Saturday, December 11, 2010

Holiday Décor: Keeping It Simple

Winter delights with its longer nights and chilly morns. But when the weather turns frightful outside, dollies of all materials enjoy the warmth and coziness of a well-appointed home, no matter the size. This year, Dolldom offers simple ideas with big visual impact, evocative power, and a eco-friendly-green approach. After all, it's not how much you decorate, it's how much the décor brings a smile to your heart.

A fishbowl vase, used year round to hold moss or flowers, protects precious vintage ornaments inherited or collected from visits to your favorite flea market. This collection of green and blue ornaments comes to life when displayed together. A single gold ornament punctuates the impact of the monochromatic approach.

No tree? No need! A dry branch cannot be beat if what you want is to enjoy the details of your ornaments. Against a white wall, the colorful orbs pop out at you. Cost: a walk down the street or in the woods.

A collection of pottery need not disappear during the holidays. Add a special card and a precious dollie to your arrangement to add that special touch of Toyland magic.

A Hummel ceramic angel candle holder (maybe from Grandmother's collection) gains presence when encased inside a glass vase with an op-art etched design and surrounded by small vintage kugels.

If you insist on a tree, have a tree! This small wonder is made of white goose feathers and holds vintage ornaments in a white, gold, silver, moss, and anemic red palette. 

Dolldom welcomes creatures of all types, not only dolls, as long as they achieve a successful stylizing of the human reality. Vintage and antique toys (and those inspired by them) enjoy special display space.
  This antique squeaker toy smiles with vintage joy at everyone who looks. Yes, only to those who look. After surviving the last 100 years, it is a crime to touch these treasures unless cotton gloves are being worn.

This tiny and very spooky snowboy has movable arms and a smile made with mini coals. 

This year, dare to go simple and spend the new found treasure trove of available time enjoying the magic of the glittery nighttime sky.
 Best wishes for a soulful winter. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tyler's Back

It was with great delight that we at Dolldom received news late in October about Tyler Wentworth. Forever a member of this world of aromatic vinyl, Tyler has never not been present. In fact, few dolls maintain their integrity after their tenth anniversary the way our gorgeous designer has.

 2010 Ultra Basic™ Raven Tyler Set is a basic doll and features Tyler's original head sculpt, green eyes and a new skin tone called Lily. Now Dolldom claims for a Sydney Chase with the same look. Promo photos by Storm Photo Studio.

In past seasons we have seen her judiciously reduce her offerings in order to place the spotlight (what a generous gesture!) on her friend Antoinette. And as much as we love that young super model with the amazing morphing powers, at Dolldom Tyler exists without rivals. She has it all. The storyline. The full decade. A place in fashion doll history. Her own dress form. She even has Sydney Chase! No one touches Tyler.
Tyler wears her own design, titled Convertible Cocktail. This red number gives any little black dress its run for the money.

For this Dolldom exclusive, our gal pal shows us a new look for the winter of 2010. It's all very I'm-a-modern-Geisha-and-I-love-Kabuki-make-up for the glittery end of the first decade of the 21st century.

 And it's all as classy and chic as Tyler has always been. After all, that is how she and her brood will go down in history. As the epitome of classic American style. No fads, no gimmicks, just good design. We bet all of our treasury of porcelain de Sèvres, that in ten years, we will still be wearing Wentworth while some pretty funky fads will be making some poor unfortunate souls ponder: "What was I thinking?"

Here's to Miss W

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Classy Cocktail Talk: Stirring a Moment of Happiness

With a glass (vintage, s’il vous plait!) in hand, the civilized set marks the end of business for yet another busy day. That moment when the day pauses and dresses up in soothing navy blue velvet best exemplifies those eternal instants of perfection to which the denizens of Dolldom aspire. For the cocktail hour is a most magical ceremony that when properly executed will regale you with an unabashed feeling of possibility. After an intense journée of mad productivity, who does not desire to reward the brain, the palate, and the soul with a delicious libation?

We at Dolldom insist that the perfect cocktail hour looks not unlike a witty evening spent with Myrna Loy and William Powell (and Asta!) in their Nick and Nora incarnations for The Thin Man.

