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.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Gold and Tutti Frutti

Full Circle

Item # 92079
It's a Cinch
Gene Marshall Doll
The Return to Hollywood Collection
Limited Edition of 200 Dolls

It's a cinch to look smart when you have as many things going for you as Gene does in this sensational black satin dress. Puffed bell sleeves tapering to a fitted ¾-length cuff just below the elbow echo the blouson bodice and taper to a tiny belted waist, atop the trim skirt. The real action is the killer choirboy neckline, featuring three matching buttons that fasten up to a full, pussycat bow at the throat. These stylish kitty's ears are tailored in emerald green felt and worn at an angle atop Gene's chapeau du jour. The cat theme continues with a handbag of stenciled leopard in an exaggerated print. Wrapped ankle ties on the black, sling back pumps and matching, elbow length gloves are the finishing touches on this city kitty's sleek look. Knockout emeralds set in gold at the ears match the hat and proclaim Gene the queen of the urban jungle for the day. Her honey blond hairstyle is a tight, braided bun in the back and a sculpted roll from the crown to the forehead. Pale grey brows and eye shadow and a vivid red mouth are the classic Gene Marshall look for being looked at. 'It's a Cinch' when you're Gene.

Christian Dior

Chameleonic Magic : The Metamorphoses of Séverine

-->"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." - Maya Angelou
Dolls are magical anthropomorphic effigies whose power is a direct reflection of the dreams and desires of their creators and adorers. This doll magic is beautifully evidenced in Julian Kalinowski's Séverine doll. For Séverine (introduced to the world in the pages of Fashion Doll Quarterly's Spring 2015 issue) is the doll of a thousand and one faces (well of five hundred to be exact, as that is her edition number) as proven by the many different countenances that have appeared in both her Facebook page Je suis Séverine, her blog of the same name, and her boutique on e-Bay.

Mr. Kalinowski's artistic impulse drives him to explore the Séverine persona constantly. Séverine was born transforming as Mr. Kalinowski never had one fixed image for her in mind, and as result, the doll's looks have no limits. "It's almost as if she eschewed boundaries and plateaus. She is Séverine and transformation is her birthright. The daughter of Julian Stanislaw Kalinowski is a chameleon supreme!" says Caprice de la Falaise, the doll's French publicist. Famed American artist Mel Odom who also created the legendary Gene Marshall doll sums it up, "I'm amazed at the variations in character that Julian can create with his basic sculpt." Mr. Kalinowski admits, "I do love her to have many, many different faces, that is something that has always fascinated me, disguise, transformation, assumption of identity through make up and dressing."

Séverine's magical metamorphoses go beyond paint and fashion, as she ventures into the realm of vinyl. Mr. Kalinowski has partnered again with Lilli Lalka co-creator Liz Lee to realize Séverine's vinyl counterparts: Miss Sévinyl and Rachel, to be available by the time this feature is published. The new vinyl dolls boast the same voluptuous figure but offer two new features: rooted manes and two distinct facial sculpts. Mr. Kalinowski's Miss Sévinyl features the Séverine sculpt and Ms. Lee's Rachel introduces a new sculpt that pays homage to Uneeda's Miss Suzette. Limited to editions of five hundred dolls per facial sculpt, each one will be hand painted by Mr. Kalinowski.

Ms. Lee explains, "Our input is different, as Julian has a real and fantastic talent for painting, and has really worked to perfect it. We have been working on these vinyl dolls for some time - but it is only recently we finalized the design and concepts. Miss Sévinyl is - of course - Séverine's vinyl sister. Rachel is my project - a more hippie cousin given to peasant clothes, bright colors and the natural world - with a touch of magic thrown in…I expect her to be dressed sometimes in muslin, sometimes in satins and at others in 'rags and feathers from Salvation Army counters'. In fact - that song is a good starting point - Rachel is a real 'Flower Child' - more Earth Maiden than Couture, but still with her high heels….or barefoot. Sometimes Rachel will be made up, with her kohl-rimmed eyes, and sometimes, naturally lovely. I'm also planning for Rachel to have jewellery - made by me. What is a hippie without her beads and pretties?"

Miss Sévinyl and Rachel, as well as the very few remaining hard plastic Séverine dolls, will be dressed by the fabulous four: Liz Cole, Tania Lawrence, Sylvia Campbell, and Rosina Haskell. "But there will be other guest designers whose handiwork will also appear on dolls to keep fans always on the edge of their seats!", promises Mr. Kalinowski who closes with what may be the real secret to Séverine's magic, "Liz and I believe in the transformative power of collaboration and welcome the input of others in the ongoing definition of Séverine."