk to be a symbol of simpler and more hopeful times. This said, "Series Three" features some changes that make Anouk different. The major change is her mouth, which is a much darker and vivid fuchsia pink and a Bardot-esque pout, which gives Anouk a slightly sultry look. Still, she remains a charming gamine.  

Luxe et calme
Three third issue Anouk dolls model their cocktail best in a luxurious room setting.

Pique- nique dans la forêt 
Three beautiful fresh-faced Anouk dolls gather for a peaceful snack and relaxation in the coolness of the forest.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Every Time We Say Good-Bye...

We die a little. Every time we say good-bye to a dear friend, we are forced to stop and reflect on the prospect of loss and immediately grab on to the memories that remain in the dark passages of our brains.

When the friend is a doll - the feelings are perhaps, a tad less devastating, as she (or in this case - they) remains around in all of her stupendous physicality in resin, vinyl, porcelain, or hard plastic.

When Mel Odom and JAMIEshow Doll announced the end of their ground-shaking collaboration, Gene Marshall fans (the hardcore, illuminated ones) once again relieved the farewell scenario, one already played out with Ashton-Drake and Integrity Toys. And many wondered if said collaboration couldn't have lasted a little longer, perhaps with a feeling of I-would-have-liked-to-see-yet-another iteration-or-character.  Dolldom feels that hope should never be lost - another collaboration is always possible and as Odom himself said in a recent speech, there is still one more JAMIEshow Gene Marshall in the works to be offered at the United Federation of Doll Collectors' opening of their new museum wing in 2019 - one that will debut with a showstopping Gene Marshall retrospective.

And then gain, who knows how will Miss Gene Marshall, Star Eternal, will once again transform? In the words of Norma Desmond: "No one ever leaves a star. That's what makes one a star."

JAMIEshow's 2018 Convention closed the show with a bang: a not-to-be-missed set of five new iterations of Odom's-always-glow-brighlty stars comprised of Gene, Mara Lord, Violet Waters, Zita Charles, and real-life movie legend Marsha Hunt. Gene and Madra sport tans - as would be expected of stars who vacation in the desert paradise- but Miss Lord got an extra touch of magic: a sprinkling of freckles that ties her character even more to the also-freckled Joan Crawford.

In this exclusive portfolio, Dolldom pays tribute and expresses gratitude to both Mr. Odom and JAMIEshow Doll for having continued to share the dream that is the essence of Gene Marshall.

Marsha Hunt. Hair by Kathy Johnson

Marsha Hunt models her Palm Springs gown, a real shining star. Hair by Time of Doll by Ilaria Mazonni.

Violet Waters is supremely beautiful with a touch of 1960s mod style.

Violet's vinyl mini dance dress is minimalism at its very best. Wigcaps by JAMIEshow transform her look.

Zita Charles!

The Silent Era movie star dances a tango in her green satin gown. Wigcaps by JAMIEshow Doll.

Madra Lord

Freckled Madra Lord goes green in a LizRetros silk shantung cocktail set, all hand beaded and sewn. Hair by Kathy Johnson.

Gene Marshall

Gene sports a tan - and who does not look good with a tan? Add a white coat by Integrity Toys and more magic happens. Wigcap by JAMIEshow Doll.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Fashion Fantastic: Juliet Whorton Desings for the S-Girls

Dolldom has always believed that the future of fashion dolls is handmade, for it is the only mode through which dollectors will attain truly personal expressions of their vision and tastes. Luckily, there are enlightened artists working steadfastly to provide one-of-a-kind dolls and fashions.

In this very first entry for March 2018, Dolldom features the work of Juliet Whorton whose Dangerousdames Lounge boutique has been providing fashion fantasies for Barbie and Fashion Royalty dolls for more than an decade. Recently, in conversation with Ms. Whorton, Dolldom asked her to interpret her vision for Julian S. Kalinowski's S-Girls. With carte blanche in hand, Ms. Whorton developed a collection never before seen - from classic bubble dresses to extravagant waves of lace. One of Ms. Whorton's signature touches is beading and this collection boasts what may be a million beads and precious decorations all hand applied to fabric.

Mr. Kalinowski's S-Girls were overjoyed modeling these wonders made to fit their ampler hips and slightly reduced bosom. Join Ms. Whorton, Stella, Sable and Sylvain as they present you fashion fantastic! Enjoy the show!

"Bellini", modeled by Sylvain, is a luscious three-piece ensemble that would have made Peggy Guggenheim squeal with delight.

"Commuters Ahead", also modeled by Sylvain, is a working woman's fashion statement. Underneath the beaded jacket, Sylvain wears a strapless blouse with a playful vintage print. But the hat has to be what makes this number such a delight. Complete with vintage butterfly, the straw sensation is decorated with two dozen black roses.