Even tragic heroines played by Joan Crawford and Gloria Swanson honored the cocktail, although a tad too much.
Dolldom celebrates the promise of happiness that only a well-mixed drink can deliver with delightful variations of classic cocktails that not surprisingly are the faves of many of Dolldom’s favorite designers. The twist, you may add? It’s all in the details.

The Knitter’s Poisson
A favorite of knitting maven Uyek, creator of the kicky Lettuce dress and uncontested queen of the turban, The Knitter’s Poisson is a purist’s delight.

2 ounces of gin. Dolldom suggests trying No. 209, San Francisco’s own gin.
A drop of water. Hetch Hetchy only please.
Five or six capers on a toothpick. One more for the bottom of the glass.

Chill the gin over ice in the freezer. Pour in a brandy glass, add a drop of water and one perfectly salty caper. Mix with your caper laden toothpick.

The M2M
A variation of The Greyhound, The M2M is nothing but inspired genius, just like the exquisite world of Mark G. Harris' Mode de M (M as in Mark, for the uninitiated), one that is rich with beads, rhinestone montées and iridescent silks.

2 ounces of vodka
4 ounces of Ruby Red grapefruit juice
Pomegranate seeds

Chill the vodka over ice in the freezer. Add Ruby Red juice. Stir. Pour into a vintage cocktail glass and drop as many pomegranate seeds as your heart sees fit. Serve neat.

The B&G
(Beauty and Glamour)
The drink favored by Retros’ Liz Cole, The B&G is a playful way to give life to the vodka Martini with a twist.

2 ounces of vodka
Sufficient white vermouth to bathe the inside of your mixing glass
Jumbo Lemonhead hard candy

Chill the vodka over ice in the freezer. Pour vermouth in your mixing glass, swirl around to cover its walls. Discard the rest. Pour chilled vodka and stir. Serve over a jumbo-sized Lemonhead hard candy. Float a paper-thin lime slice. Serve neat.

The Dr. Y
A drink that could only be served to those who are thirsty for life, The Dr. Y is a beautiful way to give the Cuban Mojito quite a make-over. If a Yatabazah wig can make any doll more beautiful, wait until you taste what basil and licorice will do for the rum-based standard.

3 ounces of vodka
1 ounce of Metaxa Ouzo (Greek pastis)
10 basil leaves
2 ounces club soda
Juice from one lime
Paper thin lime slices

Mix the vodka and Ouzo over ice. Break the basil leaves with your fingers into the mix. Stir. Pour into a Collins glass and add club soda and lime juice. Stir well.

L’éléphant rose
For those of us who enjoy our cocktail while reading a favorite passage from a beloved book. But be careful, L’éléphant rose is sweet and comfortable as childhood but can have the same effects as overindulgent parents.

2 dashes Maraschino
1 part bourbon
2 parts red vermouth
Five generous dashes of bitters

Bathe three large square ice cubes with the bitters and Maraschino. Add the bourbon and the vermouth and stir until well-chilled. Serve neat in a festive juice glass.

But truly, the ultimate cocktail moment has to be the one shared by Cary Grant an Eva Marie Saint on that sexy train in Hitchcock's North by Northwest.  May your next cocktail hour be as divine. ¡Salud!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Witchy Wear

Once the nights get longer and there is that special spine-tingling chill in the air, many of the denizens of Dolldom make sure that they:
1. Invoke the spirits of the earth.
2. Pull out a big black cauldron and slow cook a potent brew.
3. Carve plenty of turnips to hold beeswax candles, a necessity for lighting the way when coming back home from the forest.
4. Hold a midnight séance to stay up to date with the ongoing activities of those constant companions of the invisible kind.
5. Dust off the black and fabulous witches’ hat.

Is there a better way to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve, one of Dolldom’s favorite holidays, than by throwing a fashion show? For on October 31st, all women ought to channel their inner sorcière, their essential bruja, and be as mysteriously glamorous as Kim Novak was in the film Bell, Book, and Candle.
 For this Dolldom exclusive, the gals of Monolithic Studios give Miss Novak a run for the money in dresses by Liz Cole for Retros and Diane Charles. The essential witches' hat could not have come but from the fantastic Peggy Feltrope and was on loan from Dreary Manor, to whose inhabitants we give thanks for their generous heart.

