Sunday, April 28, 2019

Creative Muse

Thanks to the Greeks, we have had for centuries a way of qualifying those entities that trigger the impulses that lead to expression in the arts and, of course, doll play: creative muse.  Dollectors all have their own.  For this entry, we propose to focus on two of Dolldom's inspirations for play - the first, a longtime source of beauty, glamour and joy, and the second, a new stylish character who has -intentionally- nothing to wear.

Liz Cole of Retros fame has been a constant companion to Dolldom for 20 years. Creator of everything B&G, Liz and her best man, Darren, have created - by hand - some of the most memorable and unique items for fashion dolls. From fashions to furniture to 3-D printed sunglasses and wigs, The House of Retros is steadfast in its production of a world of style that beats to its own drums (bongo, BTW) and that defies the let's-copy-the-runway fad.

Robert Tonner's Rayne, created as the last production doll for Phyn & Aero, was produced with a pair of high-heel sandals, a kick boxing work-out set, and attitude to spare. With a face-up that rivals Barbie's 1959 style, Rayne also sports a body sculpt beyond compare - Tonner's Gal Gadot Wonder Woman. So what is Rayne to wear? According to her creator, that is up to us!

As one and one equal two, then Retros and Rayne equal fabulous fun. Our editors and Rayne went into the Retros vault to select what to wear for this exclusive photo portfolio. Coiffed by Ilaria Mazzoni for Time of Doll and Chewin Malipunte, a basic auburn Rayne, profiles a young woman of character and strength not afraid to reference a time when beauty and glamour meant beauty and glamour!

"Lil' Abner "is the name of this comfortable dress made with a vintage bandana an silk shantung waist. It's summertime fashion at its best. Wig by Ilaria Mazzoni for Time of Doll.

"Gloria" is a Retros classic featuring a cotton-knit shot with gold and silver Lurex threads and cut to allow dancing.

"Poochii" is a suit for any occasion in a vintage crepe and recycled fur collar. Wig by Tonner.

Lo and behold - Rayne is joined in the Retros fun by her best friend Tyler Wentworth.

And soon it's a party with Marley and Antoinette who join in the Retros fun.

Retros Boutique - for B&G!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Swan Song?

When Robert Tonner announced the closing Phyn and Aero, he also left his collecting fans with the promise of one more doll - her name was to be Rayne. Touted as the fashion figure of the collector's dream, Rayne is meant to be "a muse, a personal fashion model, a fashion canvas." Sculpted by the designer, Rayne is an invitation to be creative by dressing and styling the doll as the collector sees fit. Dolldom could not be more delighted.

For this very first entry, a basic "Midnight" Rayne chooses to wear a Nigel Chia design for the DeMuse Doll label. With her extra long bangs, heavy upper eyelid kohl liner, and RTB 101 body sculpt (created for the Tonner's Gal Gadot Wonder Woman doll), Rayne is a strong and determined character.

Now, is Rayne Robert Tonner's swan song? Dolldom sure hopes not, as his vision has shaped the way that the fashion doll has been created and collected for more that two decades. Still, Dolldom seizes the opportunity to express gratitude to he who invited us all to believe in the power of imaginative doll play.


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Visual Literacy

It's important to know how to decipher what one is seeing.

But as critical as how one sees - is how one looks while seeing. And we are not talking about wearing a pair of sunglasses to hide dark circles or to communicate the message that eyes kept in secrecy allow no window to the soul.

Today's lesson is taught best by the formidable Peggy Guggenheim. Eyes she had, trained and skilled to understand the artist's message. And it was she who best exemplified that, regardless of what one wears on the body, it is what frames the face that speaks volumes about one's character.

LizRetros shares this sense of exuberance in design. For more than two decades, the Retros label has exemplified the golden standard in the handmade doll fashion cottage industry. Which presented no surprise when Dolldom learned that soon the doll world would enjoy the pleasures of much needed eccentric sunglasses for all sizes of dolls. The legacy lives on in LizRetros' 3-D printed and hand decorated miniatures. Now any doll can join in Miss Guggenheim in that rarefied realm of inspiring mavens who know how to look at art while defining it.

DAE Originals' "Sugarplum" Vivette goes all-out Tiki on her co-workers. Suit by Marirose.

Prototype Sylvain, by Julian Kalinowski, captures the essence of Miss Guggenheim - it's all about the spectacle of her spectacles.

Julian Kalinowski's Little Miss Lolita (aka Lalka 2) relaxes in her Venice palazzo while watching gondolas pass by through her "Aquarius" sunglasses. Coat by Rosina Haskell.

Contract negotiations will go Ivy Jordan's way. No ones messes with her flamingos. Suit by JK Clothier. JAMIEshow wig cap restyled by Kathy Johnson.

"Check This Out" Esmé by Tonner Doll is mermaid supreme in this under the sea fantasy.

Serious art collector Sofía, by JAMIEshow Doll, goes to a gallery opening and sets the scene ablaze - with one look!

The party got to be very swell once Tonner Doll's Tiny Kitty Collier walked in in her red bubble dress and Retros' "Tikilandia" frames. Mai Tai and Zombies for everyone!

A walk down Fifth is never a mundane activity when invoking tropical climes. It's happy hour at any hour of the day for Tonner Doll's Miss America dressed in Kitty Collier's suit.

Society gals like Tonner Doll's Miss Kitty Collier know how to spice things up at balls and fundraisers with chiffon and flamingos!

Mel Odom's "Phoenix" Gene Marshall, produced by JAMIEshow knows how to make an entrance and kill the red carpet in her Retros's "TikiColor" sunglasses.

To acquire your own pair, make sure to visit Retros Boutique!