"Bahamian Boom", modeled by Stella, is pure tropical fantasy. Created with gorgeous scenic print, the two piece dress with tulle underskirt features a grand portrait collar. And a hat so joyful, one cannot help but feel the tropical breezes.

"After Hours Ballerina", modeled by Stella, is an elegant an classic silhouette re-envisioned in a dramatic combo: red silk and satin blue and white stripes. The full skirt features a high waist, punctuated by a slender red belt. The beading is lush.

"In My Beautiful Balloon", modeled by Sable, is a modern take on the classic "Gay Parisienne" that vintage Barbie doll wore so well.

"How Green Is My Valley", modeled by Sable is a wondrous three-piece cocktail ensemble. The coat is decorated with gold and coral beads and brass leaves. Miss Joan Crawford would have worn it well too. A simple fascinator adds lighthearted touch.

"Pavlova's Paradise Bird" is a luxurious three-piece ensemble featuring peacock feathers and a dream enhancing shade of blue. A flowered fascinator adds prima ballerina glamour to the look.

"Sirena del Mar Profundo", modeled by Stella,  is a drop-dead chic creation. Miniature silver sequins and a halter neckline make this gala two piece ensemble a most precious confection.

"Red Sea Parting", modeled by Stella, closes the Fashion Fantastic show. The three piece ensemble features a detachable lace overskirt, allowing the cocktail look to transform into a real regal expression.

Dolldom thanks Ms. Whorton and Mr. Kalinowski for their gracious support during this collaboration.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Forgotten Photos

Dolldom has been lucky to discover in its archives a vintage photographic portfolio of New York socialite Yvonne Augusta Monmouth Winthrop, heiress of the famed five-and-dime store fortune S.P. Coolworthy and benefactress of this blog's costume department.

In these recently discovered photos, Ms. Winthrop posed for photographer Manuel de Campo y Prado in fashions by Balenciaga and LizRetros.

In a classic LizRetros silk shantung sheath for cocktail hour.

Sequins for the theater - the premiere of Kismet. 

 Balenciaga for the baptism of her nephew.

It's always grand when the past comes to enrich the present.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Something Cool

If it's not happy hour were you are, there is still a way to indulge in all things cool. Julian S. Kalinowski's S-Girls and LizRetros join forces to give us all the best concoction for an immediate buzz: beauty and glamour.

Accompanied by June Christy's ever-gorgeous classic, "Something Cool", Sylvain, Stella and Sable prove to be the coolest gals in town wearing LizRetros' newest collection of exuberant hand-sewn fashions in a spiffy set decorated with furniture built by Mr. Retros.

S- Girls by Julian S. Kalinowski
LizRetros' B&G

Something cool,
Something cool,
Something cool,
I'd like to order something cool!

Virgin Queen. A sober black cotton knit dress with copper Lurex threads is mood-enhancing and will never give a headache the morning after. Jewelry by Joy Jarred. Apostrophe chair by Maryann Roy.

Something cool,
I'd like to order something cool,
It's so warm here in town,
And the heat gets me down,
Yes, I'd like something cool!

My! It's nice to simply sit and rest awhile,
Now I know it's a shame,
I can't think of your name,
I remember your smile!

Three-Manhattan Lunch. Stella indulges in this sensational raw silk coat and vintage sparkly knit mini dress ensemble. Beaded belt also by LizRetros. Apostrophe chair by Maryann Roy.

I don't ordinarily drink with strangers,
I most usually drink alone.
You were so awfully nice to me,
And I'm so terribly far from home.

Like my dress?
I must confess it's terribly old,
But it's simple and neat,
It's just right for the heat,
Save my furs for the cold!

Lettuce Drink. Stella is as refreshing as a crisp wedge of Iceberg in her vintage tricot mini dance dress. Necklace by Joy Jarred. Apostrophe chair by Maryann Roy.

A cigarette? Well I don't smoke them as a rule,
but I'll have one,
It might be fun
With something cool!

I'll bet you couldn't imagine
That I one time had a house
With so many rooms I couldn't count them all!

Curaçao! Blue is her color as blue is her mood! Sylvain heads directly to the bar in a silk and mini paillette gown with back zipper closure.

I'll bet you couldn't imagine
I had fifteen different beaus
Who would beg and beg to take me to a ball.

I'll bet you couldn't picture me
The time I went to Paris in the Fall,
And who would think the man I loved was quite so handsome,
Quite so tall?

Well it's true,
It's just a memory I have,
One I almost forgot
'Cause the weather's so hot!
And I'm feeling so bad

My Glass Runs Over. Sometimes, the event calls for pulling out all stops. And this showstopper is the definition of exuberance with it's mile-long scarf and magenta ruffles. Sable loves the figure-hugging fit and her photographer agrees.