In a dress by Diane Charles (e-Bay seller shesewgood) created with a pattern by Randall Craig, Ivy Jordan strikes a familiar pose to pay homage to Dolldom darling Elizabeth Montgomery in her iconic role as Samantha Stevens. Hat by Peggy Feltrope.

Lost Soul
Gene Marshall plays the girl who ends up walking by a dark mansion. By the movie's end, she has found love with a ghost. In her figure hugging charcoal silk dress with blood red beading by Liz Cole, she is bound to enamor all available spirits.

Queen Witch
Violet Waters is the Queen Witch. No other witch can come close to her beauty and style. Liz created another sexy sheath, this time in a fancy pink silk with flocked net overlay. Those skulls do tell the whole story! The cape and cute felt hat, also by Liz, were made for Miss Barbie M. Roberts and are on loan from her collection.

Beast Tamer
Spooky and kooky equal fun style for Gene Marshall. Only Liz knows were to unearth fabulous prints for her couture. This scary cat green cotton wins top awards for colorful wit.

Good Witch
For not all witches wear dark colors. Platinum blond Ivy closes the show in Liz's Lurex wonder beaded with abandon with turquoise drops. 

May your date with the Moon 
and the Shadows be magical too.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Knitting Dreams with Petit Tricotage

Wendy Ward is happy in candy colors courtesy of Petit Tricotage

Handmade. Yes and absolutely. We live in a time when the return to made-by-human-hands-reality is not only attractive but utterly necessary.

Blythe's memento mori cap by Petit Tricotage is also a radar for good vibes.

Vintage Barbie set the standard back in the late 1950s with the exquisite making of her wardrobe, handmade to be sure by the hands of many talented Japanese ladies. Today, those in the know know where to go to for not only the handmade but for the exclusive and unique.
A Skipper with Color Magic hair is delighted to wear 
Petit Tricotage's signature Lettuce dress.

Petit Tricotage is such a label. Run with zest and humor by the stupendous Margaret Smith, Petit Tricotage supplies the congnoscenti with the very best in knitwear. 

Viktor and Blythe wear Petit Tricotage's memento mori caps.
It's the cap to wear this winter.

From caps for kids (both porcelain and flesh and blood) to flirty dresses with a young and decidedly spiègle vibe, Petit Tricotage offers luxurious items to enrich a doll's wardrobe and life.

Spa Getaway Barbie wears one of several knit 1940s-inspired 
turbans by Petit Tricotage.

These treasures are hand knit with great attention to scale and fit. The knitting is seamless to avoid the added bulk of seams. The fibers selected by Petit Tricotage for the miniature knits are chosen not only for their color and tactile pleasing qualities but also for their scale.

They are knit on tiny needles ranging in size from 2mm to 0.50mm in diameter to allows for garments constructed with stitches to be scaled believably small and in proportion to the dolls who will wear them.

 Two more 1940's turbans impart color and style to the same sober black dress.

But the real sign of an artist is found not only in the technical prowess but also in the poetic expression conveyed though the designs. As the Squiggle cap (modeled by Katarina Carlsson's Myling doll) below proves, it's more than expert craftsmanship that makes a Petit Tricotage garment special. It takes a playful heart to gives birth to such magic.

Fall into Fall in style. Visit Petit Tricotage

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Urban Turban

"The turban. Are we really ready for it?" At DOLLDOM, we smile when we learn of the so-called challenges of the world-at-large as for some of our most stylish denizens the turban has always been a surefire outil de glamour. Like the nude head, the turban stylizes the wearer and makes all eyes focus on the face. Self-perceived pioneers, like Mary Kate Olsen, have dared something like the turban but acts that lack real conviction seldom lead to victory. On the other side of failure, were success reigns supreme and Shocking by Schiaparelli scents the air, Hong Kong Lilli pays tribute to fabulous 40's fashion in a turban that would make Paul Poiret cry with envy. This bejeweled jewel, above left, by Liz Cole boasts sixty-nine beads.
Joan Crawford illustrates that a simple black silk turban is all a face - well, her fantastic face - needs to stun and bewitch adults and children alike. Our advice? Live the Life Deluxe and by all means do what Norma Desmond did - wrap your pretty head in beaded silk brocade.