Monday, December 31, 2012

The Wonderful World of Color

What are you doing New Year's Eve? Dolldom hopes your soirée is safe and above all fun, just like one of ours a couple of years ago....when a black and white New Year's Eve party ended up being full of color.

Back in 1952, Madra Lord and her gal pal Gay Carrington decided to enliven the party at Monolithic Studios by arriving terribly late and causing a commotion of color...for the invitation clearly said black and white gala attire only.

The mood immediately changed when Madra Lord and Gay Carrington arrived in Retros by Liz Cole and jewelry by Joy Jarred.

"Where's the bar? I'm awfully thirsty." Miss Lord needed serious irrigation and went directly for libations.

Gay Carrington followed suit. "Never mind the onlookers, dahling!" - she whispered to her fiery redheaded friend.

And the story ended in the inevitable way. Trent Osborn captivated by the color and sass of the terrific twosome headed directly to where the action was. And the rest, dear friends, is history.  1953 ended up being a very colorful year.

And isn't that what we all wish for 2013?

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dressed In Holiday Style

The Holidays. End of the year madness. At Dolldom, Winter is a time to reflect. And to thank the Universe for her generosity and smiles. And for all those genuine doll lovers who share with us their passion and their vision. You know who you are and we thank you deeply and profusely. From the bottom of our hard vinyl, PVC, and porcelain hearts: Thank you for a beautiful year. May we share many more.

In this exclusive portfolio, Dolldom shares the beautiful creations of many companies as well as the awe-inducing talent of the most amazing freelance artists creating miniature perfection for our dolls.

Licorice Crush Madra is resplendent is Retros and Joy Jarred.

All About The Eyes Gene by Integrity models Blossoms In The Snow designed by Tim Kennedy.

The elegance of Tyler Wentworth is much missed. The black and white Signature Statement is a tribute to her style.

Oona, the mystery actress in Gene Marshall's world, goes for holiday cocktail's chez Trent Osborn in Retros and Joy Jarred.

Beautiful Bleuette. This reproduction doll by Raven of Seattle has the patina of an antique model. She models a cat print dress and a brooch - a gift from Joy Jarred.

The intoxicating beauty created by Julian Kalinowski and Liz Cole. These two artists, were they separated at birth? A OOAK Lilly Lalka by Mr. Kalinowski wears seasonal fun by Liz. Once Lalka makes her entrance and takes off her hat and shrug, the essence of elegant sexy impregnates the room.

Vintage Charmin' Chatty by Mattel wears beautiful versions of the McCall's pattern cape and jumper set.

The Hong Kong Set! Mini versions of Barbie and Ken are rare today. When found, they deserve to model fashions that capture their uniqueness. And who better than Liz Cole for Retros? Little Lilli was made a princess recently as she is the original fashion royalty - notice her pout.

May your days be merry and peaceful!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Glam Femme Walking

A gown connotes spectacle; it's woman at her most traditionally beautiful. Yet the gown limits its wearer to those functions that even at the end of 2012 speak of preconceived notions of what woman is meant to be, do, and look like. The suit defies most of these mandates and allows woman to join the world, make decisions, and play the game. Taking ownership of what is to this day quintessential power attire has provided women a way of taking charge of their own lives while maintaining their allure and sex appeal. The model above wears Jacques Fath’s town suit, in a photo by Willy Maywald at Le Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, 1951.

The Barbie doll continues to have a love affair with the suit. Images of Barbie wearing the iconic Commuter Set, the all work and no play Busy Gal or the Doris Day-looking Career Girl form part of pop culture and prove that since her inception, Barbie Millicent Roberts was meant to integrate into the world at large. In these suits, Ruth Handler's teen-age fashion model transformed into a cosmopolitan woman who could rule the boardroom as well as the catwalk.

Christian Dior’s elegant town suit, in a photo by Willy Maywald, Paris, 1950

Dolldom takes the time to look back at one of 2012's very best dolls: Barbie Fashion Model Collection Walking Suit. From the slightly over-sized houndstooth fitted to impress to the dramatic 1950s eye make-up, this dressed doll designed by Robert Best proved that Mattel can be indeed swell.

Dovima wearing cloche hat by Balenciaga ( in a photo by Avedon at the Cafè des Deux Magots in Paris, August 1955), serves as inspiration for Barbie's dramatic eye make-up.

Dior's Cruise 2010 collection is pure 1950's glamour. And so Barbie.

In this exquisite video produced by Mattel, Robert Best takes us on a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Walking Suit Barbie. Here's to more timeless style, courtesy of the Barbie Fashion Model Collection.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Patsy Returns

Effanbee's Patsy arrives with a new look and attitude this December. The well-loved character now boasts inset eyes, creamy vinyl, a beautiful chocolate brown wig, and an unmistakeably Tonner sculpt. The line will offer several dressed dolls as well as beautifully detailed fashions.

Dolldom stylists dressed her in a Retros hand knit sweater set by Liz Cole and made her look after a very fast elf. The set was made to fit dolls such as Bleuette and Ann Estelle.

Basic Patsy's snowy white undergarments are adorned with a black satin ribbon. Very sophisticated. A daring Skootles sneaks into the photo.

Patsy models a Bleuette blouse and pleated skirt set reproduced by Global.

Patsy uses the Ann Estelle body sculpt created by Tonner Doll Company allowing her to share clothing with her as well as with some of Bleuette's fantastic fashions.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bubbles and Baubles

Wintry November days call for an urgent dose of beauty and glamour. And who best to provide the much needed treatment than Lilli Lalka? Her plan: a very warm bath, new lingerie, a gift of jewelry and another one of art.