About a date,
Oh wait!
I'm such a fool!
He's just a guy
Who's stopped to buy
Me something cool!

S- Girls by Julian S. Kalinowski

LizRetros' B&G


Saturday, February 17, 2018

From Wild to Styled

--> “After many a summer dies the swan…” or so the saying goes, but not when she wisely books an appointment with Vera here at the Pink Bubbles Doll Spa!"
-BobbyTaylor, proprietor and lead stylist at PBDS

If one ever were to interview dolls on what constitutes a lifetime of fun and joy, it could be anticipated that many would attribute their existential success to having been on many an adventure. An adventure to the park where she enjoyed sunning in the sand box. Or an adventure to the neighbor's pool where she learned to dive. Or an adventurous weekend spent at grandma's home on the range during which horseback riding was de rigueur. Perhaps it was a day of hard work modeling gowns and suits and dresses. Or maybe the adventure was as uneventful but no less intense as being released from the box. Regardless of the nature of the adventure, the vintage and not-so-vintage doll will at some point in her life need to have her hair redone and in some more extreme cases, her face reconstructed. For such is the nature of play - what was pretty and fresh out of the box fifty years ago, will show today the signs of an adventurous life fully lived. And that is when a visit to a spa is a very good idea.

Luckily, restoration services abound these days and most basket-case dolls can be returned to their factory-issued perfection. But few spas do it with the expertise, elevated taste level, and charm as Pink Bubbles Day Spa does. Proprietor and lead stylist, Bobby Taylor, of Taylor Made fame, is the heart of this fantastic operation where dolls go on glamorous adventures and come out looking like the most sensational butterflies.

Mr. Taylor is assisted by a most enchanting crew:

Vera - Front desk receptionist in charge of booking of appointments and the first face you meet when you walk in! Runs a tight ship and doesn't like any monkey business!

Daffy - Main floor assistant, in charge of hair prep, Pink Bubbles beauty baths and making sure clients are well cared for when not in Mr. Taylor's chair. Daffy is in fact, Mr. Taylor's left arm at the spa and responsible for the ever-flowing Appletini's' served throughout the day!

Beatrice - Gift shop operator extraordinaire, Beatrice assists all clients in the selection of all beauty products, replacement pearl or hoop earrings, wigs, and other beauty essentials. She has loads of experience in retail and works on commission, so at times, she can get a little aggressive!

Upon arrival and after their stay at Pink BubblesDoll Spa, every client gets her photo taken to document the dynamic transformation. These, in turn, provide behind-the-scenes glimpses from inside the pink velvet and golden foiled flocked walls of Pink Bubbles Doll Spa.

Come along with us on this exclusive as dolls from all vintages embark on the ultimate beauty adventure at Pink Bubbles Doll Spa.

A Very British Girl
No longer looking like what the cat dragged in, a vintage Pedigree Sindy regains her composure with a resetting of her original factory look. 

Monstrous No More
A vintage brownette Bubblecut Barbie will no longer be cast only in zombie films. Revived and beautified, she is now an example of what happens when time stands still. 

This Is How She Met Ken
Too many years spent in a vinyl case is a surefire way to get a case of ongoing bad hair days. But at Pink Bubbles Doll Spa, a Number Three blonde Barbie doll is once again ready to meet her beau. 

American Woman
Having driven her convertible Austin-Healey around Malibu for five decades, an American Girl Barbie was in dire need of a reset. Now, in her classic bob and original face paint with oxidized pale lips, Barbie is the quintessential sophisticate-next-door.  

Star Turn
Even Hollywood stars need a day at the spa. Mel Odom's "Red Venus" Gene Marshall trades her gorgeous me-Tarzan-you-Jane mane for a most versatile side swept style, perfect for a queen's court or a cocktail party. 

Repro or Not!
A reproduction 50th anniversary Number One Barbie defines out of the box prettiness. On her return from Pink Bubbles Doll Spa, she is stunning. 

Will I Enchant This Evening?
A vintage brunette Number Three Barbie doll certainly does after her Pink Bubbles Doll Spa visit.


Blonde Ambition
A reproduction 50th Anniversary Number One Barbie aspired to be as fabulous as her 50-year old iteration. With miniature curls on her forehead and a hard curl at the end of her ponytail, she now can bask in the glory of being Miss Barbie Millicent Roberts. 

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Victoire's Victory
"La Grande Séduction" Victoire Roux will certainly leave everyone longing in her new and ever-so-chic Diana Vreeland-inspired do. 

The Doll They Loved to Restyle
Vera, Daffy, and Beatrice adore vintage Tressy's gravity-defying up-do and her luxurious silk dress by Marirose.