When the Barbie Fashion Model Collection debuted, collectors were thunderstruck by the level of quality and attention to detail that defined the line. Robert Best's elevated approach referenced vintage Barbie style while allowing the BFMC dolls to be original and fresh and to be a source of inspiration for play and for creation.
James Bogue of Bogue's Vogue's is to this day, Dolldom's favorite independent designer for the now iconic BFMC line. In 2003, Dolldom was very lucky to profile his work in a feature in Barbie Bazaar magazine. (Do you remember paper magazines?)
For this end of April entry, Dolldom celebrates the unique style and vision of Bogue's Vogues, reprinting the story and featuring a new set of images.
"21st century chic: Barbie models Bogue’s Vogues Designs"
Text, photos, and styling by © 2003 Ernesto Padró-Campos
The French Provincial atelier is booming with activity. In the background, Ella sings Cole Porter like no one else can. Bouquets of Calla lilies, coral roses, and tuberose scent the air already charged with the excitement that only the visit from a fashion icon can generate. In his pewter silk moiré bergère, James Bogue, tall, blonde, and distinguished, awaits the arrival of his long time muse.
“My source of inspiration in creating Bogue's Vogues is, as it has always been, Barbie herself. When Barbie returned to the world of high fashion with the Barbie Fashion Model line, that inspiration was renewed. Her elegant and very stylized countenance along with her modern model’s attitude make me feel like Barbie has reached her zenith. She is a 21st century idol who dreams of mid-20th century sartorial sensibilities; a modern woman who wears only the most inspired, perfectly handcrafted, and truly elegant designs, regardless of what the current fashion capers decree,”states this Texan for whom no detail on a dress, cape, or hat is ever overlooked. “My style as a designer is classic, I'd say my greatest strength is to underplay the look, as being overdressed is like putting a gaudy frame on a beautiful painting,” he ads with a smile. “The process for Bogue's Vogues begins in the imagination, the idea can be daytime, evening, or cocktail wear, then it moves onto fabric selection and the basic construction of the garment, and culminates with the finishing details which more often than not end as something very different from the initial idea, almost as if the design took on a personality of its own. The crowning glory for a look is of course, the hat. Change the hat and you change the attitude, the tone, the intention.” These are clearly the musings of an artist who lives through his art and dives into the challenges as well as the glory of his craft, all the while understating the architectural qualities of his designs as well as the exactitude of his cut.
Suddenly, the long awaited presence of la divina materializes. Now expert couturier and iconic model can take delight in his latest creations. This ultra sophisticated collection reiterates the same affinity for understatement, handcrafting, and subtle coquetterie. The hair is coifed to follow the natural shape of the head and to accept the scarf, hat, or feathered cap that will take the whole look into the stratosphere of stupendous design.
Welcome to 21st century chic, welcome to Bogue’s Vogues.