After an only-for-me-bubble-bath and perfumed powder session, Lalka models black underwear and a cozy terry cloth bathrobe by Liz Cole for Retros in front of her latest fine art acquisition by David Montreal for MadebyMeeee. Later, she tries on her latest gift: rhinestones and pearls transformed as only Joy Jarred can. Lilli Lalka's room is beautifully furnished by Darren Cole also for Retros.

Her make-up? British doll genius Julian Kalinowski gives Lilli Lalka a seductive look complete with individually painted lashes and super rich crème lipstick finished with a thick application of crystal gloss. Devastatingly Kalinowski.

Lilli Lalka by Julian Kalinowski poses for our cameras with her unique brand of coquettishness.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Haute Décor

"There seems to be within all of us an innate yearning to be lifted momentarily out of our own lives into the realm of charm and make believe."
--- Dorothy Draper

Most dollectors would readily agree with the fabulous Miss Draper, doyenne of American decorating and iconic tastemaker, for it is in very often in our collections that we find the much-needed respite from the travails and humdrum of our personal and professional lives. And nothing adds more to the enjoyment of a fashion doll display than a well-appointed room, a realistically detailed environment, in which, perfectly posed and dressed-to-the-nines, dolls live out the many fantasies and dramas concocted for them by their dotting keepers.

Darren Cole, Ann Morrison Maillard and Ron Shivvers are three freelance master artists who currently produce the very best in handmade furniture for various sizes of fashion dolls. If you, like we at Dolldom, believe that the future of fashion dolls is handmade, you will also agree that investing in the acquisition of their finely crafted pieces is a sure-fire way to add layers of meaning and substance to a diorama. Be it for the sole shelf in the studio apartment or for the spacious cabinets of the doll room, these miniaturized furniture masterpieces will engage not only those who appreciate doll art but also anyone interested in interior design and excellence in craftsmanship.

Darren Cole for Retros

Darren Cole is a collector of furniture from the 40s and 50s (Haywood Wakefield being a favorite) with which to decorate the 1943 Cape Cod style house that he shares with his lovely and equally talented wife Liz, designer of the famed Retros line of handmade doll clothing A while back, Liz enlisted Darren to create mid-century doll furniture to go with her hand-sewn doll fashion creations. But once friends and colleagues saw Liz’s dioramas, it was impossible to keep it in the family. Darren’s knowledge of mid-century modern style is evident in his exuberantly happy creations in both one-sixth and one-fourth scales.

My Doll’s a Collector
This credenza display cabinet is made of .75-inch pine with light maple wood veneer. The interior is painted white with a clear Plexiglass shelf that holds a doll’s treasure trove. Two clear Plexiglass sliding and a back crinkle-textured clear panel allow as much light as possible into the cabinet. A small light may be placed behind it for added effect.

What a Swell Party
Gene Marshall welcomes all for cocktails. Her Italian style bar boasts Plexiglass shelves and a black lacquered wood top. Mr. Cole interpreted a Mid Century Modern Italian design that he found in a book to satisfy two important functions: drinks and display.

Ann Morrison Millard for Morrison Furniture Studio

Thrilled to the core as a child by her sister’s Barbie’s Dream Kitchen, Annie Morrison Millard’s infatuation with the miniaturized world of the iconic doll, led her to create Morrison’s Furniture Studio. Her amazingly detailed furniture pieces have garnered her an enthusiastic fan base, this writer included. One of the best compliments that Miss Morrison has ever received was from a gentleman who wrote to her for the measurements of a sofa and coffee table she was featuring on e-Bay; he wanted to be sure it would fit up the stairs to his apartment.

Cocktails on a Roll
Miss Morrison does much of her woodworking with a band saw, scroll saw, and belt sander. The drill press is her secret weapon. She loves to use good wood, such as cherry, maple or oak. However, the scale of the grain needs to be right, as well, as seen in this rolling cocktail cart.

 Luxury Suite
Annie Morrison believes that although Barbie was given a couture wardrobe, a handsome boyfriend, and excellent accessories, she needed a well tailored home. This set exemplifies Miss Morrison’s philosophy that a doll’s display should be as fabulous as the fashion and accessories she wears. Mid-century modern has inspired Miss Morrison since long before it was called by a name. Danish Modern, Eames, Nelson, Heywood Wakefield, Lane—were all names that meant something to the artist because they indicated solid, clean and, in her opinion, timeless style.

Ron Shivvers

Ron Shivvers’ love of the woodcrafter’s art is evidenced in everything that he creates regardless of the scale. In fact, Ron’s mastery of his craft for human-sized furniture is exactly translated into one-sixth scale. Ron’s aim is to allow the natural beauty of the wood to take center stage and never stains or dyes any of his designs. Mr. Shivves crafts his furniture with the hope that it will become the treasure of tomorrow and an inheritance for generations.

Order in The House!
Everything has a place in Ron Shivver’s realistic tables with functional drawers created in miniature from one of his signature designs for humans. The inside-outside curve and taper of the leg is not only beautiful and unique but adds strength, stability and overall balance to these beautiful pieces of furniture finished with permits the wood grain to continue over the edge of the table. 1:12 dollhouse keys created by Cliff Feltrope.

Home Sweet Home
Lilli Lalka and Allan show off their new entertainment center furniture set by Ron Shivvers. Ron finely sands and hand-rubs his creations with Tung oil to a smooth satin finish that is resistant to stains from moisture. In cozy forest green suede, the set’s pillows provide warmth for many a chilly evening. Hand-knit throw and bolster pillows created by Christine Ward for Dollyknickers.

For more on these featured artists, check out the November issue of Haute Doll magazine.